Just to make things difficult this is not only a review of FIFA 13 but also a look at what makes the franchise my premier sports game.
The team behind FIFA 13 have a long association with footballs governing body going all the way back to the 16bit era, The first time I heard the Immortal phrase “EA Sports it’s in the game” I was hooked. However for a time the Developers seemed more obsessed with graphics then they were with gameplay and my interest went towards International Superstar Soccer (a word that should not be allowed to exist) later to become Pro Evolution Soccer (sorry for repeating this dirty word). The team at Konami had the superior gameplay experience even if they were lacking the officially licensed players and teams. It meant playing as teams generic teams like East London United but I did not mind as the gameplay was very slick.
However in recent years from around the 2010 game (which was actually released in 2009) FIFA went back to its routes and began focusing on gameplay. I consider the 2012 edition of the game the best football game ever and by extension one of my favourite games of all time.
Football is a game based on the ability to keep a clean sheet, the great teams are able to score goals but the best teams have the ability to defend as well (This has been Arsenal’s biggest problem for the past few years). The reason FIFA 12 was so good was the implementation of new defensive controls. It made new players have a chance when playing online as existing players needed to learn a new pattern of defence. More importantly it wasn’t just change for change sake; the game was improved from the 2011 edition. You are now rewarded for sensible defending in terms of containing the opposition and not diving in. This makes it more difficult to defend and dare I say makes defending an Art. I am pleased to say that the defensive system is still present in FIFA 13 it seems very similar and makes the gameplay as strong this year as it was last year and herein lies my problem with FIFA.
There are small tweaks nearly every year and then there are major changes such as the Virtual Pro system in 2009 and the Ultimate team in 2010. For me these additions improved the overall game experience and made the purchase of the titles in these years worth it. However the intervening years feel more like title updates where the most important improvement is the squad updates. It impresses me that the development team do push for improvements but this is the reason why FIFA is my Bi-annual obsession instead of a yearly one.
Now on to the review.
FIFA 13 is a great game it has the slick gameplay and visuals that you expect from this franchise. You also have a few new skill games that you can take part in waiting for your game to load as well as in their own section. They are a nice addition to the game and will help new players to learn some of the core skills.
Another new addition is the Move support the game now offers. If you want to check this out you can watch a review here.
The cut screens are present again and I wish I could turn them off I have no need to see a computer generated Wayne Rooney. I feel they slow the game down and I just want to play the game not see the players reaction when I have made them balloon the ball over the bar from 6 yards out. Its a common theme in sports games I just feel it draws me out of the experience.
There is the usual range of game types and the management game is improving its still not Football Manager quality but it’s a nice change of pace. I would love to see Vita x-play for the management side but again that’s my greed showing through. Otherwise you can play tournaments careers and play with your ultimate team. There is a lot of bang for your buck there and value for money is something this game has in abundance.
I can easily recommend this game to new players it has a lasting appeal in the different game types and you will happily lose days at a time in your chase for La Liga, the Scudetto or more importantly the MLS title. For the seasoned FIFA players out there if you have not already taken the plunge my feelings are more muted. It just feels like a slight let down when compared to the previous year’s title. Again its probably just because this game spoils me so much I just always want the sky.
Game available on PS3, XBOX360, PC, PSVita
Buy It/Don’t Buy It = Read the section above but ultimately yes
Will you play it 12 months later? = Yes unless you already have FIFA 14
Paul Fiander (wellbeingosteo)
Game reviewed on the PS3 and Purchased by the reviewer
All images from EA Press
Pictures From EA PR