FIFA 13 Demo Impressions
With over 1.99 million fans having downloaded and played the FIFA 13 demo, it's apparent that soccer is still the world's sport. More importantly, it shows that the FIFA franchise still reigns supreme in the world of soccer games. Having set sales records with FIFA 12, EA is looking to improve upon last year's title with changes they are referring to as "revolutionary". But do they deliver?
Thanks to said demo, I was able to get my first real hands-on time with FIFA 13. Although it offers an incredible experience, once again, it's hard to really refer to any of the improvements as revolutionary. Rather, it's almost like they took the features added in FIFA 12 and improved upon them.
Now, I don't want to jump to any hard conclusions about the game, as I only had six minutes for a demo game. You can get a basic idea of how the game will play, but to make any rash conclusions about the game would just be silly. So here's what I can say about the game.
First off, the presentation is astounding. From the vibrant, crisp colors to the smooth player animations, FIFA 13 is visibly pleasing to look at. That is, if you don't look at the crowd who still, after all these years, looks like cardboard cutouts pasted into the game. However, the new action on the sidelines more than makes up for it. Now you can actually see players warming up. FIFA 13 is all about offering a realistic experience and while this may not seem like a really important addition, it is a nice little touch to the overall presentation. Aside from a few close ups of the crowd, FIFA 13 offers the same impressive visuals we're beginning to expect from the franchise.
Of course, for most fans, it's the gameplay that will make or break the FIFA 13. I'm proud to say, FIFA 13 has made some changes that improves the overall gameplay. EA has focused on improving player intelligence. Now, off-the-ball players on offense will look to make smarter plays based on the defensive positioning, meaning more passing lanes for you to take advantage of. Once again, it's a nice change that will make the gameplay experience more enjoyable.
Another addition to this year's installment is the new 1st Touch System. Adding another layer of realism and unpredictability to the game, a player's technical ability and the power of the pass will ultimately determine how clean he traps the ball. This added layer of unpredictability creates more opportunities for defensive players to win back possession. Unfortunately, the difference in skills between players is not yet noticeable.
The new complete dribbling feature, which now allows you to dribble sideways while facing the goal, is both beneficial and realistic, although there's still a few cosmetic glitches to work out. Once again, save for the few awkward animations, complete dribbling creates a more realistic gameplay experience.
With all that being said, there are still some things FIFA 13 could improve upon. AI defending is still a little too complacent. As with all sports games, simply adjust the sliders to your liking and you should be good to go. Another improvement, and this could be me nitpicking, is still a lack of player individuality. At the end of the day, there's still not enough variation in team tactics being used. Although, this is judged solely on a six minute demo.
Bottom line is FIFA 13 is still a solid play. Those who enjoyed FIFA 12 will find FIFA 13 equally pleasing. It's still not without flaws, but it is also a definite step up from last year's installment. EA has continued to improve upon an already solid product to offer an authentic, realistic soccer experience that fans across the world will once again enjoy.