The Best FIFA Yet! Again…
It is obvious by now that the FIFA games are going to keep rolling onto the shelves each year, and equally as obvious that they are going to keep selling better than most other games on the market because of the pleasure they bring to fans. FIFA 13 is the latest release in the franchise, and with some new features added to the game as well as improvements to the more traditional elements, fans have once again been told to expect the best FIFA game yet. As many times as this may have been said, it is unfair to criticise this remark, because frankly EA continue to be correct about this…
The first thing that you will notice when you jump into the game is how much smoother it now feels. The players seem to move, react and simply behave more like actual people now rather than appearing limited in their actions. Everything feels as if it is moving much more flowingly than what it has done before, and it all just looks more natural rather than clearly being artificially controlled. Clearly, the game doesn’t look like a real life football match, although some may disagree with this, but it is moving steadily closer to doing so as the new releases come each year. The graphics continue to improve and this game is no exception to this. The players look more realistic than ever, with some exceptions however which bigger fans of football may pick up on and be disappointed by. The pitches and stadiums look brighter and healthier than they have done in the past, and the fans, well, they still seem to be mostly two-dimensional and pretty generic, but fans of the franchise are probably used to this by now. One day the developers may choose to do something with the crowds to further the realism of the game, but they don’t take away from the play too much, so it is understandable why this may not be a priority.
The commentary in the game is professional as ever, and seemingly more varied than the previous releases. There are added features now which provide detailed information on any injuries which occur in game, as well as the up-to-date details of other league and cup matches taking place alongside yours if you are playing career mode. This makes the game seem much more realistic, but also makes it easier to make managerial decisions during matches as well as outside of them. There does seem to be a minor issue with the crowd sound effects, where rather than phasing in and out of cheering for you if play is going well a completely different effect seems to turn instantaneously on and off, which really takes away from the games new, smoother feel.
So aside from the classic game modes such as career, tournament or be a pro, there are several new features to try in FIFA 13. Most of these come under its now very large selection of online options, for example the improved ultimate team mode which has become possibly the most popular feature of the FIFA franchise. For those who aren’t sure, this is essentially a football trading card game where you use points earned from matches to buy packs of cards to build and manage a team. Players of the game then battle aggressively to have the best team and shout a lot when they lose. This game mode seems to have been tidied up a bit in this release to make it simpler for new players to try it out and easier for former players to use. New to online play however is the match day feature. This comes in various forms on the game, but the basic idea is that players can play matches in game as they take place in real life. It sounds like something very simple, but this has been done in a very in depth way, with player and team form being influenced by the way teams are playing in the real world. This means if a player is injured or has been playing poorly in real life, they will be injured or have a lowered rating in the game. It has also been developed in such a way that up to date results are announced in game with the times and goal scorers being announced as they would have occurred in reality. This may not be a feature which appeals to everyone, but for major football fans this is a fantastically made feature which is surprisingly in depth, and will likely be very popular in the game.
Some offline features of the game have also been improved too. Loading screens now provide a constructive activity for the player to try while they are waiting. This involves skill games such as taking penalties at targets, making lob shots into barrels, or passing through cones to manikins. If players score enough points in these games, they are awarded points to spend in game on extra features; another new item in FIFA 13. The in game marketplace allows players to spend points earned from challenges and playing matches to improve their game with extras such as career mode bonuses, goal celebrations or new kit for players. This gives players something extra to work towards and just makes playing seem that little bit more purposeful. Some people may be disappointed if their favourite celebrations are not available without unlocking them first, but rest assured backflips are much easier to achieve when you score now, so you will still be entertained! Aside from the loading screen challenges however, the game seems to noticeably be faster as loading matches now, which is great if you really do just want a “quick game” when you play. Another fancy feature in FIFA 13 is the more in depth and tv-style cinematics at the beginning of matches which simply adds to that realistic feel, although after a few times it does get a bit long winded and ends up being skipped. The first few times though, it does look pretty cool.
The main aim of the developers seems to be clear in FIFA 13; they want to make these football games look and feel as real as watching a game on the TV. This is something which they have not yet achieved completely, but are getting pretty close to now. In a few years time it is likely that they will get to this, but there are minor issues which still need tweaking in order to achieve this. Although the game is basically the same premise as it always has been, the new game modes and additions which have been made do keep it quite fresh and up to date, and big fans of football will likely be very impressed by the match day feature. The game does seem to be quite heavily reliant on players having Xbox Live if they want to make full use of all of its features, so this is worth bearing in mind, but the offline play is still very in depth in the career mode and fun to play in general. All in all FIFA 13 is yet another successful release in this franchise, so tune in next year to see if FIFA 14 achieves the same!
The Good – Improved graphics, more game modes than you can shake a stick at, and a smoother and more realistic look and feel in general.
The Bad – Still some room for small improvements in some areas, and rather heavily reliant on players having Xbox Live.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.