The FIFA sequence has an issue. It resembles that preening star forward– in truth, let’s use unstable Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli as a sample– who believes he’s the best the sport needs to offer … however doesn’t realize he’s got huge holes in his video game that prevent him from becoming genuinely elite.
FIFA’s perennial issue is that it does not seem like a natural soccer experience. It never ever has, and at the rate designer EA Canada is going, it most likely never ever will. This seems like a collection of stats embedded on a game that definitely looks like soccer however perpetually lacks the ability to precisely play like the sport. The biggest imperfections are that goals don’t feel natural, which the action does not stream like a genuine soccer match– and those troubles persist in FIFA 13, unchanged for a decade.
After EA Canada revamped the set’ maturing physics engine in 2012, I truly believed this was the year FIFA lastly took that game play leap and reached the heights of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer on the PS2 as a truly unparalleled incarnation of the Beautiful Game. However this entry shouts “Lineup Update 2013” from the moment you turn it on. Play-by-play man Martin Tyler breathlessly tells you about how you can “enter EA Sports Football Club … in FIFA 12.” This would be like switching on Local Evil 6 and having Leon Kennedy describe all the cool things you can do in Resident Evil 5. Unacceptable and absolutely laughable.
Even though the on-pitch action is still marginally serviceable– such as it is– the remainder of the experience deserves to ride the ache. The menus are an outright mess– did any human being with 2 eyes take a look at them?– and tutorials are unhelpful jokes in the guise of mini-games.
And why is it that handling the role of a supervisor thinks so detached and impersonal? In EA’s NCAA providing, I can select an avatar for my Dynasty coach right to his sticking out gut– and really get a sense that my sponsor matters and I’m building my own team in the image I see fit. In FIFA, I do not even get a look at the manager, let alone type meaningful connections with my players. Oh, and even when I inform the game to immediately advance to a specific date on the schedule, it always stops a week before for no discernible reason.
Also this year’s supposedly “game-changing” tweak to first touches falls flat. Since any fan of the U.S. national group understands, this fundamental element of soccer is lost on lots of American forwards and midfielders, and it’s a major reason the Yanks’ ball control merely can’t match up to the better European groups. In concept, this would be an excellent addition to FIFA and could really display the distinction in between the U.S. and sides like Spain– the margin between success and failure is, after all, a matter of inches oftentimes.
But much like the game cannot get the ups and downs of attacking rather right, it also fails to replicate exactly what it feels and looks like when a talented midfielder takes control of the ball at makes the magic occur in an instant. In real-life soccer, first-touch successes are almost naked and subtle to the eye when you’re discussing the feet of, say, Barcelona star Lionel Messi. But FIFA 13’s first-touch failures overemphasize those moments, failing to appropriately re-create that exact timing that means all the difference in between an on-the-mark pass and a through ball to no one. Again, it’s a fascinating idea and a big part of the real-life game, however considering all the basic elements EA Canada regularly fails to execute in this franchise, it’s shocking they chose to handle something as difficult as first touches.
In the end, FIFA 13 is like that second-division European club who nearly reaches the top air travel one year … then burns and crashes and gets delegated to the third department the next season. It’s clear that EA does not see Pro Evolution Soccer as a reliable threat anymore, due to the fact that this is the weakest attempt I have actually seen from EA Canada in a decade.