I’m a longtime EA Sports FIFA Soccer fan. I have multiple editions of the franchise and it’s probably the game that finds its way into my Xbox 360 the most. But I’m always a little worried when I’m about to try out the latest edition. Back around 2004, they changed the game big time and we had a disaster on our hands. The gameplay slowed to a crawl and I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous editions. The franchise eventually rebounded and I grew to love FIFA again, but I still hold my breath each year until I get my hands on the new one.
I had no need to worry. Yesterday the Wizard (Gary Gramling) and I got to battle each other on an early build of FIFA 13, due out this fall, and the new version was solid. EA has delivered a game with crisp and fluid gameplay, which is important because if you don’t have that, all the bells and whistles don’t mean much.
Don’t get me wrong, the bells and whistles are important too. Luckily, the ones we noticed improved the game. With EA's "Player Impact Engine" you really notice little things like how turning your player’s body away from a defender can shield them from stealing the ball. You also notice that you can’t make a hard cut and then expect to make a crisp pass, which heightens the realism of the gameplay. "Through balls,” those passes you make to a spot on the field instead of another player, were tougher to execute than in the past. It may just take some getting used to, but that’s not a small thing. Those passes are the best way to set up players running onto a scoring chance. Also, speaking of scoring goals, shooting was tough too, but that may just be rust on my part.
It’s worth mentioning that the graphics and colors were outstanding, which for me is important, because if I’m going to stare at the screen for a while, I want to enjoy what I’m looking at.
How did the game end between the Wizard and I, you ask? Pathetically. Neither of us scored a goal. Then when we went to penalties to decide the victor, we found out they’re not the easiest to take in FIFA 13. For instance, it wasn’t totally clear how to make the keeper dive to save a shot. I guess I figured out that control one shot earlier than the Wizard and victory was mine.
See more on the trailer below!