FIFA 13: Five Things to Look Forward to

Hayden Deitrick@hdeitrickFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2012

FIFA 13: Five Things to Look Forward to

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    When FIFA 12 was released last September, players praised a lot of the new, innovative game play features.  

    Most players, however, would agree that the game had its share of flaws; not that this would keep any true FIFA fan from playing this game late into the night (every night).  EA clearly heard player criticism and for this reason, FIFA 13 has a new set of playing systems that creates a better, more realistic playing experience that FIFA fans everywhere will see as a major improvement to an already fantastic franchise.  

    When FIFA 13 drops on Tuesday, September 25th, fans have a lot to look forward to.  

Smart Attacking

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    Players will no longer be able to verbally abuse their AI players. It was too often the case in FIFA 12 that AI counterparts would hang back when players are building up attack or push forward and get caught offside when play is only just crossing midfield. Smart attacking will bring the appropriate number of players forward and keep the defense guessing.

    According to EA, “Players have the ability to analyse space, work harder and smarter to break down the defense, and think two plays ahead.” 

    This is easily seen in the FIFA 13 demo.  Players are more active in the attack and seem to sense where the player is going with the attack.  Players can curve their runs, and for this reason are not caught offside as frequently. 

    Furthermore, EA has designed this attacking system so that “players make runs that pull defenders out of position and open passing channels for teammates.”  This will keep the player from building up attack and suddenly having to dribble past a wall of four defenders. 

Complete Dribbling

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    In FIFA 12, dribbling was more about flair than it was about the realistic use of dribbling to beat defenders in a one-on-one situation. 

    In FIFA 13, players have the ability to control their player on a 360 degree axis.  This give players the ability to better control where their skill move will end them in relation to the defender and goal. I have noticed that certain skill moves such as the roulette are especially helpful for setting up a nice shot on goal directly after beating defenders. 

    FIFA players who attack with the dribble will be extremely happy with this new feature.

First Touch Control

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    This feature is probably the most noticeable difference between FIFA 13 and its predecessors. It adds a sense of realism to the game, and it will definitely change playing strategy moving forward. 

    In FIFA 12, the ball would always be accepted with perfect control by each and every player.  This is a skill that only the best players can do consistently, and even then, there are passes that cannot possibly be controlled perfectly.  EA Sports has created a system that “transforms the way players control the ball, eliminating near-perfect touch for every player”. 

    Players will have to make more conservative passes and must realize that cross field passes that a player runs into will not be controlled perfectly at their feet.

    Players can feel one advantage to this.  When the ball does not always fall perfectly to players, it creates “more opportunities for defenders to capitalize on errant balls and poor touches to win back possession.”  This definitely creates a balance on the new smart attacking feature that players will have a harder time defending against.

Skill Games

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    One of the features of FIFA 13 that I did not know about until I played the demo is the Skill Games feature. These are games that you can play before kickoff and in the arena. They have a fun and different feel to them are a welcome addition to an arena that was starting to feel a bit stale. 

    Different games include short passing, long passing, penalties, crossing, chip shots and more. Players will have a good playing experience in a game setting that will also allow them to practice skills necessary for good FIFA play.

Tactical Free Kicks

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    This was definitely an improvement that was part of FIFA’s natural progression. This year, players have many more options when standing over a free kick. EA claims players have the ability to “create dangerous and unpredictable free kicks utilizing the most skillful players on the pitch.”  During demo play, it was easy to see that EA was implementing a system that would reward players for strategy and creativity.  Players can now “Position up to three attacking players over the ball and confuse opponents with dummy runs, more passing options, and more elaborate free kicks.” 

    Free kicks definitely have a different feel to them.  Players can now create thousands of different permutations with ease.  This system definitely beats the previous system that really only allowed players the ability to shot over or under the wall, pass to a third player, or cross into the box.