- Replay Value
- Online Value
Another year, another Fifa. EA Sports has promised new additions and tweaks to Fifa 13 that will improve upon Fifa 12. What EA has done this year is not completely reinvent a football simulation, but rather build upon a great foundation. So here we go.
This year the gameplay has somewhat changed from what we saw in Fifa 12. This is mainly due to the new features that EA has added to the game. In analysis, yes, the game does feel better than Fifa 12 and even smoother, with various cut-scenes, and little inserts of actions, such as players passing the ball to each other. All this means is that EA has really worked on the look of the game, to make it feel almost as if you’re watching a real football game on TV. Moreover, various details have been added to game. For example, we now see players warming up on the sideline, as well as the 4th official showing the numbers of the players to be subbed on. Sure, it’s a small detail, but it adds to the feel of the game, and the overall look.
Playing the game, as mentioned above, feels great and you can really feel that the mechanics of the game have improved from last year. The game feels quite light as the players themselves seem to have gotten quicker. So generally, the game has become more sensitive on the fingers. New feature in Fifa 13 have been introduced, such as the First Touch control. The First Touch control is actually quite interesting once you get used to it. Again, EA has worked on the realism of the game. Receiving a pass now actually takes some thought and isn’t as magnetic, as in previous installments of the game where the ball just came to the feet. Another improvement is in the attacking intelligence. This is quite noticeable when playing the game. Personally, I think it allows the game to flow much better as off-sides have become less frequent. Players in your team actually try to stay on-side. Moreover, the CPU controlled players on your team also make runs and create spaces for receiving passes, and one can really feel like their teammates have gotten smarter in direct comparison with last year’s game.
As always, Fifa offers a wide range of game modes for the player to immerse themselves into. The career modes -both as player and manager- make an astonishing comeback this year with much more depth, and offers the player an overall better experience than of that in Fifa 12. This year, in the player career, player development has become more of a challenge. You’ll have to accomplish certain tasks or hit milestones, such as scoring 110 goals for example, in order to upgrade certain areas of your player. These tasks also unlock unique traits, celebrations, and extra accessories such as gloves, boots and hairstyles. Moreover as a player you have much more control over your career. You can demand to be sold, loaned, as well as request to be taken off the aforementioned lists, in case your team puts you there. Finally, once you retire from being a player, you can continue your glorious career as a manager. Which brings us to the manager mode, which, as with the player mode, is also in more in depth. The Manager mode this year brings along the International Management feature, which, once your manager is highly acclaimed in the football world, means your manager may be picked as the manager for your country’s national team. This is quite exciting, and gives a new face to that same old career we have been seeing in Fifa. The ability to sign players comes back with new upgrades as well. As managers, we can offer players for players, as well as funds. So even if you don’t have enough funds to sign a player, you can offer one of your players as currency. Moreover, as a manager, you can demand for more funds in order to sign more players, in return for a better season finish. However, you might want to wait a bit before doing that, as clubs tend not to accept it right at the beginning.
Improvements have been made to the Ultimate Team mode, a mode Fifa fans have gotten familiar with in recent installments. This year the developers have included the “seasons mode” within Ultimate Team, so now the players can develop their own squad while trying to reach division one, and ultimately winning the cup. The head-to-head seasons haven’t seen much improvement from last year, though it should be noted that the matchmaking seems to have improved; however, we are at a high-flow of players at the moment. It will be interesting to see how the matchmaking will hold up in 6 months time when the flow isn’t so high.
The new match-day is quite interesting, which allows those that are more serious about the sport to really immerse them within the world of football, allowing a direct connection between what is happening on the actual football grounds around the world and within your console. What this means is that you can actually play the fixtures your team will be playing, with updated squads, and bookings and suspensions. It will be interesting to see how EA holds up on this service as we move along the season. Will we have an updated match-day feature throughout the year, or will the service begin to lack sharpness as we move closer to the end? Nevertheless this is quite a nice feature, and those who played NBA 2k in the past have seen a similar service.
Fifa 13 brings along the new Skill Games, which is great little addition to game. Although this was confused to be like a tutorial in early announcements of the game, the Skill Games work as a set of challenges to help you improve your skills, ultimately making you a better and more accurate player. This mode is actually quite interesting and even creates some competition. Scores can be posted online and players can try to achieve the highest scores on the leaderboards. Again, creating incentives to play this game mode.
Graphic-wise, the game hasn’t seen that much of an upgrade. Sure, if you sit down and compare player to player with Fifa 12, there will be slight improvements, but not so much that it is noticeable without having to zoom right into their faces. Lets face it, many of us won’t do this. The players still lack any sort of expressions. They keep the same facial expression throughout the game, independent of the situation. Is it a possible improvement for Fifa14? Who knows.
As always the soundtrack creates a lovely little backdrop to the action on the screen, and this year the soundtrack is as good as it’s ever been. With a great variety of genres to appeal to everyone. And if you don’t like all the songs, you can always go into the “trax” and switch them off. In the stadium, the crowd still feels quite alive with chants and reactions (sounds) to the action on the field. It is also good to see teams with their owns chants maintaining the standard seen in Fifa 12. The commentators this year continue to do what they’re supposed to do. Not much has changed in that aspect, however the commentary pair, at least in the English versions, have interesting conversations which relate to the players on the field, and mention some historical facts as well. But after a week, it all gets quite repetitive and you’ve basically heard the most of what they have to say
In terms of replay value, the game continues to be great. It’s still a great party game to play with friends, whether it be online or not. Moreover, despite some frustrating moments, be it with referees, or poor matchmaking online (even though it has improved quite a bit), Fifa continues to draw players back time after time. With a much more in depth career mode, players will be more keen to play through the careers in order to develop their players or managers into international glory.
Once again, EA Sports has promised a great game, and Fifa 13 is exactly that. Playing through the different modes, you can see room for a fun experience throughout. If you get tired of one mode, you can always switch to one of the others; the list is quite vast. With great additions such as attacking intelligence, First Touch control and Skill Games, as well as more in depth career modes, this year’s Fifa is still exciting, and will not only captivate the regular Fifa players, but new players as well. The Skill Games introduce a fun, yet challenging way to improve your game, and is sometimes a good break from a streak of matches; a nice way to relax.
What EA sports has done this year is not reinvent the game we have been playing for the last year. It does, however, improve upon the foundation that Fifa 12 had set the year before. This isn’t bad in any way, shape or form. In fact, it is quite good, seeing as Fifa 12 was a great game, and tweaking with a good game and ultimately improving it can never be hated upon. Sure, there is room for improvement, and one can only dream of how they could make it better next year. With new modes, improved careers and a depth of play never before seen in a football simulation game, Fifa 13 is definitely a game all football fans should be buying.