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FIFA 13 Review

Every year we write about how the latest FIFA is the most realistic simulation of the game yet as EA continues to tweak away, hoping to provide users with something new, yet familiar. Another sight we are used to are the buzz words that get thrown around with each new game as EA tries to catch our eyes with the latest innovations gracing the green fields of our consoles. This year's FIFA is no different, the buzz words are back, the tweaks have been made and yes, it's the most realistic game of the series so far. So are you ready for the new season?

Developing FIFA must be difficult for EA, after all, the game is already packed with all the features (both offline and online) that you could wish for. It also looks fantastic, better than any football fan could wish. So all that's left to do really is tweak the gameplay and this has been the main area of concentration for the studio, both in last year's version and in FIFA 13. In this respect we once again welcome last year's major changes, such as Tactical Defending and the Impact Engine, the latter of which has been slightly improved upon.

Adding in last year's improvement is obviously not enough for EA Canada, which is why this year's changes really help mix things up a little more. The first noticeable change is First Touch Control, which is certainly going to take some players a little time to get used to. What First Touch does is calculate how well your player will control a received pass based on the position, preparation and the skill of the player receiving the ball. What this means is that no longer does the ball stick to your player's feet, so if for example, your player is on the move, he may receive the ball and see it run away from him slightly, which could make things difficult. If you read the play correctly then this can actually help by giving your player a slight jump on the defenders, although reading play in this way is not always easy.

Two further major tweaks this year come in the shape of better dribbling and improved AI.
The former certainly gives you better close control over the ball, which is handy when you are in a tight corner, while the latter is particularly satisfying as there was nothing more frustrating than in previous games when you made a run and there was no-one there to support you. Now at least you'll generally have an outlet, which makes the game both feel and flow better.

On the defensive side, the new push/pull system certainly seemed to do its job well. With a tap of the O utton, your player will hassle opponents off the ball, causing them to spend a little less time holding on to it. Pushing or pulling the opponent around too much can result in a freekick and possibly even a yellow card, however if utilised correctly this seems to be very effective.

All of the changes above really come together to make this year's FIFA a better flowing, more enjoyable game of football. There is something a little unpredictable about matches, which is the one thing PES has always had over FIFA. Games not only flow better, but your never quite sure which way the ball is going to fall, meaning that you really need to be on your toes when it comes to crosses, throw-ins and freekicks - after all, you want to be the first to any rebounds.

If all of the above doesn't sound enough to keep you entertained then I'm sure FIFA 13's brand new Skill Games Mode will. Personally I thought just playing through Career Mode would be enough for me, but Skill Mode has practically stopped me in my tracks. What this new mode offers is a series of challenges based on areas such as penalties, ground passing, lobbed passing, dribbling, shooting, advanced shooting, crossing and free kicks. There are three tiers to each game (bronze, silver and gold), so if you reach your target score then you'll move on to the next. Once you master these three tiers you'll then be met with a skill challenge, which is obviously the toughest of the lot.

The Skill Game mode actually takes the place of the arena and such is the addictive nature of it, that you'll probably forget about starting your match. Particular highlights for me include the advanced shooting challenge, where you have a set time to score as many goals as you can, while having to deal with different scenarios and also the lobbed pass challenge, where you have to try and get balls into a bin, before going on to having to hit the crossbar. Skill Game mode is a fantastic addition to FIFA 13 and it's one that you won't be able to stop playing, especially since EA's also included leaderboards into the mix.

Elsewhere in FIFA 13 it's business as usual. Ultimate Team adds seasons to complete in, new challenges and tasks, while Football Clubs now allows you to spend XP points earned elsewhere in the game on equipment, celebrations and player upgrades. Career Mode meanwhile is much the same, other than the addition of internationals, giving your manager or player a chance to represent their country. Online Functionality remains intact of course, with nearly every mode providing some sort of connectivity. Overall this year's FIFA includes pretty much everything you'd expect and more.

One of FIFA's main advantages over its rivals has always been its presentation and that doesn't change this time around. Everything inside the stadium looks sharper and more detailed, while player celebrations also look more realistic than ever. Commentary has also improved, with nearly every word coming from those on the mic feeling completely on the ball. The best way to describe everything you see is by calling it the Sky Sports of football games, because that's what it is. If EA can think of a way to include a pop up pub and a big screen in the next version then we'd be just about sorted.

So that's FIFA 13. It's perhaps not a huge step from last year, you could call it more of an evolution that revolution. Fans won't complain though, because when you already have a game that's pretty much perfect then there is no point in moving the goalposts too far.

Review Policy (Version tested: PS3)

Edited On 27 Sep, 2012

( 6 )
angelus3889's avatar
angelus3889 4 years ago
Well got my copy today from you and its just a fantastic rollercoaster of events that will keep you glued to this game, the little mini games will get you hooked for sure.
rjc's avatar
I'm finding the game speed too fast myself, as are many others. I hope EA fix this.
rjc 4 years ago
scourge's avatar
scourge 4 years ago
i reeeeeeeeally want this game, have to wait for payday though.
shenmue4real's avatar
shenmue4real 4 years ago
I'm torn, i bought last years and i don't do yearly games but this is the first Fifa to do Spurs right.
Anonymous user's avatar
Oliver 4 years ago
Going from the Ultimate Team Beta and the Demo the game speed on ultimate team is like a completely different game. The game speed on the demo was great, hope the full game is like that.
b3media's avatar
b3media 4 years ago
Overall the game is a vast improvement over last years. But it still isn't perfect. They've added a filter on pro clubs to match an opposition's teams any and goalkeeper with your own. However this doesn't seem to work half the time as we still are able to witness the hoofball nature of playing against an AI. Ultimate Team have introduced a new Points system for buying packs, hopefully this means added security. But the menus really let it down. So slow and the search feature is almost useless. Hopefully EA will sort this out soon. But apart from this annoyances I have to admit, FIFA 13 is definitely a keeper!

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