It began on Thursday with New Super Mario Bros 2, and continued on Monday with Transformers: War for Cybertron. Today’s Wednesday (stating the obvious there), and it’s time for part three – the one with the goals, the amusing glitches, and the excessive amounts of Lionel Messi. Part three, FIFA 13!
Release date: September 28
Platform(s): (Deep breath) Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, Wii, Mac OS X, PlayStation 2, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, PSP, Xperia Play, iOS. Just about every console available, basically.
THE GOOD STUFF
Well, it’s FIFA, one of the most reliable franchises of all time. Whilst there have been some backward steps in between games (FIFA 11 was a tad guilty of this, in my opinion), each FIFA game has been solid, with new players added, better graphics and the annual adding in of game mechanics. I’ve played FIFA games for a long time now (my first experience of the franchise was the then-brilliant, now-a-bit-crap FIFA Football 2005, where free kicks existed in a different genre – the point-and-click genre), and none of them have been anything approaching bad. Why shouldn’t FIFA 13 be any different?
This year’s additions sound admittedly pretty minor on paper. But then again, (cliche alert) video games aren’t played on paper. The automated easiness of play that we’ve seen in the previous installments will give way to a system that relies on your skill to be any good whatsoever. (My heart sank when I heard this, being the crappy gamer I am.) The Player Impact Engine, introduced last year, will be tweaked to be more realistic, with proper collisions and decent physics. Shame, those YouTube videos with Impact Engine glitches were pretty hilarious. Players will also become a tad more fallible, so prepare for random cock-ups from even your best players. I’m not sure if this is a good thing.
FIFA 13‘s new features sound rather good, too. Tactical Free Kicks has been introduced, allowing you to feint free kicks, do dummy runs and generally take more life-like and realistic free-kicks. It’s a feature that’s stuck out like a sore thumb before, so I’m glad it’s being introduced in FIFA 13. Attacking Intelligence is another new addition, requiring you to think on your feet to put the ball in the back of the net. You’re given a lot more options for attacking, too, like reeling out defenders in order to find a gap and score. The player AI has also undergone a minor upgrade, with players becoming more intelligent and more fallible (as mentioned above). It’s almost like EA’s trying to imitate real footballers…
THE BAD STUFF
While FIFA 13‘s tweaks and new features sound great, it sounds like there’s just too little changes this time around. Admittedly, it’s a common complaint with the FIFA franchise, but there’s genuinely nothing exciting this year. Last year had Impact Engine, FIFA 11 had the addition of Career Mode, FIFA 10 had a major revamp of Manager Mode (slightly ironic, considering they ditched it the next year)… FIFA 13 has nothing to compete with that, really. Tactical Free Kicks doesn’t really compare with a revamp of how fouls and collisions work in the game, does it?
I can’t have helped noticing that there’s been a lot more ‘looking behind their backs’ from EA Sports this year. I’m referring to the fact that rival franchise PES is having a major upgrade for this year’s edition of Konami’s football simulator. It looks like EA are sweating about their rival’s progress a lot more than they usually do this year, and it could well be for a good reason. With FIFA 13 undergoing only minor tweaks and additions, PES is coming on leaps and bounds this year, and it could just end up overshadowing what’s been the biggest football sim franchise out there for nineteen years this time around. It’s pretty unlikely, though. After all, PES has always been a year or two behind FIFA.
Will it be good? Well, duh. It’s FIFA, and since when has FIFA ever let you down? Majorly, anyway. It’s just a question of if it will be better than PES 2013, now.
Will it succeed? It’ll be rubbing shoulders with Resident Evil 6 the week after release, but it kind of corners the sporting games/family friendly market for the whole of the autumn. Expect it to end up in the top three best-selling games of this year.
Next time: Tomorrow, it’s all blood, guts, gore and crap hair as I take a look at Capcom’s Resident Evil 6.