Seven things you need to know about FIFA '13
- Seven Things You Need to Know
- FIFA 13
- EA Sports
Words by Nathan Clifton
Another year, another FIFA, and we all rush out to see which minor changes and gameplay tweaks have been made. But this year may be different in that there are some features being added – such as Kinect compatibility for the 360 version. How excited you are about that depends largely on how much you enjoy shouting at your telly while playing FIFA which, if you’re like us, is an awful lot.
Either way, read on to see the seven things you really need to know about FIFA ’13.
#1 - I got the moves like... Messi...?
Ball movement gets accurate with Complete Dribbling
The dribbling has actually been pretty well refined from FIFA ‘11 in the series’ latest iteration so it shall be interesting to see how EA implement even further freedom into moving with the ball.
Hopefully these more wholesome dribbling techniques won’t be limited to (on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) the right thumbstick. Making these skills more accessible would make for much more open and exciting matches. Only in the past two years has the FIFA series stepped up to take on PES in terms of dribbling and in FIFA ‘12 we saw the best in the series. From what we’ve seen so far visually, ‘13 looks like it’s improving the system even more.
Will it unbalance the game though? Well as long as Gareth Barry doesn’t have the same tricks up his sleeves as Andres Iniesta then we should be safe.
#2 - That was never offside, ref!
Attacking AI set for an overhaul
Apparently your AI controlled teammates can now anticipate events that will unfold in two passes’ time. That will have to be seen to be believed.
Currently, passing the ball from midfield to forward can be so infuriating at times as they decide to make that run at precisely the wrong time. More often than not a defender will step forward to claim the ball or a lofted pass will just drift off with no-one in pursuit. Runs off the ball to drag defenders away are also set to be included. If these runs will be intelligent enough to force a goal scoring opportunity is a feature that this new style of gameplay hinges on.
#3 - What a touch!
1st Touch Control – it’s been a long time coming
Throughout both series of games, FIFA and PES have denied us the luxury of using our first touch as we receive a pass to influence proceedings. Hopefully that is about to change. Making a move the second your player receives the ball is something we’ve been longing to do so whether it means we can guide the ball round an opponent with a deft touch or stopping the ball dead from a lofted pass, combining it with the Complete Dribbling is a pretty exciting prospect.
However in order for it to succeed its response to the player’s action has to be instant. Many times we’ve all taken that extra touch we didn’t want to so if this one true innovation of the franchise this year is to succeed then not just timing from the player but from the hardware and software will also be key.
#4 - Yes, Boss
Yes, it will be compatible with everyone’s favourite Microsoft peripheral and, unexpectedly, it doesn’t sound that awful.
During matches you’ll be able to issue tactical instructions, presumably whether to adopt an increasingly attacking or defensive mindset, change formations and initiate the substitution process. We can already imagine ourselves yelling “SUB!” halfway through the second half to get our impact player on.
Be A Pro returns with Kinect integration, calling for a pass or urging a teammate to make a run will do a good job of making you feel like part of the action. But you’re not, because you’re in your living room.
However the best and most entertaining feature of Kinect’s compatibility is allowing the referee to hear what you’re saying. Curse the officials with foul language and they’ll let you know about it, booking players and calling fouls against you that seem rather questionable. A nice feature but totally goes against the simulation of the game. Refs are meant to be impartial. Right?!
#5 - Tee one up
Tactical free kicks are in
Okay, to an extent these are already present in FIFA ‘12. Now you’ll be able to lay the ball off to a teammate that isn’t directly involved in the set-piece for him to blast into the net. Think Alan Shearer against Manchester United in 2002.
It won’t be plain sailing though. The defending team will be able to add to their wall or even take people out of it adding to a much deeper level of customisation at free kicks both attacking and defensively. It’s one of the more interesting additions and adds a battle of psyche to the dead ball situation.
#6 - Taking the summer off
There won’t (shouldn’t) be any DLC for this one
The surprising move from EA to not milk all they can from their audience and release DLC considerably cheaper than a full price game was a good one indeed. I doubt the CONCACAF Gold Cup or the African Cup of Nations are prestigious enough (in EA’s eyes) to warrant their own downloadable tournament. Besides, like the Euro 2012 expansion, you can play these tournaments in the main game anyway.
However this is EA, the publisher that stuck an online pass on a single player RPG so we can’t rule anything out at this stage. Downloadable boots, balls, stadia. You wouldn’t put it past them, would you?
#7 - I’ve seen this somewhere before...
Don’t expect too many changes
There may be six other things here but this isn’t going to be the game-changer that FIFA 09 was. Not by a long shot. The annual update of the game’s teams is essentially what we pay for these days. Last year’s addition of tactical defending was so insignificant that it could actually be disabled making it an option rather than an evolution of the then current system. An enhanced impact engine has been promised but how much more can EA do when it comes to going shoulder to shoulder with an opponent.
FIFA and PES have always been completely separate entities beside their love for the beautiful game. PES has been going for the arcade approach for years and was the dominant force until 2008. When FIFA 09 was released EA’s simulation and realism-orientated method hit a sweet spot of sorts and has been the leading franchise in the sport for some years now.
It can’t be long before a subscription model for the game rolls out: purchase the base game and then further fees for roster updates because if you look through it all it’s those names in different teams we crave the most. Why did people purchase FIFA ‘10 and ‘11? It certainly wasn’t because of the evolution in gameplay in the time between those two titles.
Oh yeah, and career mode is improved “with major changes developed in response to requests from the most passionate fans of the franchise.” A promise made every year that is rarely fulfilled.
FIFA ‘13 is due for release in September 2012 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, 3DS, PSP, Vita, Wii, PS2 and Apple devices.
Words by Nathan Clifton (Twitter: @nathanclifton)
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