Thousands of words have already been written in description
of Fifa 13, but really, all you need are two: So.
From: EA Sports
For: Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PS Vita, PC, Wii, Wii U,
Five stars (out of five)
EA Sports' relentless quest for football perfection takes
another mighty step forward with the latest iteration of
sports gaming's greatest series.
Simply put, Fifa 13 is the business. If it were an
actual football club, it would combine the bottomless wealth
of Manchester City, the bulging trophy cabinet of Manchester
United, the glorious history of Liverpool, the artistry of
Arsenal and the soul of Wycombe Wanderers.
Don't just take my word for it - ask the 4.5 MILLION people
who bought the game within the first five days of release.
If a game looks great, feels great and plays great, chances
are it is great. And Fifa 13 ticks every box.
It opens with a polished, easily navigated menu, and a first
look at the skill-games feature that had fans of the series
alternately excited and dubious when first announced.
In previous Fifa games, static loading screens were
replaced by "the arena", an open training space where you
could practise your moves and go one-on-one with a goalkeeper
to kill time.
That has been scratched and replaced by a series of skill
games, where you can participate in passing, shooting,
crossing and dribbling drills and the like, in challenges of
Sounds simple, even a little childish, but it's done well,
and the addition is one to be applauded.
As is the introduction of a closer link between the game and
real football. With a click of a button, you can see which
players/teams have had their ratings go up or down depending
on actual form.
You can play the real-life games of the week, and regular
challenges from real-life scenarios also appear.
A new system of earning virtual currency includes a broad
catalogue of extra strips, boots and boosts.
In terms of modes of play, there is little change in some
Ultimate Team - the card-collecting form of the game - is
back, and the usual online options are available.
I'm not a big online gamer, so my bread and butter in
is the career mode. And the system has been given a
significant, and pleasing, overhaul. New storylines and
beefed-up transfer options bring the mode closer to the perfect
fusion of sport and role-playing.
For the first time, your virtual player or manager can be
called up for international duties. My first character - a
towering striker - started with Liverpool, got sent out on
loan to Wycombe, and then got selected for an All Whites
Shortly after, I was running low on energy late in a game and
foolishly sprinted too hard after a loose ball. My player
started clutching his hamstring and fell to the ground. And
no, it wasn't in the penalty box.
The depth of the career mode, as either a player or a
manager, is staggering.
But what of the actual on-field action?
The big change this year is to the ball, and the physics
associated with the ball. It feels like it has a life of its
own. You can see it spinning and skidding more, and players
with lower ratings no longer control it with ease. It makes
the whole game feel more realistic.
Fifa's great strength in recent years has been the
unpredictable nature of the gameplay, and Fifa 13 keeps
pushing the envelope.
Even after 20, 50, 100 games, you score goals that feel
The game's AI has also had some serious surgery. Both on and
off the ball, attacking or defending, your team-mates work
harder, play more sensibly, go on smarter runs and so on.
More lines from the commentators and little touches like a
third voice popping in with score updates from the other
grounds just add to the package.
And, of course, there is the usual incredible range of
licensed leagues, teams and players to keep all football fans
For Xbox 360 gamers with Kinect, the system can be used for
some voice commands.
A perfect football game?
Not quite. Some substitutions now have frustratingly long
loading times. There is still no licensed Champions League or
And some of the squads are already out of date.
If I could, I'd give Fifa 13 about 97%.
I have also had a dabble on Fifa 13 for the iPad and
have been pleasantly surprised.
A "floating joystick" and buttons actually work reasonably
well, and the graphics are superb for the tablet.
Your gameplay options are obviously scaled down but an
incredible amount has been crammed into the game.