FIFA 13: Realism Is Everything
FIFA 13 is nearly ready to kick-off the football season and realism is everything as EA’s football factory rolls out its latest model…
In this era of me-too shooters and identikit sequels, it’s good to see that originality isn’t dead.
Based on a niche sport known as ‘football’ (it’s pretty big in South America, or so we’re told), EA Sports’ latest offering promises to turn the gaming world on its head with… okay, okay, we’ll stop.
It might not be breathtakingly original – or even marginally original, for that matter – but when improvements leap out like they do in FIFA 13, it’s hard to criticise EA for iterating rather than innovating.
Last year’s defensive shake-up might have divided fans but, as those with the patience to learn the new system will tell you, the depth it offered undoubtedly saw FIFA to its best performance in years.
To balance things out, offensive improvements are key this time around – AI forwards now support you far better with intelligent, breaking runs that reflect their real world play-styles while close control has been overhauled, giving skilled players the much-needed ability to dance around defenders and create openings.
So far, so press release. But perhaps the most promising thing about FIFA 13 is how obvious the benefits of back-of-the-box jargon like Attacking Intelligence and Complete Dribbling (which, to be honest, just sounds a bit messy) are from the first moment you pick up a controller.
There’s a far more natural flow to matches now, even down to moment-on-moment gameplay. Pile pressure on a defender as a ball comes in and they’ll sometimes set up a chance through a disastrous first touch, for instance, while greater control at the back means that letting in goals tends to be more down to human error than curious positioning or absent-minded AI.
It’s a much more physical game too, with beefy defenders far better equipped to use their weight and size to impede attackers, while even a beaten man has a chance to stop a break with a little pushing and pulling. The build we played was pretty early – quick matches only with just a handful of teams available – but even that was enough to sell us on FIFA’s evolution. The days of the lazy annual update are, it would appear, well and truly over.
Better With Kinect? No gesture control here, EA instead employing voice commands both on and off the pitch – navigate menus and call for the ball, but watch your mouth around the ref.
No, Really… As well as all the proper stuff, Kinect will be listening out for you abusing the official. One lapse in concentration and it could result in a silly sending off.
Brace For Impact Improved collision physics might not sound all that interesting, and it’s not. Still, it’ll certainly make matches more believable and mitigate YouTube moments.
Top Left Corner Set-pieces are greatly improved – you can build your own personal free kick routines in the training ground before wowing crowds with them on match day.
Club Sandwich Everything about FIFA’s online modes has been taken to the next level, with the Online Club element in particular now far greater in scope and potential.
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