FIFA 12 included major improvements to gameplay and gamers took notice. The game sold 3.2 million copies in its first week and went on to become the best-selling sports game of all time in the UK. Developer EA Canada is looking to expand on that with improved features for the newest addition to the series.
FIFA 13 will include several changes that will make the game feel even more realistic. Every year, EA Canada finds ways to improve gameplay but the developer is also adding social features and voice controls to provide the best football experience ever.
In past games, players control even errant passes perfectly. FIFA 13 introduces first touch controls, which will eliminate perfect touch for every player. Footballers will have difficulty when receiving passes from teammates. Defenders will be able to take advantage of poor passes and bad touches. However, the most skilled players will experience less trouble on first touch.
The player impact engine was greatly improved for collisions in last year’s game. This year it will also apply to off-ball battles as players will push and pull for position. Hardcore footballers will be enthralled with the additional strategy involved with free kicks. Gamers will be able to quickly insert or remove players into the wall or send a bullet man to intercept a pass or shot. On the offensive side, tactical free kicks will allow players to pull off elaborate kicks. Up to three offensive players can be positioned over the ball to utilize dummy runs and advanced passing options.
Artificial intelligence will be smarter and computer-controlled players will be more aggressive. The new Attacking Intelligence system will enable AI players to analyze space and break down defenses. They will switch directions or break off runs in order to create open lanes for teammates and capitalize on openings as they occur. This will also help cut down on offside penalties against computer-controlled players.
One-on-one opportunities will be much more fun with the Complete Dribbling system. Precise dribble touches and full 360-degree mobility will allow gamers to execute creative and risky dribble moves.
The Xbox 360 version of FIFA 13 will feature Kinect controls. It sounds like a recipe for disaster but FIFA will combine the new technology with the familiar style to impress both casual and hardcore gamers. Voice controls are integrated seamlessly to work with the classic controller. Gamers will be able to make substitutions and change formations on the fly. In the game’s Be A Pro mode, players will be able to communicate with teammates through the voice recognition system. Voice commands can be utilized to call for a pass, send a teammate for a run, or call for a shot.
Perhaps most interesting is the game’s ability to recognize player reaction and translate it into the reaction of the virtual player. Referees and linesmen can be influenced by any foul language they hear through Kinect. Officials will be stricter with their fouls and bookings to players who use coarse language. In Career Mode, storylines can develop based on emotions of players and managers. This could be a ground-breaking feature for sports gaming.
EA launched the social feature EA Sports Football Club alongside FIFA 12 last year. This year, the social component is greatly improved. Gamers can compete against friends, represent a real football club online, and level up through the social network. EA is offering a complete experience with a companion app for iOS devices that will allow access to EA Sports Football Club on the go.
FIFA 13 will release on September 28 in Europe. No official U.S. release date has been announced but it is expected to release around the same time. It will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, PlayStation Vita, 3DS, PSP, PlayStation 2, and iOS devices.