Score: 9,5 out of 10
Just when I thought it couldn’t get better. Just when I thought the physics couldn’t be more real. Just when I thought I’d seen it all. Along comes Electronic Arts with a FIFA edition that is so good it will make you cry “Goooaaaaal”! Surely this must be the best football game ever made.
The improvements that have been brought to this release are plentiful. One of the major improvements is that the player impact engine has been drastically revamped. Now the abnormal body movements and physically impossible backflips that plagued FIFA 12 seem like a distant memory. Some of the tweaks are quite surprising and in particularly I enjoyed how the players find the ball for a throw-in after it goes out. Sometimes a player will even pass it back to another player so that he may throw the ball in.
Not all of the changes are simply visual. The first touch mechanics have been altered significantly and it now requires a fair bit of skill to pull off previously simple actions like a long pass. There are added factors based on the height of the pass, the speed and the bounce of the ball. All of these can influence the ball handling and may force you to react quickly in order to complete your play successfully.
One thing seems clear: the makers of FIFA 13 seem intent on forcing the players to enhance their own skills in order to better their opponents. FIFA 13 requires players to quickly make decisions and react even quicker when things don’t work out. You’re going to have to practice your new skills and not simply rely on your FIFA 12 skills.
A great addition to the feature line-up is new mini-games, which one can play before starting a match. In addition to being really good fun, these mini-games will help players swiftly come to grips with some much needed handling skills.
FIFA 13 also includes a new feature known as EA Sports Football Club Match Day. This fantastic new feature uses your Internet connection to join your gaming experience to the real world of football. Match Day follows the real-world form of players and adjusts them in your game. So when your favourite player is injured in real life then you won’t be able to play him in your game. Of course this feature can be toggled on and off in case you are not comfortable with that.
A wonderfully surprising new addition to the series is the addition of the Kinect functionality (on Xbox only). This functionality allows you to call out commands verbally issuing instructions as a manager. For example, you can call for substitutions or simply change the team to a defensive formation. This new feature is fantastic and I am happy that they avoided the temptation of utilising the Kinect’s tracking functionality. The thought of gamers waving their arms around in order to signal a substitution fills me with dread. So well done, EA – this is a really great and appropriate way to make use of the Kinect.
All in all the game is fantastic. I struggled with the decision of giving this game 9,5 instead of a perfect 10. I guess I’ll hold on to the last 0,5 for another year – who knows what can happen. Seriously though, you won’t easily get much more game for your money so I do highly recommend this title. It will give you heaps of entertainment right up to the time we start hearing about the next one.
Available on: X360 (Kinect compatible), PC, PS3, WII, DS, 3DS, PSP