It was September 25, 2012, one of the greatest days in the history of the world; the release date of FIFA 13. The game’s predecessor, FIFA 12, was a great game in it’s own right, a game that some said could not be improved upon further. Yet, after the first few months of playing FIFA 12, I got the feeling that EA wasn’t finished yet, that they has some supirses in store for the next edition of FIFA. Already fresh from the hype of FIFA 12, I was already anticipating FIFA 13 as early as February. As per usual, FIFA 13 was surronded by as much hype as it’s predecessors the closer we got to it’s release date. However, unlike it’s predecessors, FIFA 13 certainley lived up to the hype fully. Slicker gameplay, enhanced graphics, cool new game modes, and a general greater realisim about the game finally dispelled the notion that EA were beggining to become complacent with their development of FIFA because of their domination of the sports gaming market. Here’s why FIFA 13 certainley lives up to the hype.
One of the most infuriating aspects about FIFA 12 were the totally unrealistic elements that could end up creeping in at the most unexpected moments. Whether it was players flying across the pitch, bipolar referees, players not making runs or marking, tactical defending, or the fact that the most obscure League Two player from AFC Wimbeldon was capable of the first touch that we only see from Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in real life, these were the moments that infuriated us all. Well, in FIFA 13, you can officially say good-bye to those moments of anger. EA has improved the player impact system so that contact among players is more realistic and actually within the laws of physics. Players will actually fall based on the impact rather than go flying 50 yards across the pitch from the slightest push. The days of bipolar referees who seemingly award a penalty for the slightest of contact yet wave off the most dangerous of challenges are long gone. EA has gone about imporving the AI of it’s system so that the referees actually make decesions in accordance with the Laws of the Game rather than a random calcualtion. This same improvement has also been made with regards to player intelligence. No longer will you be screaming at the TV, yelling at your players to “make the damn run” or for your defenders to “mark the damn bastard”. With improved player intelligence, players will now have more awarness and make penetrating runs into the box and defenders will naturally position themselves better than in FIFA 12. But, be warned, these improvements have also been given to the computer and, if you’re not careful, games could turn into goalfests. Tactical defending is no longer this tedious feature that was thrust upon us like in FIFA 12. Improvments in tactical defending actually have made it easy and fun to incoporate into gameplay, bringing about some defensive tactical awarness into gameplay rather than simply pressing a button and hoping your defender makes the tackle. Finally, the most significant improvement in FIFA 13’s gameplay is a system which takes into account a players actual skill level with regards to their first touch. No longer will every player seemingly latch on to a 60 yard pass perfectly and be able to play a pass right after. Less skilled players will have to take more touches to gain control of the ball while more skilled players will be able to do much more with just one touch of the ball. All in all, the improvements made to FIFA 13’s gameplay certainley justify it living up to it’s hype.
One of the coolest features of the FIFA franchise has always been career mode. There has always been that element of entertainment at the prospect of being able to take over your own football club, delve into the transfer market, and adjust the team according to the way you want it to play. However, there has always been some apsects of the real world of football with regards to career mode in previous editions of FIFA. However, in FIFA 13, career mode is as realisitc as it can get. It is now possible to gain a job with a national team and participate in international competitions such as the UEFA Euro, Copa America, and FIFA World Cup while managing your club at the same time or get an international call up from your national team in Be A Pro mode. As is that wasn’t enough, improvements made to the transfer market system will allow you to include players as part of transfers and to make a counter offer when trying to sell one of your players. AI managers will now work into the transfer market according to the needs of their teams instead of buying a player because they can. Gone are the days where you would see Inter Milan stockpile on strikers for absolutley no reason. Finally, like in real life, it is now possible to change teams in the middle of the season if you so wish. But, be careful, this opens up the possibility of being fired mid-season as oppossed to being given the entire year to steady the ship if you start poorly. All in all, the perfection of career mode, combined with more realistic gameplay, make FIFA 13 perhaps the greatest FIFA ever made and worthy of more than living up to it’s own hype.