FIFA Soccer 13 Review

admin Last updated on: February 17, 2024

EA Sports has released its latest iteration of the best selling sports gaming franchise of all time, and it may be the end-all, be-all of console and PC sports simulation.  FIFA 13 is quite possibly the best, most well put together sports (not just soccer) game that I have ever played.  Playing through the game today, I found it increasingly difficult to 1) put it down and 2) find any faults to complain about.  The overall differences from 13 to 12 are gargantuan, even if you have read reviews that say differently.  Now that I have declared my undying love for the game, let’s talk about the gameplay.

GAMEPLAY: Much like how EA brought True Performance Skating to NHL 13, FIFA 13′s First Touch Control and Attacking Intelligence brings a new and exciting sense of realism to the franchise.  First Touch Control adds true unpredictability to every match you play in FIFA 13, which a real game changer.  Whenever you pass the ball, how hard you pass and how much spin is on the ball will determine how it plays off the receiving player’s foot.  If you pass too hard and too close to your teammate, the ball is going to take a nasty touch.  Play the ball just right, and the first touch will be smoother.  So for those who like to take first touch shots, your accuracy has gone down significantly since 2012, and for the better.  It’s much more realistic that way.

The First Touch Control may not sound like a big change to previous installments, but trust me, it is.  It especially becomes a huge factor in the box.  The difference between a smooth first touch and botched first touch is all that’s standing in your way between the opposing keeper and the back of the net.  I saw myself with a wide open net with Freddy Adu with the Union or Jelavic with Everton, but if I got a bad pass followed up by a rough first touch, my chance on goal was, all of a sudden, lost.  That said, it’s not for a lack of your AI teammates trying to set you up, as the new Attacking Intelligence makes playmaking more realistic than ever.

Instead of your players sitting back and watching you take the ball up the field, they now run with you, actively trying to set up a through pass while also asking for the ball.  Attacking Intelligence also significantly improves the way in which you take free kicks.  You can now have your teammates set up a diversion play, or have them take the kick directly, adding to the overall realism.  A big example I saw today of just how well Attacking Intelligence works was in a match I was playing as Everton against Manchester United.  Nani put the ball into the box, and one of the Man U players, knowing that he could not get the ball on net, headed the ball towards Wayne Rooney, who then proceeded to score beautifully against Tim Howard, who could do absolutely nothing.

GRAPHICS AND PRESENTATION: While there isn’t any significant upgrade to the graphics, player facial models are a lot more accurate and realistic than past FIFA titles.  The overall presentation of the game, however, has gone through almost a complete overhaul.  The new menus have been improved drastically and look clean and well put together.  This actually comes as a huge shock seeing as how this is the same company that put out the clunky and slow NHL 13 menus.  But who really cares about the menus?  Let’s get to the good stuff.

FIFA 13, at least in the United States, has gotten the ESPN treatment.  Every new game you start, you are treated to the pre-game ESPN presentation soccer fans have seen time and time again, crossing that line between simulation and and an actual broadcast.  It’s not hard to imagine this year someone walking in on you playing the game and thinking that it’s a live ESPN broadcast.  Along with the ESPN makeover (I’m sure it’s Sky Sports in the UK), MLS no longer feels as if it was shown a blind eye.  Broadcasters now actually say every MLS team name as well as a significant amount of player names.

SOUND: One thing fans of the FIFA franchise look forward to every year is the game’s soundtrack.  This year is no different, as FIFA 13 delivers a nice mix of both indie and mainstream artists.  Along with the excellent soundtrack, the folks over at EA seemed to have fixed all the kinks that plagued in game audio in FIFA 12.  Now, fan chants play throughout the whole match, even if it’s from your favorite team (an issue from FIFA 12).  Goal songs also don’t cut out anymore and play crystal clear.  The commentary from Martin Tyler is solid (as always) and is improved upon this year with sideline reports including injury updates and scores from other matches in your league.

OVERALL: EA Sports is basically going to have to blow my mind with something in FIFA 14 next year to convince me to buy it.  FIFA 13 is the best sports game they have ever released, earning a Perfect PSL “10.0.”  With the only complaint being the lack of Major League Soccer stadiums in the game, FIFA 13 is a must buy for any soccer enthusiast.  I would even go as far as to say, if you’re a sports fan, download the demo; you won’t be let down.

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