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FIFA dominates the sports genre in video games. However, every year there’s a feeling that this might be the year in which EA might slip up. It wouldn’t take much – Just like last year’s FIFA 12, it’s all new defensive systems and player interactions engine felt disruptive but more authentic, and for most of us, that was enough.
FIFA 13 isn’t gonna feel all that new to people who played FIFA 12 and Its new features might seem gimmicky and minuscule, but FIFA 13 hits the right spot for both professional gamers and non-traditional gamers! (Sorry Konami)
FIFA 13 is the first of the FIFA franchise to embrace the Xbox 360 and PS3′s motion control peripherals, with Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move support bundled in. (GROAN!)
The Kinect control scheme avoids the horrors of motion-controlled passing (Yes Playstation, I’m looking at you) and allows you to use voice-commands such as - ‘Quick Tactics’ or ‘Mentality’ and you can even pick between combinations of formations, strategies and attitudes, or set the team to focus on attack or defense also you can call out substitutions, create custom tactical combos, and it even goes so far as to watch your language (don’t worry no cards are given if you abuse though)
Beyond this, there are extensions to the online and offline play modes as compared to FIFA 12, I guess we now need a tutorial on how to navigate through the ghastly UI, and no, I’m not joking. The menu design is horrible. A Steve Jobs quote is apt here “You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog shit for frosting.”
You sign up for your favorite club when you first play and the game keeps a tally of experience gained in both online and offline play, and ranking the teams by their average score. (Ditto FIFA 12)
The ‘Be a Pro’ and ‘Management’ career modes are back, taking your own player through the system, going out on loan to smaller clubs and trying to hold your place within a team. You can opt to play just as your player, or control the whole team during a match.
When it comes to online mode, there’s now more effort to tie FIFA 13 into the community and into the world of real world football. And who can forget Ultimate Team? EA’s master plan and a cunning combination of FIFA along with Fantasy Football – now better and easy thanks to UI changes and new tutorials.
FIFA 13 introduces a Game of the Week, giving you the chance to try one of last weekend’s big encounters with the same teams and conditions. The chance to replay the 89th minute header or the 70th minute penalty.
EA has tried a lot to make the game simpler for casual gamers, and as a result lot of professional gameplay aspects seem to be buried. So, if you really want to master them all, you will need a lot of time and energy. But its pathetic how much one has to go in to learn some of the most basic things too.
To try to get around this, FIFA introduces a selection of skill games, which can be played on their own from the horrible menu or while you’re waiting for a match to begin. It’s all simple stuff – sending balls over barrels, slamming around cones or hitting targets – little addictive mini games which try to teach you certain skill sets and combinations which you can actually use in the next match against the nasty AI of the opponent team or just your friend on a lazy Saturday night.
A huge improvement is a new component called Match Day (Needs your Xbox to be online) its main aim us to integrate FIFA with real-life football as the seasons unfold. It’s more than just superficial and deeper than a gimmick. Player stats change as per how each of them perform in the real world, it also automatically changes the default team/formation to the real world scenario. But EA didn’t stop there, if you play a match the commentators state the importance of the match and talk about who have better chances of winning again as per the real world scenario. (It’s an optional component)
FIFA 13 looks stunning though in its looks, plays and sounds on the pitch. And no that does not include close-up shots of the players or the stadium or the audience, oh and Heskey still looks weird but during movement the detail is impressive, capturing the full thrill of the custom hairstyles and attacking style. The dynamic camera view is still awesome, and the TV camera mode has improved greatly too.
Commentary is the best I’ve seen in a sports game so far with Martin Tyler and Alan Smith, alongside Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend commenting fluently on the in-game action, tracking performance across matches, and even making references to individuals, track records, history and supporters. Of course, the more you play the more the it gets boring so I suggest you start listening to Gangnam Style after about 6 matches.
Since FIFA 12, there has been a noticeable tweaking to the Impact Engine, the player interactions, dribbling the attacking AI.
The soundtrack featuring 50 songs from some great artists such as Animal Kingdom, Flo Rida, Metric and Young Empires creates a stadium-ish atmosphere.
Indian National Team in Fifa 13
One thing, which stands out, for us living here in India is the inclusion of the Indian National Team with the names even being called out in the commentary. The team obviously is not the best team to play with, but it’s good enough to troll when someone selects a team like AC Milan, I actually ended up losing just 3-2 with it against my friends and also while playing on the Professional level with the AI.
Keeping the ghastly menus and the minor AI glitches and the bad close up shots, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t buy one. Even after the negatives, it’s still the best sports game I’ve played till date, and I’ve been playing games since I was 9.
FIFA 13 is a great evolutionary launch; it fixes the problems with FIFA 12. So if, you are still on FIFA 11 it’s time to upgrade and if you’re on FIFA 12 you know you’re bored of it. With the free Ultimate Team DLC included with every FIFA 13 you buy (Worth 50$) it’s a steal.
So finally, even if you’re a little bit into football and want to enjoy the awesomeness of online gaming, I’d suggest you pick up FIFA 13 before it goes out of stock
Rating In Detail
- Design – 2.5/5
- Features – 3/5
- Performance – 4/5
- Usability – 3/5
- Value – 4/5
- Fluid and unpredictable action
- Better online features
- Addictive skill games
- Rare AI glitches
- Non-Friendly menus
- Close up Graphics