FIFA 13 Review: The best soccer game gets even better
The FIFA video game series has been a consistent and steady improvement for several years. Since the release of FIFA 09, the franchise has started to attract lots of critical acclaim for creating a very realistic but still very enjoyable soccer/football simulation.
How does FIFA 13 stack up to its predecessors? Quite well and EA Sports is definitely not resting on its laurels.
The heart of FIFA is similar to last years version but it’s been tweaked and modified. One great example is how a players skill level determines their first touch, especially when receiving long diagonal passes. No longer will a 60 rating player receive the ball as if they are Messi but will react more realistically.
I could go over all the minor tweaks of whats it been fixed or modified but the simple answer is that its just a more polished and refined FIFA 12. For anyone who has played FIFA 12, this is basically like scoring two goals in a match and following that up with a hat trick. It’s already a great foundation in place (FIFA 12) and 13 takes another step in the right direction.
The graphics are as solid as ever with great player animations including some very entertaining celebrations. Playing on several different platforms (PC, XBox, PS3), the game runs smoothly on all and looks great. Of course, the PC will depend on your hardware but if you have decent video card, the game should run at a pretty high frame-rate.
One of the most under-looked aspects of FIFA that I think stands out, is its selection of songs for the soundtrack. This year they’ve chosen a nice variety of artists from around the world that fit with the global theme of football. Another nice part of the soundtrack is the choice to include 50 songs which is a contrast to other sports games. You will undoubtedly hear the same songs repeating over time but the large amount makes it far less monotonous.
The commentary remains the same with two different sets. Martin Tyler is joined by Alan Smith while Clive Tyldesley is partnered with Andy Townsend. The commentary is one of the hardest parts of a sports video game but it continues to be solid in FIFA 13. You will definitely hear the commentators repeating themselves after playing the game for several hours but its inevitable. They are still enjoyable and Martin Tyler is arguable one of the best at calling the beautiful game.
The online aspect of FIFA is what makes it re-playable for the entire football season. There are some changes here and there, including tweaks to the FIFA Ultimate Team, but the core remains. As with any online game, there are inevitable connection issues from time to time but I experienced virtually no issues playing on various platforms and the popularity of FIFA assures you can find a match online at any time of day. FIFA is also great playing on a single console with 2-4 players. It’s one of the few games that is just as enjoyable online or with four people on one console.
Overall (9.5/10 – not an average)
If you are a fan of this sport and previous FIFA versions, there’s little doubt you’ll enjoy this game. It’s not perfect, no video game is, but it’s as good as anything ever made in the genre. EA has taken the time to fix the problems (there weren’t many) from FIFA 12. FIFA 13 is as close as you can get to the sport without actually lacing them on and heading out onto the pitch.