FIFA 13 – Review

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The defending champion just upped its game.

Another year, another entry into the juggernaut that is EA’s FIFA franchise, as the publisher looks to once more convince fans that the yearly investment continues to be worthwhile. Well, unfortunately for your wallet, the overwhelming conclusion from my time with FIFA 13 is that it is.

Superficially you might question what EA have done to justify such a response, the game does after all look remarkably similar to its predecessor. However, to play is to believe, as what EA have done is create a simulation closer to the real thing than ever.

No longer will your bullying centre-back suddenly display the fleet-footedness of a ballerina as he deftly collects a lofted through-ball on the run, before pivoting, side-stepping any incoming strikers and setting up an attack. Rather – as is the case from 3pm onwards on match day – he’ll launch the ball into row Z, happy to get himself out of trouble at the expense of a throw.

Why? Because EA have introduced poor first touches (dependent on a particular player’s skills) so that to attempt a deft intercept is to risk nimble attackers stealing in and having a clear run on goal. Similarly, you’ll need to be much more balanced in your attacks with only Messi, Iniesta, Neymar, et al demonstrating the skills of, well, Messi, Iniesta, Neymar, et al.

What that means is that you can’t expect first time passes, made at speed, to find the feet of your intended recipient every time; rather you can expect your pass to go astray and so spark a free-for-all for the ball which is, let’s face it, what most real football is like.

Add in much more realistic player collisions – so no more bizarrities such as the ‘catapulting’ glitch which caused players to bounce off one another in extremis – and shooting which (so far) seems clear of shooting sweet spots which guarantee goals and a much more rounded and accurate portrayal of the beautiful game begins to take shape.

As usual presentation is slick, with FIFA 13 introducing the ‘Game of the Week’ option which stacks up your favourite team’s last few matches played (and pending) so the escapists out there can attempt to put right their team’s woes in a world of make believe. Elsewhere even the loading screens have been improved, with the one-on-one duels of previous FIFA’s having been replaced by a series of skill tests where targets might have to be from the penalty spot, or picked out via passes.

In fact EA Canada, evidently realising they were on to a winning formula, have actually added all such minis into their own section called ‘Skill Games’, where successful completion of any such trial unlocks ever more complex arrangements and freekicks, shooting and passing – a fun challenge and with the added feature of subtly teaching all the modifying button pushes which influence your players’ movement and technique.

Defending has also been given something of an overhaul, with your defenders body strength now much more likely to give them an advantage whenever they’re well positioned and so able to get their body between ball and attacker. That said, such advantages can be nullified with well placed through-balls, which the intelligent runs of your AI-driven teammates make ever more dangerous weapons.

FIFA’s other major advantage over its rivals is of course its number of ways to play and with Ultimate Team returning amid a slew of user add-ons (a new points driven catalogue for a start) it’s business as usual here too – and once again the interface has been updated to make the whole process of player appraisal less irksome.

Ultimately the game of football depicted in FIFA 13 just feels ‘right’ and that’s without delving into the array of options for leagues, cups and online play which should keep you entertained at the very least until the next instalment kicks off.

Score: 5/5

Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC (also on PS Vita, Wii, 3DS and PS2)
Price: £39.99-£54.99
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Microsoft Gold partner, our c...

    Ashdown Group: Sales Support - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Internal Sales Executive ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph - High Wycombe

    £15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...

    Recruitment Genius: Automation Test Analyst

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas