FIFA 13 review

FIFA 13 review

T3 4
  • FIFA 13 offers a deep, well-rounded and realistic reading of football for a video game, but it may not have enough to fend off the competition

    FIFA 13 review

    Love

    • Deep Career Mode
    • Realistic On-Pitch action
    • Improved Skill Games

    Hate

    • Learning curves
    • Lack of innovation
    • Long loading times

    FIFA 13 isn’t a gigantic step on from FIFA 12. It looks more polished, its Career Mode is deeper and, as is the case every year, once you sink a couple of hours into it returning to last year’s iteration is unthinkable.

    But it lacks any jaw dropping feature that makes it feel like an undisputed champ in its genre – a fact that isn’t helped by the fact PES 2013 and Football Manager 2013 will be the strongest challenges it will have faced in years.

    FIFA 13: Gameplay

    All that having been said, there’s plenty to admire about FIFA 13. The tweaks, tucks and additions to the game’s engine have changed the feel of EA’s football sim significantly, delivering a shot of realism to the on-pitch action.

    The first and most obvious change is the First Touch mechanic, which will initially take some time getting used to. In earlier games, long passes simply found their way – almost magnetically – onto their recipient’s boot. Now only highly-skilled players can pluck the ball out of the air with ease.

    Everyone else has to be aware of factors such as speed, weather and opponents jockeying for position. Try to control a lofted ball with an average-skilled defender and a striker bearing down on him, and you risk turning the ball into the attacker’s path and offering them a shot on goal.

    The attacking AI has had quite a bit of work done. Players now bend or stagger their runs in order to remain on side as an attacking formation converges on the box. Players also have more options in attack and defence around free kicks.

    Attacking sides can send players on dummy runs before the kick is taken, or have up to three players fake a kick take, while defending sides can add players to the wall and shimmy a little closer to the kicker.

    There’s more immediate control over the ball at the player’s feet now, thanks to the game using a tweaked version of FIFA Street’s dribbling engine, and the all round new physicality of the collision engine allows players to bump and bodycheck opponents.

    It all adds up to a football experience that feels as real and unpredictable as the real thing. Every tackle, set-piece and goal feels unique, and there’s no sense that any action on the pitch could be recreated exactly the same way.

    Xbox 360 owners can even use Kinect to change formations and substitute players on the fly – although watch the swearing at the refs as they tend to come down hard on teams managed by mouthy players.

    FIFA 13: Features

    Away from the pitch Career Mode has been deepened and – like the rest of the game – made more realistic.

    The transfer system has been enhanced; now teams attach value to players depending on their skill and their value to the first team squad so snagging the likes of David Silva isn’t as easy as it was last year.

    Furthermore, players can insist on certain transfer terms – such as clearing space on the roster, or guaranteed first team starts – as part of the deal.

     

    Managers who renege on these terms lower their acquisition’s morale. Wage and transfer budgets can be blurred like last year, but for the first time, players can be offered as part of a transfer bid.

    Players can opt to play as a manager, player, or a player manager, and as they make their reputation they’re given certain goals to accomplish.

    If they hit their targets, they’ll receive international call-ups – the chance to play or manage their country’s national side – and they’ll have the opportunity to play in international friendlies, qualifiers and tournaments.

    EA Sports has also added a series of Skill Games based around the different disciplines in football; passing, crossing, dribbling, shooting, advanced shooting, lobs, taking penalties and taking free kicks.

    Not only is this a handy introduction to the game’s controls for newbies, but it gives veterans something to shoot for.

    Finally, FIFA 13 is bursting at the seams with content – boots, uniforms, free-passes into international play - which the player can unlock by earning and spending XP in the EA Sports Football Club.

    FIFA 13: Verdict

    FIFA 13 is inarguably very solid. Like every FIFA entry it looks and plays better than its predecessor, and the addition of Skill Games and a deeper Career Mode are welcome additions.

    It just doesn’t contain any mind-shattering innovations we’ve come to expect from this series. Maybe that’ll come with the next generation of consoles.

    FIFA 13 may be more an enhancement than a revolution, but it’s still the strongest football simulation on the market.

    FIFA 13 release date: 28 September 2012

    FIFA 13 price: £39.99

  • FIFA 13 isn’t in competition with Pro Evolution Soccer anymore. It’s in competition with prior FIFA titles, which EA make changes and tweaks every year

    FIFA 13 review

    Love

    • Deep Career Mode
    • Realistic On-Pitch action
    • Improved Skill Games

    Hate

    • Learning curves
    • Lack of innovation
    • Long loading times

    Update: EA has announced the FIFA 13 UK release date as 28 September 2012. At its Gamescom 2012 press conference, the publisher also announced the US release date as 25 September, while a demo will be coming on 11 September.

    FIFA 13 is likely to give its fan base some teething problems. As is the case every year, EA’s world-conquering football sim comes packaged with a ton of tweaks, tucks and modifications to its in-game engine.

    Taken separately, they don’t add up to much, but when combined, they dramatically alter FIFA’s in-game experience, making it look, sound and feel more authentic.

    FIFA 13: Features

    Since FIFA 08, EA has worked hard to make its football game play like its real-world counterpart. This year, the new elements that have been introduced focus on the unpredictability of the beautiful game.

    The first and most obvious change has to do with each players’ first-touch capabilities. In the past, players could receive a lobbed pass as though the ball was glued to their foot.

    Now, the ball bounces and weaves realistically in the air, and a player’s ability to control it is dictated by their overall score – Cesc Fabregas can pluck a ball out of the air easier than, say, Joey Barton.

    This opens up both defensive and offensive rethinks; a defender who is struggling to control a ball is easy picking for a decent attacking striker, for example.

    The new physicality in on-the-pitch action is further helped by players being able to push and pull one another and their new ability to block other players running into space.

    The game’s impact engine has also been tweaked, so tackles no longer lead to unintentionally hilarious animations – instead, they look eye-wateringly painful.

    FIFA 13: Gameplay

     

    Players are also gifted a newfound agency with the ball through FIFA 13’s new dribbling controls.

    Built off the back of this year’s FIFA Street engine, FIFA 13 allows players to control the ball with amazing precision, and incredibly, the interface for this is breathtakingly simple – pull both triggers, toggle the left stick and you’re away.

    EA Sports has also done a lot of work in the game’s Free-Kick mechanics. In the past, players were faced with only a couple of options – play the ball off to a nearby player or blast it towards goal.

    Now, attackers have a whole host of options, which include adding fake kick-takers, playing the ball into space and lobbing the ball forward for players to header it in.

    Defenders also have a new set of choices when squaring up to a free kick. They can add players to a wall, shimmy their wall forward, mark potential header threats or storm towards the kick-taker once the whistle goes.

    FIFA 13: Verdict

    EA hasn’t revealed any features or modes beyond the new gameplay mechanics, but in truth, at this stage it doesn’t need to.

    The basics for their game are in place and the on-the-pitch experience feels rock solid. FIFA 13 is a giant stride on from its predecessor, to the point where FIFA 12 feels like an arcade game by comparison.

    If the rest of FIFA 13 matches the quality of its new in-game experience, EA’s dominance of the football sim market is practically assured.

    FIFA 13 plays like the best iteration of EA’s footie sim thus far. If the rest of the package matches the quality of the on-pitch action, football fans are in for a treat.

    FIFA 13 availability: 28 September 2012

    FIFA 13 price: TBC

    • FIFA 13 - Gamescom 2012 Trailer
    • E3: 2012 FIFA 13 Trailer
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    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA_13_6_624.jpg
  • FIFA 13

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