FIFA 13 is the brand new football (or soccer) title from EA Sports. Adding in the unpredictable nature of football with a first touch control mechanic, FIFA 13 looks to take the successes of previous instalments and make further enhancements to what is already a winning formula. It may not sound like much has changed with only tweaks to AI and control mechanics added, so is it still worth buying this year’s iteration?
Let’s find out by ‘kicking-off’ the HOTs and NOTs
FIFA 13 has stepped up the game when it comes to presentation this year with newly designed simple and smooth menus, more players looking truly like they do in real life and once again a great soundtrack. Not only do more players look more life-like, but they also seem to both pass and react much more realistically. Whether this is partially down to the new first touch control system or just general tweaks in the gameplay design, it works well.
Unfortunately, unlike the change from FIFA 11 to 12 the same jump in graphics hasn’t been made this time around. This isn’t to say there hasn’t been an overall improvement; just don’t be expecting much of a change in the graphical presentation after the revamped menus.
When it comes to the sounds and music of the game, they are better than ever. FIFA titles always have enjoyable upbeat soundtracks and 13 is no different, but on top of the usual quirky unheard of tracks there are also a couple of classics most notably Kasabian’s Club Foot. The real improvement rather than just remaining decent comes in the form of the commentary and the crowd. The crowd now roar into life when an obvious goal scoring opportunity arises, much like every fan does in real life. The commentary seems to flow much smoother than in the previous title. Now with occasional updates from other matches, during career mode, or conversations about how players are actually doing this season in real life, on the kick-off mode, it has a better edge to it; which makes it worthwhile listening to.
Once again Career mode will be where players spend a huge amount of time this year, only equalled or beaten by the online modes. Career mode allows you to choose between a Manager Career or a Player Career; which in turn has the option to retire and pursue a managerial career. Entertainingly, players that choose the manager career mode can even decide between a tracksuit or a suit and tie.
Featuring simple and non-cluttered menus, alongside easy to understand informational sections, the Career mode has remained easy to navigate and enjoyable. The transfer system is relatively unchanged with the Deadline Day feature once again adding extra tension to the final day of the transfer window, as players try to buy, loan or even trade members of their team.
While the first touch control system may not revolutionise the FIFA franchise, it does give it a new realistic edge. EA has constantly been explaining FIFA 13 as being the title to introduce the unpredictable nature of football into the game; this unpredictability is entirely due to first touch. It goes hand in hand with the player impact engine which was introduced in FIFA 12, which has been improved this time around.
When playing with the top teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid the first touch mechanics will most likely not be all too apparent; with higher rated players often having much higher ball control statistics. However, plunge into the teams from lower leagues or even field the reserves of the large clubs and you will feel the difference. Goal scoring opportunities can be won or lost; with a bad touch from a defender gifting an attacker a chance or a hard knock on by an attacker presenting the ball to the defender or goalies feet. Some may find it annoying as chances are ruined but it makes it more like watching a real life football game than a computer generated one.
Quick Freekicks And Throw Ins
Yes, they were both in FIFA 12; however now when the ball goes out for a throw in or a foul is whistled for and the ball is close by, players will actually run to get the ball or even pass it across to where the ball is needed. In FIFA 13, the rather comical bug of players failing to pick up the ball despite it being between their legs for a throw in, has thankfully been fixed.
Offline And Online Multiplayer
The server issues still remain but despite this playing against a friend be it offline or online is still the best way to play the game. Not only is it a chance to try and one up them or show off your latest Ultimate Team, but it is a casual fun gaming experience that is much tamer, depending on your temper, than many other multiplayer games. The design hasn’t changed for either head to the now up-to-date kick off section with two or more controllers at the ready or head to the online seasons or Ultimate Team tournaments, or new season mode, and hop into a game.