While it might be a little presumptuous, we’re going to go ahead and think forward to FIFA 14, fresh on the heels of FIFA 13′s very successful launch. To the everyday gamer, the name “EA Sports” is synonymous with high quality sport simulation video games. This is due to EA Sports’ dedication to providing consumers with opportunities to take part in their favorite sporting pastimes, such as football (aka soccer), American football and golf, in the comfort of their own homes. If you haven’t checked them out be sure to read our reviews on FIFA 13 for Xbox 360 as well as FIFA 13 on PC.
So what does FIFA 13 have to offer gamers in the meantime while we wait for FIFA 14? Easy to learn rules and simple controls make it accessible to everyone, while the addition of new features creates an incentive for loyal fans of the series to buy this latest outing. The involvement of the weight and styling of passing, crossing and shooting has truly reached its pinnacle in FIFA 13, with EA leaning towards the more realistic side of things. The ability to score sensible soccer-esque goals and complete hyper accurate passes, has thankfully been limited to levels that challenge the players ability to create chances and position themselves.
The inclusion of the impressive “first touch” and “jostling” mechanics also add an edge of unpredictability to the game, as now even the great Lionel Messi can make the occasional error. EA has also added Seasons mode to its unique Ultimate Team game mode, as well as improving the attacking AI and adding options to its online Seasons which can stop “Club vs National Team” pairings – a source of great personal frustration in FIFA 12 – among some minor changes to offline modes. Don’t forget the addition of skill games, which are a fun way to compete with friends in challenges while improving your skills. These improvements almost make FIFA 13 the perfect football game. Almost.
So, what do we need to see in FIFA 14? There are a couple of improvements that we need to see, some smaller than others. A relatively small one is the unreliable matchmaking provided by EA servers. I know from personal experience this problem mainly lays on FIFA’s online card-trading based Ultimate Team game mode, as a player with the most basic of teams can be pitted against an Ultimate Team enthusiast, who has collected the entirety of the Spanish national team resulting in the lesser side’s inevitable defeat. This limits a player’s chance of developing a better team and can take the fun out of it, ultimately putting them off.
In my opinion, the largest problem is the changes made to the defensive nature of your AI players. Too many times, I have sat and watched in horror as my centre back decidedly gives up chasing my opponents’ striker, leaving me to call out the keeper in a last ditch attempt to stop him scoring. Clearly, gamers hope that this gets resolved in FIFA 14 across the board. This bizarre mentality of defenders is highlighted further by the improved attacking AI, so let’s hope that EA can balance this with improved defending in FIFA 14. Despite these few problems, EA have set the bar incredibly high for themselves with FIFA 13 – so, who knows? With a couple of improvements, they may create the perfect football game.