GAME NAME: FIFA Soccer 2013
DEVELOPER(S): EA Canada
PUBLISHER(S): Electronic Arts
PLATFORM(S): PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360
RELEASE DATE(S): September 25, 2012
When it comes to realistic soccer (or football) games, the biggest name in the game is EA Sports. While any game that releases an updated version every year will have its detractors, FIFA 13 offers a substantially upgraded game that offers a much more realistic and fun experience than FIFA 12.
The biggest change is the new one-touch physics mechanics that provide for more bounce during a players trapping of a pass. This rewards players who play tight defense by making it easier to ply the ball from that nimble-footed striker. The second big upgrade is the improved attacking AI that has more players going on runs and finding better lanes. I found myself able to get goals a whole lot easier than last year’s game which felt like I had to draw up an intricate passing map before each shot to have a chance at scoring.
Kinect owners also get to experience a vastly different gameplay experience this year as voice control has been integrated into this game. You can control formations, aggressiveness, and even substitute players all by speaking the proper commands. While the commands seem natural when you read them, there is actually a lot of sayings to memorize if you are going to truly take advantage of everything that the voice control system has to offer. It is nice to be able to just yell “Go, Go, Go” to have one of your players go on a run. Ultimately, the Kinect functionality doesn’t really allow you to do much that you couldn’t do without it, but the immersion that you feel from yelling out to your players instead of fumbling through a menu is a welcome addition.
This year also introduces a comprehensive catalog of unlockables that you can purchase by getting enough XP. This adds almost unlimited replayability. The one real knock on this system though is that a daily XP limit is imposed that kind of negates the motivation to keep playing once you have reached it.
The graphics and presentation are stellar as always. You totally feel like you are watching a television game during the intros. The music is always a nice eclectic mix of music from around the world, but it all gets your energy up like you would want to have for a soccer game.
Unfortunately, the menu system is as convoluted as always. Figuring out how to setup a simple match online can be a challenge if you’re not overly familiar with the franchise. Whoever designed it doesn’t follow the same organization logic that I do. Even the names of all the different modes don’t always make sense or do a good job of explaining what they are. It’s a minor gripe and one that perennial FIFA players probably won’t have but it was a deterrent for me.
Overall, FIFA is still the most realistic and comprehensive soccer game on the market. Its only real competition is the PES games but FIFA has managed to offer the superior experience for the last several years. There are more than enough game modes to keep even the most die-hard soccer fan busy for quite some time.
The Xbox 360 version of this game was used with the Kinect Sensor for this review.