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The Next Level In Gaming

With less than 3 weeks to go until the release of Fifa 13, arguably the world’s best football game is back once again for a new season. Every year it’s easy to ask the daunting question of EA “What next?” How do you take an already brilliant game and improve it to even greater levels of mastery? Well for now, I’ll give a more brief analysis of the limited taster we’ve been granted, writing about the key features, before eventually writing a full in-depth review at a later date. Think of this as 2 teams playing a meaningless league fixture against each other as a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup Final against each other a few days later.

Well that’s what the new demo has aimed to introduce to its loyal and ever growing fan base. Last year saw the introduction of the new impact engine and new tactical defending that aimed to stretch your tactical abilities and create a more unpredictable and realistic playing field for you. However, it’s a new year and we demand new features to warrant a new purchase instead of sticking to last year’s game. Obviously you’ve got the diehard fanatics who’d crawl across broken glass just to have the same game but with updated kits and squads. But from what I’ve seen so far, they’d have quite a bit more to be fighting for.

I’ve played the demo a few times now and I can tell the differences already, they are noticeable and they rip up the confines of last year’s mechanics and implement a new range of possibilities which live up to the tagline “Predictably Unpredictable”. First of all, we have the new attacking intelligence which means your players will make clever runs and are actually capable of deviating their run so they’re not point forwards and running in that sole direction. Strikers will stop to avoid offside and even bend their runs, it was so frustrating having a clinical striker like Robin Van Persie and waiting for him to get on his bike and cycle down that linear route.

The much-maligned Impact Engine returns with a version 2 upgrade. There should be less controversial incidents of players getting into cyclone disasters and kissing each other. I’ve played quite a few games and that hasn’t really happened whilst I’ve been playing. Injuries have been improved so that if you sprain your ankle then you’ll actually have to substitute that player and instead of him performing an Istanbul-esque miracle and springing back to life. Also, collisions actually have meaning now as in Fifa 12 you could find yourself mashing the square button to rip the shirt off your much weaker opponent and he’d still outmuscle you. Whereas now, if you’re chasing Theo Walcott with Yaya Toure and you get to Theo before his explosive pace leaves you for dead; then the ball will be yours as you’ll knock him out of the way.

Free-kicks of old were simply, attacking team either shoots/passes/crosses or lay it off for someone else. On the other hand, if you’re the defence then you can jump or move the wall from side-to-side Not the greatest depth really considering some of the genius training ground routines we’ve seen work in the past. This will be changed thanks to the introduction of tactical free-kicks as more strategy is now in place for you to utilise. Attacking teams can now have dummy runners and have more difficult but rewarding passing options available to surprise your opponent. If you’re the defending team then you can send that kamikaze charge down man who runs straight towards the ball to block the shot. With a press of R1 you can actually creep your wall forward illegally, unfortunately I’ve down it about 3 times now and been booked for doing every time so I’m not sure if you can successfully get away with it. You probably can but like the diving feature of PES 2008; it’s probably difficult to master.

Skill games have been added to the game which consists of mini-games with a timer or set amount of balls that test your godly skill at Fifa, ranging from hitting targets from the penalty spot to running down the wing and putting crosses in to hit big targets. Each game has a bronze, silver and gold level of difficulty. The ones accessible on the demo seemed like fun and I look forward to having the full range of them on the full game as they’ll provide a nice distraction.

There are obviously a other changes but some I’ll save for the review and some are only applicable to the Career Mode. I do look forward to the career mode as transfers are now more realistic as you’ll have greater variety in players moving, you can swap players in transfers now and the negotiation process is apparently tougher. It was a cakewalk being City and throwing Limos of money at players like Cristiano Ronaldo and buying them with the snap of a finger.

Fifa 13 is shaping up to be another worthwhile addition to the ever glowing series and I’ll hopefully be able to bring you an extensive and informative review in the coming future. I think it’s safe to say that you should buy this game without even reading my review. Even if you hate football, despise everything about it and every living, breathing fibre in your body tells you to not buy it. Ignore them and buy it!

-Andrew Highton

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AndyHighton_YNWA On September - 21 - 2012

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