FIFA 13 review (PS3)

I have been waiting for this title since I played FIFA 12 (obviously), and I can tell you it has been well worth the wait. EA Canada have flaunted their huge muscle and budget and brought out not only the best FIFA title that I have ever played, but possibly the best football game ever crafted.

Universal elements have been introduced which have a huge impact on the realism factor of FIFA 13, affecting your players and teams, the commentary, and providing online synchronisation with real world feedback.

By this time, anyone who owns a console or has owned a console knows the FIFA drill, so below find a list of all the different modes and the new innovative features that they offer.

Career Mode

Careers, as always, have been divided into two fantastic modes, namely Manager Mode and Player Career.

Manager Mode – A managerial masterpiece, this mode alone makes buying FIFA13 worth your while, on top of the usual old modes which we are used to from previous titles. There is enough depth to Manager mode for it to warrant it’s own full review. EA Canada have gone above and beyond the call of duty and really focused on your career.

You now have an agent, who looks for better jobs for you in all leagues, as well as international coaching vacancies. The better your team performs, the better your rating as a coach. The better your rating, the more clubs and countries will be interested in you. A true career experience.

Negotiating for players finally makes sense. You can choose which players you want, present them with an offer, and inform them on which position they are potentially taking up with in your team. They then come back and will realistically respond to your offer, so if you sign a nobody striker to Barcelona and offer him a starting position, he will come back and tell you that he doesn’t think that you will play him above the players you currently have. When selling a player you can finally set the price and if a team comes with a counter offer you can raise the price. Small features that were missing from previous titles, that finally work properly.

Scouting has once again returned, as well as the ability to ask for a loan from the board, which I found quite appealing when you’re trying to sign a player who is just above your club’s station.

Players now have a voice, and will speak up and ask for a position in the starting line-up based on their form and on their team mates. Like true Prima Donnas of the sport, they are they will moan when you don’t listen to their pleas.

Player Career

With the same interface as Manager Mode, this too is an improvement on the past.

Every move your player makes is scrutinised or praised by the media. You too have an agent who from time to time reminds you of what’s happening with your future and with your ultimate goal of becoming an international legend. It includes most of the features that the manager mode includes.

Overall the biggest bug fix in career mode that has to be commented on is the almost lag free simulations. Whilst they are nowhere near real time, they are one hell of a lot faster than anything that we have seen in past. Also, in between matches, whilst the game is simulating, you get a radio report of the upcoming games.

The entire interface has been overhauled and is slick and super easy to navigate. News is the main focus of the interface and one feels as though the entire Dashboard has been properly designed; you really do feel like a manger sitting behind his desk. The players also deliver relevant, non-generic comment on topics, such as if you buy a player form the Chicago Fire’s he will actually say upon arriving at your club in the official press statement that “My time at Chicago Fire’s was fine and I wish the manager and all the lads the best out there.” Fantastic realism.

Kick off

Live Fixtures: Play current real-world matches when and where they are scheduled.

PlayStation Move Match: Something I wasn’t able to test as I don’t have a Move.

Ultimate Team: Much like every other EA Sports game out there, Ultimate Team has been added to FIFA. This is all about the team chemistry, and trying to build the ultimate team. Choose a captain, choose a team, and try to win some more cash to go to auction and buy some better players. A Lot of time can be spent here and it is almost as compelling as the manager mode, just not as intense.

Skill Games: A rather interesting mode that is focused on getting your skills improved to make you a more effective overall player. The mode includes different skill games, a practice arena, and interactive tutorials. A fantastic addition to FIFA’s ever expanding arsenal.

Online Modes

Pro Club Seasons: The ability to play online with 10 other mates in a team. First you create your own player, choose their position, and fully customize their look and playing style. Then head over to the Team creation screen where you either create your own team or choose to join a pre-existing one.

Online Friendlies: Pretty self-explanatory.

FIFA Interactive World Cup: Here you take part in a World Cup event against the best players in your country, the continent, and world. By dividing the competition into different regions (in South Africa’s case we are in the CAF region), you get to participate against the rest of the African continent. At the end of the season the top players from each region get together and take part in the Grand Finals against the rest of the world.

EA Sports Arena: Lets you challenge players online for money, points, and prizes. A Virgin Gaming account is required. Once you’re registered, you can log in, deposit real cash and start betting on your own skill.

Seasons: A whole new online mode where you are pitted against other players, in a 10 game season. The better you perform the higher up the rankings table you fly. Included in these seasons are cups that need to be won as you climb up the divisional ladder.

Visuals

The entire user interface has been redone and I find it rather pleasant. It is very similar to FIFA 12 on Android, and it’s slick and rather responsive.

Visually, there are a few “Wow!” moments and a few shocking ones. The motion graphics that make part of the pre-match presentation are gorgeous and perfectly rendered, as are the player’s faces and movements, along with pitch detail. However, I was shocked to notice that some of the player’s names on the back of their shirts are barely readable.

Audio

Martine Tyler and Alan Smith provide the 3rd best commentary that I have ever heard in a game, and probably the best in a sporting title. They are clear, concise, and for once they don’t sound as though they’ve taken their Ritalin. They will talk during the match about how a certain player leaving a team has impacted a younger player in the team, whilst that younger player has possession of the ball, while a picture of the senior player with his name tag next to it will pop up in the top left corner.

As an added bonus when a player is injured, Geoff Shreeves will provide input on what injury the player has sustained. If he doesn’t know the extent of the injury, he will disappear for a while and then come back with the full detail once he has “spoken to the doctor.”

EA Trax is back, and whilst the music chosen for previous Madden titles was horrendous, a brilliant job has been done in FIFA. You also have the ability to customize which music you would like to listen to and when it should play.

Conclusion

This is the must have sporting title for this year. If you are a football fan or a sporting enthusiast, go and grab this now. It will keep you busy for hundreds of hours.

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FIFA 13 review (PS3)

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