‘Fifa 13′ review: The definitive soccer video game experience

Opinion

FIFA 13 (EA Canada)

FIFA 13 (EA Canada)

NBA2K13 may be the best sports game in the U.S., but EA Canada’s Fifa 13 is the most popular sports video game in the world.

It has the record-breaking sales numbers to prove it and after playing it, I understand why.

Presentation / Graphics

Like previous installments of the famous soccer franchise, Fifa13′s presentation wants to give gamers the definitive soccer experience.  It may be overwhelming at first, but Fifa 13 has crammed this version with 30 of the world’s best leagues, so finding your favorite team won’t be a problem. Soccer fans can jump right in and create their dream matches right out of the gate. You can choose from a country’s national club like Spain or the minor teams that reside there as well. Once you drop your team into the pitch, be sure to take in the visual scenery because each stadium (there’s 69 total)  is unique. The passion that separates soccer fans from other sports fanatics are reflected digitally as well. Hometown cheers (and jeers) can be heard and seen during each break in the action, giving gamers the perspective of what a footballer feels like on the field.

Gameplay

The control functionality for any sports title is the most important component for constructing a sold gaming experience. EA kept the control scheme relatively untouched from previous installments, and this is a good thing. The  inclusion of ‘first touch’ controls, however, may take beginners longer to get the hang of them. ‘First touch’ controls emphasize the interactions between the ball and ball carrier like never before as the art of passing is critical to your success. Even more so than scoring, because the momentum behind each pass reduces the risk of a wild kick to the goal.  Your right stick is used to juke as you shake off your defenders that must be accordingly depending on who you control. A shifty striker like Cristian Ronaldo will have a more expanded foot-skill as he moves the ball up field, while scorers like Wayne Rooney have a variety of trick shots unique to him. Every team and every player is distinctive.

Verdict

The problem with most annual titles is finding balance between building on the success of past versions while making enough improvements to stand out. Fifa 13 walks this tightrope well. For both the avid and casual soccer fan, Fifa 13 is a great vessel for the world’s game. Aside from the ‘first touch’ control scheme, this is the definitive soccer experience of 2012.

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