The FIFA series has consistently been a gem for EA Sports. Every year they either polish off a previous feature or add a new one that seamlessly integrates with the existing playing experience. Tyler “Lucky Bastard” Humphrey and I just got back from playing around with the newest iteration and once again, it does not disappoint.
Hit the jump for all of the additions coming this year and how they changed the feel of the game.
The addition with the most impact to this year’s iteration is “1st Touch Control.” Where in previous years, players could complete almost every pass if there wasn’t any outside interference, this year multiple factors are taken into account such as defensive pressure, trajectory of the ball, and velocity of the pass. While this addition does help the offense by increasing the amount of pressure players can generate with quick touch passes around the goal, touch passing largely helps the defense. If you try to pass it to a player jockeying for position with a defender and are not paying attention, chances are the ball will bounce back or pop up and be stolen.
I’m used to bombing the ball up and down the pitch and every pass that got close to the box was easily deflected by the defenders. Even more impressive was that this helped Tyler’s defense be near impenetrable even though this was the first time he had ever played FIFA.
On the other side of the ball, the offense gets a boost by having your CPU teammates finally push up the field on runs. This was always a sore spot for FIFA lovers since you would go on an amazing run but have no backup from your teammates who would stand around and watch instead of cutting towards the goal or drawing away defenders. Even worse was when they would run with you but not make a play towards the goal and would instead stay far outside the box. This year, your assistants will aggressively try to establish position before you even start to look for pass outlets. I noticed on a run that if a teammate was running towards the wing and saw you break for the goal, they would adjust their route to help you out instead of sticking to the programmed route.
The last major improvement to FIFA 13 is “Complete Dribbling.” This is your new best friend. It feels like EA took the finesse of the controls in FIFA 12 and added the numerous face up moves from FIFA Street 2012. Admittedly, the dribble moves aren’t my strong suit, but I was doing step overs, shielding the ball, and dodging tackles like a pro. This will definitely help players feel the difference between superstar finesse players like Messi and the other less skillful players.
All in all, this looks like another year of FIFA dominance. With their constant improvements and the success they are having building on the past iterations, the development team at EA Canada continues to deliver. FIFA 13 will be releasing on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, (and every other conceivable system) September 25th.