Howard Clears to Dempsey… Dempsey carries… Dempsey… Dempsey to Altidore… Altidore to Dempsey… to Altidore… GOOOOOOOOOOOOL!
FIFA 13 for the XBOX 360 encapsulates all the things fans worldwide love about football or as the world’s game is known state side; soccer. FIFA 2013 makes the largest jump in features for the franchise since the game was created. To really take a look at the differences I took it upon myself to go into the stack of games and play the previous two FIFAs to really the notice the new upgrades in FIFA 13. I found some of the changes to be in A.I. (artificial intelligence), player mobility, and the user’s control of the important aspects such control of the ball and player’s physicality.
The A.I. plays a huge role in FIFA with the ability to position the players in a better situation to capitalize on momentum and opportunity. The freedom with the sticks (controller’s joysticks) to move the ball is something this author is heralding as a victory in itself. In a game focused on the movement of a single ball, having the ability as the player to move the ball more freely and to attempt more moves with the ball is worth buying a new game entirely. The A.I. is more lifelike with the computer responding more naturally to good and bad passes from the user forcing the user to play better. The added benefit of being able to be physical in off the ball situations such as in corner or free kicks is something that should be noted. This free physicality allows for better positioning and blocks of otherwise well placed balls. This also helps improve defensive play with more chances to steal back a possession or two.
Speaking of corner kicks, the upgrades there impress. The user gains the ability to position different players in different set ups to allow for fake runs, multiple selections for passes, and the ability to be as creative as real players playing on the front yard. The upgraded graphics and frame rate really show through here with crisp movement and responses to the changing environment. Though the changes are slight compared to the previous version it does have its noticeable advantages like new reaction animations which appears when players react to situations and challenges more fluidly as they would in real time real life. Examples of these would be recovering or reacting to a push, sliding, falling, or even colliding into another player. This year’s FIFA really works to make the game less restraining and robotic in body motion from last years.
As the opening line suggest the ability to play for your favorite club or country in career mode is a lot more fun with expanded options that allow for friendlies, qualifiers, and international tournaments; just like in real life! From Argentina to Venezuela with all the teams in between select your favorite and take them to league, tournament, or international victory.
Other added features include the skills challenge, allowing players to hone fundamentals in the game like dribbling, passing, crossing, and shooting. The games are fun and help the user to become more adept at playing all while having fun. Scores and times are saved to allow others to try to beat personal bests and posted records. There is thirty some odd games and they all are different allowing the player to work on something specific or a combination of skill allowing the player to further develop they’re in game abilities. Players can earn rewards, grow levels, and play games linked to actual soccer events happening in real time. The game boasts over 500 clubs and 15,000 players making game play and opportunity boundless and if you still can’t find the right player you can always create and develop one.
The point of every sports game should make the player tremble in the core of their heart like they’re actually at the game, in the heat of the moment, holding their collective breathe. The beauty of sports games is that the player can help all of the little David like teams knock off or defeat the monster like Goliath. One of the key innovations of FIFA 13 is the balance in game play between challenge and success. A balance hard to come by and used brilliantly in the game. This tension is most noticeable in first-touch controls. Gone is the A.I. assisting with incredible skill taking the balls out of the air or perfectly running onto passes at speed without missing a step. In this updated FIFA if you don’t have the skill you’re not going to pull it off and will probably lose ball possession.
First touch isn’t the only noticeable change in gameplay. While previous FIFAs focused on defense and improving reaction this FIFA shows off more freedom to create offensively. EA attacked the offensive issue improving the A.I. by having the computer react to openings and move for a pass or shot off the ball. With improved A.I. the reactions to collisions, pushes, or slides is a lot better and not the weird looking stuff it was before. The better reactions forces players to really account for player to player match ups in physical advantages and disadvantages.
In closing FIFA 13 offers the player a range of options from quick start games to full blown career mode with anyone from the local club to the biggest of International teams. If those still are not enough the skills portion is more than challenging with different games for the single player to multiplayers attempting to show off their skill. The game allows for the player to experience a varied game play that no longer restricted to a limited range of options. For a sports game FIFA 13 is definitely something you don’t have to be a soccer fan to play. You can be a regular gamer playing the game for the first time and just enjoy it for its game play and fun. The people over at EA have really moved FIFA into the realm of gaming and out of the sports nut closet. I’m excited to see what comes next for this storied franchise.