FIFA 13 Review

If you like Football and video games it’s impossible that the release of FIFA 13 has slipped you by. I tried as hard as I could to completely ignore it’s existence, but after playing it at a friend’s house, I realised I had to get it…so I did.

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As a general rule, I don’t buy Fifa games as soon as they’re realised. Partly because they’re always hideously expensive, partly because they’re always THE SAME BLOODY GAME just with new players, so I went into this game wondering weather that statement will be proved true or false.

As far as mechanics to go, what do you want me to say? There’s been about twenty of these games, not including all the Euro and World Cup spin offs. You press a button and the player kicks a ball and if you’re really advanced it’ll go into the net. For the most part my above statement is true. There are many…let’s call them…distinct similarities between this game and Fifa 12. Unfortunately they seemed to have kept the mechanics that pissed me right the hell off in the previous game.

For example, the fact it’s never clear whether your player is technically in control of the ball. Soooo many times have I pressed a button thinking my player would tackle the opponent only for him to shoot from the halfway line because apparently I had taken control of the ball without realising. And vice versa, I would try to have a shot at goal only for my player to go sliding into a nearby opponents shins and get sent off because the ball was a bit too far away, even though I had been in control of the freaking thing about three seconds ago.

There are new features, although there might as well not be. The arena from the previous games has been taken out. (The arena being a place where you could kick the ball around while you decide what to do for those who have never played a Fifa game). The most arse buggeringly annoying new mechanic is the first touch system where the flight, speed and direction of the ball determines how easily you can control the ball. But, of course, this only seems to work at the exact point where I don’t want it to. I must have played ten hours or so of the game already and have never had the first touch system work in my favour. (I’m probably supposed to press a button to make it work, but I can’t for the life of me work out what it is). I will pass the ball along the floor three feet and the receiving player will belt the ball five feet in front of him and promptly get tackled. Even more frustrating when I’m in the box and just want the bastard to shoot!

And there seems to be a delay between pressing the button and the player actually doing something! I know footballers are perceived as stupid, but we could at least TRY to give them some credit! They don’t need three seconds to pick their nose before they realise Im trying to make them shoot! That’s just when they’re stationary! I’ve lost count of the amount of times I run into the box, tell the prick to shoot only for him to take four or five more touches, STRAIGHT into the goalkeepers arms.

All of this could be forgiven if the game wasn’t bugged up the arse. I’ve been stuck on three loading screens already and had to play one match three times. At one point the game crashed when I had the audacity to pick an option out of the menu. At one point I saved the game, came back a few hours later to find that I had to play the next three matches over again because it hadn’t freaking saved.

That’s all…well, most of the bile out of the way. I feel better now, so I’ll talk about a few things I like. Although not much has really changed mechanics whys, I have to say, it feels far more unique than it’s predecessor. I play it on a pretty low difficulty (I’m crap at it OKAY?!) and even now I can never take anything for granted. During the phase where I had to play the three matches over and over again the scores ended 1-1 at first, 1-2 to the AI on my second try and 3-0 to me on my third.

It means that I can’t go into a game thinking the match is already won, which is something I’ve been striving for for a long time. In Fifa 12 I was at a point where the current difficulty level was far too easy, but the next one was far too hard. I like it when I have to work for a victory. It would be nice if I wasn’t fighting the controls as well as the AI though. Sometimes it feels the ‘difficulty level’ translates to ‘how crap the controls are’.

And there are minor details in the game that add a little extra to it. The new career mode looks fantastic. You start out a young up and comer and have to mature and develop as a real footballer would, including going out on loan. My Pro started playing for Everton and immediately got loaned out to Doncaster Rovers! While I have no strong feelings one way or another about Doncaster, I really like the idea of not being ready for Premier League football. During previous Fifa titles I got bored playing for the same team over and over. The top level gets boring after a while.

And after every match, you get a nice voice over from some bloke who reads out the scores for you. A really nice little touch. I love feeling as if there’s stuff going on around me. Like there’s a big world that I’m just part of rather than the game placing blinkers on me. You also get regular updates during matches about current scores, penalties and red cards. All in all it makes for an immersive game.

So can I recommend it? Probably not. Cause, let’s face it, if you enjoy the Fifa games you’ve probably already bought it or plan on buying it and if you don’t enjoy the Fifa games you probably haven’t read this far into the review.

8/10 – It’s the same game as Fifa 12 but tarted up a bit and with, overall, slightly tightened up mechanics. If you are still playing Fifa 12, I think an upgrade to Fifa 13 is ultimately worth it.

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