FIFA 13 Review
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EA Sports keeps its football/soccer franchise at the top with more realistic Match Days and gameplay in FIFA 13. The formula hasn't changed much, but the overall package is once again as good as it gets.
- Strong A.I.
- More realistic gameplay and presentation
- Fun skill games
- Slow menus
- Infrequent A.I. errors can be frustrating
- Minimal game-changing improvements
(continued from previous page) ...slow process and players' decisions feel more deliberate, but as you play through a career, you'll see EA Sports gave plenty of attention to fan feedback. Players will communicate with you more, you'll pick up on trends in the media, and there are even silly press conferences. Career mode also expands to include internationals. Further refinements are made to Ultimate Team. It's not a huge change, but there's enough here to keep those diehard UT fans excited - and, really, this is where many FIFA fans spend the bulk of their time. It's all held together, like everything else in FIFA 13, through the Football Club, which allows you to earn rewards the more you play. The new Catalogue allows you to purchase things like new boots and stat boosts.
One of the best additions this year is something quite minor, and that's what you do while the game loads. In years past, you'd have the chance to "warm up" by taking some shots at the net, but this year you get a slew of skill games. It seems EA Sports intended to make these serve as a tutorial, but they are just as addictive as the rest of the game. The challenges take you through dribbling techniques to shooting scenarios, and everywhere in-between. You'll have to lob a shot over cardboard boxes within a given area, or perfectly line up your shots to hit bullseye targets. There are all sorts of scenarios (though not all are that great) and you'll compete to earn points and ranks. It's hard to say that these really teach you anything other than muscle memorization, but their inclusion is definitely appreciated. When the action comes during a real match, you'll hopefully remember how to gently lob the ball over the defender's head instead of sending it into the stands.
When you throw all these new features together you certainly get a great game, but it's not perfect. Long menu load screens return and there are definitely a lot of new mechanics to learn - even for veterans. That's not a bad thing, of course, but it could frustrate those familiar with how the game worked in the past. All those skill games can be a nightmare, too. Sure, they are not required, but that learning curve is only emphasized during these challenges. Difficulty isn't really an issue, though, as you'll pick up the new techniques with time. The problem is essentially the same as any yearly game franchise: the updates to last year's game are minimal, and waiting another year wouldn't kill you.
This is the blueprint for how EA Sports creates successful football games, and we didn't even touch the strengths of multiplayer (here's a hint: playing with real life opponents is awesome). But if you do play FIFA 13, you'll probably say it's the best FIFA game ever. That's saying a lot, too, because FIFA has historically been as solid as you can get. The gameplay is more realistic, adding weight to the action without feeling sluggish. The modes are refined and streamlined, and the new Match Day has the potential to give football fans a reason to pick up and play FIFA 13 each week, or even every day. EA Sports was successful at tapping FIFA 13 into the real world of football, and for that very reason it should come as no shock to hear it's the best football/soccer game on the market.
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