Tricky dribbles make quick tricks.
Through the years, EA Sports has tamed and even slayed some of their competitor’s beasts—beasts have attempted to give them a run for their money and fans. This year has been slightly more of a tested battle for EA and its collection of sports titles. Recently with the dumping of NBA Live for a year, the basketball genre is currently being ruled by another franchise. The heavy, weighted title of Madden Football has sadly taken a step or two back. Even its hockey franchise has left much room for a new ice rink champion. Despite the situations, these are all still some of the best games of their kind and people will frequently select EA Sports as their chosen sports brand.
But what about FIFA 13? Can they keep the scale in their favor or will the balance finally be tipped? For the longest time, FIFA has dominated as the best soccer game to ever hit the console. Kids and adults alike would line up for hours to get their hands on a copy of the latest offering. Lovers of fútbol, as the world’s most popular sport, demand a proper representation of their beloved past time. And I must say, this year, fans may have a tougher choice. With the emergence of PES 13 in the last couple of years, FIFA now has a decent opponent to keep them on their toes.
In order to keep fans happy, FIFA 13 has brought back many of its same main features from the past, such as the ever so popular Career mode, Ultimate Team, Be A Pro, and Seasons. EA Sports Football Club has also made a return and probably has benefited the most from a year of upgrades. More features to the mode have been added such as a larger online community, different challenges, and news updates. Also new to the scene are the skills games to help curb the learning experience. With this mode, people fresh to the game may have an easier time adapting to controls, or familiar players can now learn tricks and skills that may have eluded them before.
The features are always a major part to FIFA. With most licensing rights, which allows EA a wide range of freedom, they can use to authenticate most of everything we see; uniform kits, team logos, player info, the whole 9. To compliment everything seen, graphics and player engine has been revamp as well. “First Touch” has now a more realistic feel to it. No longer will your players play a ball anyway they want disregarding situation and position. Players must now use touch and finesse on balls in order to make smart plays. Most importantly to first touch is the passing. There are many types of passes that will need to be learned for success on the pitch.
Stealing a page from its counterpart FIFA Street, FIFA 13 is implementing some of Street’s dribbling controls. This doesn’t mean you will be able to trick-stick your way through defenders at will, but instead have some of the one-on-one skills necessary to open up plays on the field. Focused dribbles and precision passes being the more important abilities.
Not only has the offense improved but defense too. The AI’s ability to play the ball has improved tremendously—sometimes a little too well. No more will defenders back off as if magnetically pulled away. Instead, strategies are taken in account and teams that play well together, like Barcelona, will group corral and tackle. It makes you think twice before attempting to split defenders or over dribble around mid-field.
It’s all about position and the impact engine illustrates this well. Last year, teammates would do things like run into each other and throw off rhythm. This year, movement is seemingly a bit smoother. Player attributes and traits help play a role in how guys interact with each other. Now a 6’2", 185-pound forward can play more physically against a 5’8", 150-pound defender. Using his body and size to his advantage is a major possibility. With all the factors that play into the momentum of a game, FIFA 13 captures the elements decently.
This year’s installment of FIFA has increasingly improved from its previous release. There are still plenty of additions that would be worth seeing and EA shouldn’t look to rest on what they’ve built just yet. PES 13 has certainly put up a fight in this battle, a contest that has been its closest ever. Gameplay for PES is slightly better but off of the field, FIFA stands superior. It’s never just about the bells and whistles but when it comes to good looking things, this title wins the pageant. Not saying it’s just between these two titles… but… it’s just between these two titles.