It’s hard to distinguish much difference in the annual release games, at least with games like Call Of Duty the story mode will be fresh, with the Fifa series it’s that little bit harder. Fifa 13 adds a few nice features to the series but are those features worth paying full-price for?
In terms of gameplay, Fifa 12 was pretty much as realistic as it gets, when playing 13 I expected ridiculous additions to improve realism like getting on the bus before the match and signing autographs for millions of fans. What 13 has that its predecessor doesn’t is a more realistic first touch system. If the ball is passed to a player with too much velocity, it is more difficult for the player to control. However when the ball is controlled, skill moves can be pulled off more spectacularly. With all new Fifa’s the new gameplay additions are initially infuriating, but once you get the hang of it you start to appreciate the realism. Player collisions are also a lot more realistic, adding to a more tactical approach when defending. A nice little feature that you will notice is the subs warm up behind the goals, it all adds to the realism.
You will most likely spend the majority of your time on Career mode, Ultimate Team and Online Clubs. Career mode still feels pretty cluttered, with constant: “So and So has moved to This Team” messages, it really feels like a lot of nothing is happening. This wastes a lot of time and really wouldn’t interest the majority of players considering its all simulation. It really needs a “Play Now” option.
Ultimate Team also feels the same as it always was. Don’t get me wrong it’s an incredibly fun game mode. Players build up their own team, buying and selling players in auctions online, and competing in extremely competitive multiplayer. Formation and player background is important, if a player feels more comfortable in a position or has played with its teammates before, it will feel more at home. Initially you are given a 5 star team with 100% chemistry for a mock game, this shows you the importance of chemistry and how it affects your team. UT still lacks some sort of customisation; a kit and stadium design would definitely need to be implemented to make it stand out from the previous titles.
Online Clubs is amazing, create a team with your friends and play with your Online Pro, picking a position and competing in a variety of leagues and cups. The servers have improved a lot since 12, but customisation is still missing here. Still it is probably the most intense mode in the game. Look out for the Shkyboiis!
Prominent additions to the series are the EAS FC Match Day and Skill Games. Match day takes real-world stats and formations and updates the teams daily. The updated roster would be the main reason that fans purchase Fifa annually, so I don’t know what 14 will feature to bring the fans in, John Terry Infidelity Simulator mini-games probably. Speaking of mini-games, the Skill Games are a nice fun little addition, featuring a wide variety of challenges, from dribbling to penalties. They are also playable during loading screens, giving players a fun “pass the controller when you fail” gaming experience.
Where Fifa always shines is the local multiplayer. Friendships are made and broken over the competitive and intense game that is Fifa.
Fifa games are always on every football fans must have list, as someone with minor interest in the game of football itself, I can confirm that Fifa 13 is still an amazingly fun and competitive gaming experience. So, is it worth paying full-price? Yes it is, and it always will be.
*EA provided SlimGamer.com with a review copy.