Monday, October 8, 2012

FIFA 13 Review


The ultimate soccer experience is back and better than ever. It's another year and Electronic Arts are back with one of the biggest franchises in gaming history. I reckon it must get hard for the developers to continually innovate after so many years on the same generation of consoles. FIFA 12 was a standout that brought real world physics to the sport for the very first time. This is more about fine tuning and calibrating to make a game that is still fun and accessible for both the lifelong player and first time adopters of the FIFA franchise. That is why it is so interesting that the developers threw in a level of unpredictability with their 'first-touch controls' that completely change the way you play the game.

Presentation

When you are making the same game every year on a platform that stays the same you are eventually going to hit a graphical peak. FIFA 12 was a beautiful game with excellent player models and detail in all faces when up close animations are shown. This years game isn't a big improvement on last years title, in fact you could put the improvements at minimal. A few players look more like their real world counterparts, but overall it looks just like last year. This isn't a bad thing though, FIFA 12 was one of the prettiest games around and still is to this date.


The main improvements come in the physics engine and a refinement in the reactions of players. Last year was the first year that players wouldn't follow a set animation in collisions and instead the speed, angle and force of those involved was taken into account. Often you would find a tangling of players bodies or glitches causing unnatural movements that would slightly detract from the overall game. The majority of these are gone and the players react more like their real world counterparts. A few more options have been put into the game like the ability for players to dive to keep the ball in, all minimal changes that just nudge the game a bit closer to the real thing. Overall its the prettiest and most glitch free FIFA yet.

Audio in FIFA 13 follows the same level of improvement that past titles have had. The commentators as always have a huge set of conversational pieces to talk about and react perfectly to whats happening in the game. There are a few new pieces added in, but essentially the same high standard has been maintained. The crowd sound great and a loud roar when you score the winning goal in overtime never gets old.

Gameplay

This years addition to the franchise has a host of key features that merely refine and enhance what we had previously instead of completing rewriting the book. Improvements to gameplay include what EA are calling Attacking Intelligence, First Touch Control, Player Impact Engine and Tactical Free Kicks. Modes receiving an update in this years title include the Career Mode and EA Sports Football Club, as well as a brand new mode known as Skill Games that replaces the standard practice session before a game started.


Probably the biggest change to this years formula is First Touch Control. This new system actually makes the game harder, removing some of the accessibility to players who are master ball handlers to begin with. Instead of players perfecting trapping a ball or being able to control a poorly timed pass, the result is now more uncertain. A player running at full speed won't be able to stop the ball and magically continue on. Depending on their skill level the ball could hit off their leg and go sprawling in a direction not originally intended. This is closer to what happens in real life and may infuriate life long players. Real world physics between the ball and the player are a first for FIFA and I actually really enjoyed the unpredictability of it all. Games feel more intense and even less skilled players can hold out hope for an errant pass allowing for them to capitalise the other way.

Attacking Intelligence is a big improvement on the decisions made by attacking AI players. Instead of running in a straight line alongside you, they make smart runs to drag defenders away and set themselves up in the best position for a pass. The player impact engine is more of an improvement on the impact engine from last year. It gives defenders more options to win the ball back and use their strength as an advantage when fighting for position. Tactical free kicks essentially allows for more elaborate free kicks with multiple players able to be lined up for dummy runs and passing options.


As well as being its own mode on the menu, skill games is also the new option for players while a game is loading. There are bronze, silver, gold and skill challenge levels to 8 areas of FIFA that can be completed at an entirely optional choice. They start out fairly simple and may require you to hit targets or complete goals in a set amount of time, but end up being elaborate courses with many challenges. Not being the best FIFA player out there, I found these very useful for seeing where I was at and techniques I could use. Ultimately I found that I actually improved as a player after attempting the skill games. In Career mode an array of small features have been thrown in to make it match what a real life player would face. For the first time ever international matches are thrown in among your club games. A players market value is also based on a number of factors including their attitude and performance.

Conclusion

FIFA 13 isn't a game changer, but it definitely an improvement all round compared to FIFA 12. A little tweak here and a minor adjustment there have gone a long way to making sure FIFA stays head and shoulders above the competition. This is the most realistic and authentic soccer experience to date. Sure, some players won't like the unpredictable physics between the players and the ball but those clever enough to judge their passes power and direction accurately will benefit from the fluidity in their game. Those failing to cope will be left behind, but this is where the skill games come in to finally give us a tutorial of sorts that will actually do more than teach the basics, actually enhancing your skill level. Millions of players worldwide online and the return of all the modes you love (or loathe *cough* MUT *cough*) will make this an irresistible package.

Graphics - 9.5/10
Sound - 9/10
Gameplay - 9.5/10
Overall - 9.5/10

2 comments:

Blogger said...

ROBLOX is empowered by a growing membership base of over 300,000 creator players who generate an infinite variety of highly immersive experiences.

These experiences range from 3D games and competitions, to interactive adventures where players can take on new personas exploring what it's like to be a dinosaur, a miner working a mine or an astronaut on a space exploration.

Blogger said...

DO YOU PLAY FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM?
You probably need MORE COINS!
Check out FUT Millionaire.