After the last few weeks it is fair to say that the beautiful game is alive, well and "predictably unpredictable". This is a term which Executive Producer David Rutter
likes to use and encapsulates the feeling that the team is trying to recreate in FIFA 13
. The result is a game that feels more alive and more lifelike. Some of the changes are quite obvious and will take some adjustment, while others are subtle yet effective in creating a more realistic environment.
One of the more noticeable changes initially is the introduction of first touch control
. Previous FIFA titles were guilty of each and every player having flawless control regardless of their skill level or how zippy a pass was. First touch control takes a variety of elements into account including the pace of the ball, the positioning of the player and the pace at which they are running to receive the pass to determine what their first touch is like. If you try to take a lobbed pass at full tilt, don’t be surprised to see things go awry, regardless of who is receiving the pass. On the other hand if the pass is hit right, and the player is ready for it, you will have the time and space to launch an attack. What is interesting to see is how the top players in the world can improvise and use bobbles to their advantage. In one match, Aguero
took a pass that was spinning a little too much, his touch caused the ball to bounce up, but without hesitation the shoot button was mashed and the ball sailed into the top corner.
So far, FIFA 13
seems to emphasise a more attacking approach and playstyle. Players seem better equipped to read how passing moves will play out. If you pass from the left side of the pitch to the centre, players on the right move to become more available for a pass. The biggest attacking change is a more refined Attacking Intelligence
. Forwards identify where the space is or work out how to create space for others. Unlike previous FIFA titles, they don’t keep running until they’re yards offside. Instead, they will attempt to bend their run, adjust their step and strain to stay onside. If caught offside after all that, you really only have yourself to blame. Naturally, this ability will depend on the player in question and their usual tendencies and behaviours.
The game feels more open and quicker paced with more chances than you could shake a big stick at, to paraphrase a classic FIFA quote from Andy Gray. While you must think a little more about passes, players make better runs and through balls seem to have been tweaked. The pass that you want seems to be the pass you actually get more often than not. That’s one bugbear out of the way at least.
Taking notes from FIFA Street
, players will be able to dribble with the ball close to their body while facing the goal and the opposition’s defender. The ability to turn their body gives some of the best players in the world the ability to eek out a little bit of space and burst through at full pace. Whether defenders will be able to cope with all of these runs, passing moves and close quarters dribbling remains to be seen. The best form of defence may well be a great offence.
The free kick system has been given an overhaul. Quick free kicks are more dynamic than ever as teammates will kick the ball back to where it is to be played from. This allows for a more free-flowing game and can create golden opportunities if used correctly. The primary alteration for free kicks is the implementation of tactical free kicks
. Once again, we’re back to a feature that aims to emulate real life as players can line up dummy runners and have any one of three players either pass or take responsibility for a shot.
The goal of FIFA 13
is to recreate real football moments and it certainly looks likely to do so. The first touch control, complete dribbling system and attacking intelligence combine successfully to simulate the predictable unpredictability of real life football. Players will have to think and take responsibility for what happens on the pitch. But remember it’s not over until the final whistle blows, so keep your focus or you could face the heartbreak of an injury time goal that snatches precious points from your grasp.