From the Sensible Soccer to Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) titles, today’s generation of gamers are glued to the FIFA version of arcade football gaming. Having usurped the hit PES series, FIFA is now the best selling football game on the planet with over 875,000 copies for the latest FIFA 13 already sold in pre-orders – up 37 percent year over year in Europe and a 62 percent increase year over year in North America.
What made previous hit titles so addictively playable was their pick-up-and-play appeal. The ability to choose your favourite team and play your brand of football with them fuelled the ego to Jose Mourinho proportions.
With Finesse button and Skills button now all the rage, I was starting to feel out of my depth on a games console. I was never one for button-bashing the flicks and tricks, rather reverting to a pressing game, keeping possession and dictating play until the opportunity presented it self to press triangle and unleash that killer through pass.
However, FIFA 12 won over many PES fans due to its playability and this new version builds on that success by satisfying the amateur gamer without removing the complexities that causes today’s teens to spend more hours honing skills on a control pad then out on the streets.
The new improved player movement adds to the fluidity of the game. Players receive and turn with the ball far more smoothly and you can knock the ball about Swansea-style pretty accurately.
First Touch Control is a dynamic new feature that adds reality to each player’s ability. If you shin it a bit like say, Lee Cattermole, then don’t expect the ball to stick when he receives a pass. This ensures that no two matches ever play the same and offers yet another factor to consider when selecting teams.
Another new feature that needs mentioning is the new online Football Club Match Day service where real-world drama such as injuries, suspensions, team form, and media gossip will play out in-game and be reflected through in-game commentary.
FIFA has generally held an upper hand over rivals PES due to their exclusive licensing agreements that enable them to simulate real teams and squad names. In fact, huge parts of the success of these franchises spawn from the excitement fans get from playing with the latest teams.
For Sunderland fans missing Assamoah Gyan and followers of Middle-East football alike, this version has expanded to now include the Saudi football league – no doubt leading the hit franchise into further markets.
If you really wanted to kill a weekend (or a few months) the FIFA Ultimate Team feature allows fans to earn, buy, trade and bid for coveted players to build a team of the world’s best football stars.
It’s this combined level of game-play and realism that makes FIFA 13 such an addictive hit and this latest release is now also available on more consoles than ever before, including the iPhone and iPad.
However, the support for Xbox Kinect, PlayStation Move and Nintendo Wii offers an altogether different gaming experience, one I’m sure the developers will work on as technology and uptake increases.
FIFA 13 launches this Friday and it certainly makes you feel as epic as the TV advert. The ultimate gaming experience? We’ll let you decide…
You can order your copy of FIFA 13 at http://www.game.co.uk/
Tags: EA Sports, fifa, FIFA 13, Lionel Messi, Review