independent

Sunday 18 August 2019

Good reason to upgrade

LIKE IT or not, FIFA continues to dominate the world of video game football. Though, as with every big brand, there's always that niggling feeling that they will eventually slip up and give way to a newer phenomenon. Last year's effort, FIFA 12, came close to this scenario at time, its revamped defensive systems and player interactions coming close to disrupting the flow of play. Yet this also made the game feel more authentic, but for most of us that wasn't enough.

Let's tackle the gimmicks straight away. FIFA 13 is the first of the FIFA franchise to embrace the Xbox 360 and PS3's motion control peripherals, with Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move support bundled in. Oddly, only Move gets motion controls as such, with an optional control scheme modelled on the system FIFA adopted on the Wii. The left analogue stick (or navigation controller) still handles player movement while passes, lobs and shots are mapped to the face buttons on the move controller. However, you now have a cursor you aim by pointing the move controller at the screen, and this affects the direction and power of your shots and passes.

The Kinect control scheme wisely avoids the horrors of motion-controlled passing and shooting for voice commands that augment the pad-based gameplay, bringing options once buried in pause menus into the flow of the action. Shout 'Quick Tactics' or 'Mentality' for example, and you can pick between combinations of formations, strategies and attitudes, or set the team to focus on attack or defence.

Online, there's even more effort to tie FIFA 13 into the community and into the world of real football. As well as Ultimate Team's cunning combination of FIFA action with Fantasy Football - now more accessible thanks to interface changes and new tutorials - and challenges in EA football club, FIFA 13 introduces a Game of the Week, giving you the chance to try one of last weekend's big encounters with the same teams and conditions. It's impossible to evaluate these things before release, but those who've made FIFA 12 one of the online fixtures of their lives should find plenty of reason to make the upgrade.

Overall FIFA 13 is a solid iteration and a great addition to the franchise, a definite recommendation for almost every single gamer out there.

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