Fifa 13


new game in popular series is set for end 2012 (september probably)

FIFA 12 was one of the strongest, most rewarding sports titles I've ever played, so while en route to EA's First Look Event at their studio in Vancouver, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from FIFA 13. Crazy new ball physics? Improved pitch patterns? A Steve Kean-branded survival mode? The trinity of gameplay innovations from 12 (Tactical Defending, Impact Engine, Precision Dribbling) seemed to be an impossible act to follow. And, suffice it to say, EA isn't doing another headline-grabbing revolution. Instead, they plan to cultivate FIFA 12's triumph via intricate refinement. A series of mini-revolutions, if you will.

Whereas FIFA 12's primary additions were a trifecta, EA's incremental plan-of-attack for FIFA 13 is being divided into five. Now, I could easily spin a long and winding yarn about these five features. That's been done before, and sometimes it can get messy. Instead I thought I'd give you a brief synopsis of each, and then explain what I feel the most significant takeaway is.

Attacking Intelligence

You might not have noticed it (or you might have cursed it on a daily basis), but your A.I.-controlled teammates in FIFA have been letting you down. Their ability to make "runs," or maneuvering themselves into a position for you to pass to, has been poor. For FIFA 13, your teammates will have their wits about them -- they'll analyze the open space on the field, signal where they're headed by way of their body shape, and make that crucial run that they probably wouldn't have done in the past. It might seem a tad subtle at a glance, but Attacking Intelligence means that you will now have a much more fluid offense, which will in turn allow you to break through the defense and score that desperate last-gasp goal, a la Manchester City's recent title triumph. I can't tell you how many times I've found myself dancing around with the ball in midfield, waiting for an A.I. teammate to show a bit of determination and make something happen. Attacking Intelligence should hopefully be the cure for what ails me.

Complete Dribbling

If you've played a game of FIFA 12 online, you've probably encountered a skill-stick spammer (in FIFA, the right stick performs skill move combos, sort of like a fighting game). Complete dribbling aims to lessen the gulf between the skill-stick haves and have-nots. FIFA 10's 360 dribbling built the foundation for a more realistic experience on the ball, and FIFA 13 aims to push that philosophy much, much further. Throughout EA's presentation, there was a constant reference to Lionel Messi's ability to beat opponent after opponent without doing a single step over. You'll now be able to emulate that by taking more precise, intricate touches with the left stick. Like Attacking Intelligence, Complete Dribbling may seem an extremely subtle upgrade, but what it means is that you won't be stuck on a leash to the ball like you have in the past. You'll be able to angle your body to shield against the defender, slow down, change direction, and sprint past them just like you would in real life. It makes me very eager to get one-on-one with a defender, which is something I often avoid in the current release.

1st Touch Control

This was definitely the big announcement for me, the one that made me grin with glee. In layman's terms, 1st Touch Control finally brings about real world ball control. There have been efforts in previous FIFA outings to distinguish a Galáctico from a Wolverhampton Wanderer (namely in the form of FIFA 11's Personality +), but at the end of the day, regardless of difficulty setting, you would still find lesser players pulling off spectacular traps and clearances without breaking a sweat. 1st Touch Control takes a variety of independent factors into account -- including pressure, trajectory, skill rating, etc. -- to accurately produce what you should be seeing from certain players on certain teams in certain situations. I feel it's an essential step towards simulation and away from video gamey-ness. A crucial step towards a 3rd division side performing like a 3rd division, not Barcelona.

Player Impact

One of the "big three" improvements from FIFA 12, Player Impact ushered in a more realistic collision system. Well, at least for the most part. EA was very quick to cop to the litany of awkward moments that Player Impact brought with it in 12 (which turns out was mostly due to an unrealistic distribution of strength on the player models), including the infamous "Kiss". The upgraded engine should do away with those moments completely, and in the process facilitate superior off-the-ball and push-pull battles across the pitch. Animations should be more appropriate for such situations, and there should be a greater feeling of dominance when, say, the burly Nemanja Vidic uses his strength to mark tiny Aaron Lennon on a corner. I got the sense that Player Impact is headed in the right direction by fixing a few immersion-breaking elements, but it's tough to say how much of an overall impact it will have on gameplay beyond that at the moment.

Tactical Free Kicks

A bit more of a niche upgrade, Tactical Free Kicks adds some strategy to lining up free kicks. I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed by the announcement of this feature -- I hardly ever earn free kicks to begin with when I play -- but seeing an incredibly intricate set piece involving several players on both sides running to and fro in a effort to screw the other team up was quite amusing. Tactical Free Kicks has the potential to turn every set piece into a miniature game of chess. It could certainly make things very interesting whenever a free kick presents itself, however frequently or infrequently that may be.

So there you have it, the five main gameplay upgrades to look forward to from FIFA 13 thus far. I do hope that I've helped to clarify the direction this vessel is headed. It still remains to be seen what sort of tweaks will be made to the various game modes, presentation, and so forth, but EA is clearly happy with the fundamentals of FIFA 12 and would prefer take the wheel, spruce it up a bit, and push it forward rather than try to reinvent it again. Tactical Defending was an incredible addition last year, but there was still plenty happening across the pitch that felt like the arcade-y FIFA's of old.

To make a video game evoke the emotions of this dramatic and unpredictable sport we love, you've got to get the little things just right, regardless of how good it might read in an advertisement. During my stay in Vancouver, I got the impression that EA Sports are devoted to that ethos and will do what's necessary to create not the best video game experience, but the best soccer experience you can have without actually lacing up your boots.
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Living to Play
Re: FIFA 13 discussion

Nice improvements. Lets see if thats enough to force the user to buy another FIFA game.


Ambassador of Buzz
Re: FIFA 13 discussion

The improvement list is very nice in my opinion.Expecting a miracle when they make a game every 10 months is a bit more.The Attacking Intelligence,Complete Dribbling and First Touch Controls are fantastic additions.Now the only thing is make your severs better and I'm gonna buy FIFA yet another year


Re: FIFA 13 discussion

EA has kept me happy with my latest copy of FIFA Street 2012.

Lets see if FIFA 13 has any solid change to make me buy this one too.


Living to Play
Re: FIFA 13 discussion

^ don't. Get the next year game. It'll have everything they are offering + something more.


Re: FIFA 13 discussion

Hmm that means FIFA Street is more than enough for me for this year atleast.:smile:


Re: FIFA 13 discussion

FIFA series sucks big time, Pro Evolution Soccer series rules...

Its not 2010 anymore.

But that's just my opinion.

And even though for the common person , FIFA 12 and FIFA 13 might look the same [ as was evident from the comments in FIFA 13 screeshots from EA SPORTS FIFA ] , the true FIFA enthusiast will enjoy even the minute differences , be it in defence , shots or even just in passing.


In the zone
Re: FIFA 13 discussion

yeah, FIFA is a football simulaton, is not a game. Its the minute and small details that make or break these kinds of games so of course these will matter. especially the AI attack movements thing.
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