When you put out a football game every year (American or European), you're faced with the difficult task of keeping it fresh. To that end, one of the most hyped additions to FIFA 12 is the heralded Player Impact Engine. It's an "advanced procedural animation system tied with accurate collision physics," meaning players are going to actually interact when they collide. It sounds great. But judging from demo play videos making their way around the web, it might be one of the bigger mistakes the EA team has made.
It's nice to see a tackle to the shins take the ballhandler down; that's real. But even the lightest brush seems to send players sprawling, regardless of their momentum or vector. Essentially, the Player Impact Engine turns every player into an Italian.
We would love to dismiss this video as a fluke of the physics engine. But a quick search reveals that "FIFA impact fail" is a burgeoning subgenre of YouTube videos, featuring countless videos of players inexplicably sprawling, flipping, flopping, stumbling, faceplanting and otherwise acting unrealistically in collision scenarios. It's not clear how widespread the problem is or if EA will be able to tweak it before the release date, but if you want real, PES 2012 may be the way to go.