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FIFA 13 – FIFABlog.be Preview

Nicolas Van Hoorde  from FIFABlog.be recently got to sit down with FIFA 13 for the day. This is what he thought.

A whole day alone with FIFA 13 seems like lot, but it really isn’t. You simply can’t check everything, but more importantly you can’t test how things pan out in Career Mode for instance in the long haul. What we however can review, are those things that are visible at first sight. And at first sight, FIFA 13 seems a brilliant game. Version tested: PlayStation 3

I mainly focused on Career Mode, because it’s my favorite mode and because EA itself doesn’t go into much detail when they announce Career Mode features. That’s fine, because that gives me and other FIFA communities like FIFASoccerBlog the chance to do it.

What really struck me was how more responsive the menus within Career Mode are. They go a bit faster, but more importantly, you can do more with less going back and forth. It really makes a difference. Some examples. Transfer offers are now presented in a map, where you can easily switch between offers with L2/R2. Same goes for emails. No going back to the inbox for each mail any more. Just cycle through mails with L1/R1. All little touches that together make a big difference.

Transfers are also more dynamic, with counter offers, player swaps and tips from the board on how much they think it will take to persuade the club and/or player. Promising a player an important role in the team might push him over the edge to let him sign for your club. The wanted list makes it also much easier than the previous shortlist to keep track of players you are interested in. Again, this also works a bit faster than before. I have to note that simulating days is still very slow, probably this means the EA development has reached the consoles’ capacities. Like in FIFA 12, this will not be a problem in the PC version.

I also spotted some new neat things. Write a letter to the board to ask for more funds. But there’s a catch. You’ll have to promise to win the FA Cup, League Cup or some other goal. Everything comes at a price. I requested 50 million to the Chelsea board, promised to win both FA Cup and League Cup. But they declined this request. So it’s not always an easy escape. Also new is the job board, where u can review open positions and apply for them if you want to. International management is in, which you guys obviously knew. You also get a mail when your club players are leaving on international duty. They can get injured during these matches. Myself didn’t get an concrete offer from a national side, however I got an email from my assistant that both Belgium and Norway were interested in me. If I had the chance to play longer, I’d probably received an offer from those two sides. And ofcourse, the big one I didn’t mention yet. European leagues in the first season. You can find out more about that here.

But it was time to go to my first friendly. Two disappointments there. You can’t choose which sides you want to play against, but more disappointing was the fact that your substitutions are still limited to three in friendlies. This has been asked and reported since FIFA 11 now and is still being neglected. Let’s hope for FIFA 14 then. On a positive note were the new additions to cut scenes. You can now see your manager in-game and during cut scenes, as well as the players on the bench. The latter you also see warm-up during the game. The fourth official will also show up the board during substitution cut scenes. Great stuff.

Then I went on to play the match. I was pleasantly surprised to see the recently announced skill games pop-up during loading. It’s much more diverse than the simple shoot practice in previous installments. I found myself spending a lot of time doing these skills games, even when the loading was already ten minutes finished.s The gameplay changes are much more subtle. Which is normal. The difference between FIFA 11 and FIFA12 was enormous. This year it’s much more tweaked and improved experience. Impact engine is barely noticeable anymore, which is exactly like it should be. Shooting has much more power to it. First touch really does make a different but is not as in your face as the developers are trying to tell you. Wing backs play much higher as well. Again, it’s overall very polished en FIFA fans will love FIFA 13. I have to disappoint manual players though. I still found the same problems with manual passing as I did with FIFA 12. It might still change, but don’t get your hopes up.

I just want to add that Be A Pro looked a bit nicer. You request a loan (won’t always be accepted), you can get subbed. You might not be in the selection at all. All nice additions, but to me, mean not so much if the players’ ratings system doesn’t gets fixed. EA promised me they’re still working on this – but again, don’t expect groundbreaking changes. Which is a bit sad, since this has been an issue for plenty years now.

So all in all, FIFA 13 is a very enjoyable experience. The gameplay is step-up to FIFA 12, the Career Mode has been changed (and for the better) in almost every department (except for the youth system it seems) and skill games is really a hidden gem. Add to that the positive changes to Be A Pro and the just announced exciting news about the online modes  and you got yourself one hell of a game. And please Mr. Rutter, make more than three subs possible next time, I’m begging you!

Thanks to Nic for translating his preview. Head over to FIFABlog.be for more of the same.

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