FIFA Soccer 13 captures all the action, skill, and spectacle of the most popular game in the world. While it is known as “Football”, to the majority of the world, Soccer has been making tremendous inroads in popularity in North America in no small part to the growth of professionally as well as exhibition matches, World Cup, and other telecasts which are becoming more and more prevalent.
I myself played soccer up through high school, but like many young players once I got to college my athletic direction was steered toward baseball and basketball. As such I have a tremendous appreciation for the skills and discipline needed for the game but must admit that I do most of my viewing of the sport during the Olympics and World Cup.
That being said, I was tremendously excited to get my hands on the game and I can certainly see why it won so many awards at E3 and other exposed prior to its release. I was absolutely blown away with what I saw during our time at E3 as well as what I saw at PAX Prime, but nothing compares to the hands-on action of the game.
One of the things that really impressed me was the A.I. of the game which allowed me a greater level of strategy than I had ever had in a previous soccer game as I had analyze defenses and find ways to break them down. This could be done by using precision dribbling which allowed me a true 360° of mobility allowing you to fake an attack and then deftly move the ball to another player in an attempt to pull a defender out of position and open up the passing or shooting lane.
Naturally like in the real game, quality passes are ideal as poor passes are difficult to control which will allow defenders time to get into position or to scoop up errant passes. The touch control system of the game factors in such elements as velocity trajectory and defense which puts greater emphasis on perfect passing. Too many games just place the ball any general area and allow the player to run to it. FIFA 13 puts the onus on skill, requiring players to think rather than simply pushbuttons and kick in the general direction of their teammates.
Now naturally when players are fighting for a ball, contact will occur. The game employs a player impact engine which will allow players to use their body to win possessions and maneuver opponents. Thus players with size and strength will have an advantage. Players must be careful not to be too aggressive as penalties are part of the game and as such free kicks can happen which allow players to position up to three attacking players in an attempt to confuse the opponent.
Naturally things such as dribbling, passing, corner kicks, curving the ball, etc., are going to take some time to learn. As such, FIFA 13 offers a skill mode to become a better player which also allows players to compete against their friends over 32 mini games to enhance their skills.
Players who want an ultimate experience will want to take advantage of the career mode where they can play for manage a team through a whole gamut of schedules including Friendly’s, qualifiers, and international tournaments. The game is so advanced you can even get rid of your manager midseason if you wish to add to the drama of the league.
There are numerous modes as well ranging from football clubs, match day, FIFA Ultimate Team, season, pro clubs, and more as the game features 30 leagues 500 officially licensed clubs, and more than 15,000 players.
So now that we’ve gone over the nuts and bolts of what’s included in the game, it’s important to answer the big question, how does it play?
From my experience the game was close to the actual soccer as one can get without actually lacing up the cleats and taking the pitch. The new ability to either dink or loft a pass was very nice touch and the game is visually spectacular.
I understand that there are hard core fans out there that may find issues to complain about in the game. My big issues for that the defenders did seem to be faster than the offense of players throughout the game, and there were at times little glitches that popped up now and again.
To me this is minor as this will likely be addressed with updates, but the sheer volume of options the game allows combined with the, stunning graphics and updated control and passing system, as well as numerous team and career options makes this an outstanding achievement in soccer simulations and a must own for fans of the game everywhere.