As the current console generation wanes somewhat, the experiences these octogenarian machines offer continue to impress. In their twilight years, they’re akin to the old bastards who steadfastly continue their Karate for Seniors class and their crossword puzzles. As such, gaming as a medium continues to evolve and metamorphose almost tangibly. (Mr. PS3 and Mr. 360 won’t be found shrieking incoherently at a streetlight one night, demanding to know why its visits to the home have unceremoniously ceased whilst wantonly flailing a tin of cat-food. Why no, their OAP marbles are all accounted for. Their peers can reminisce about the glorious occasion they kicked Hitler in the ’nads, while all festooned in a piss-sodden blanket. Messrs PS3 and 360, meanwhile, aren’t senile quite yet.) Amusing pensioner-mocking analogies aside, one genre that seems committed to unceasing advancement is the sports game. How best to accentuate the promise of these stellar upcoming titles? With some compare-and-contrast piss-taking of some of Satan’s shit-tastic sports offerings of the past, naturellement.
My first video game experience with soccer was the feculent ball-ache Actua Soccer 3, which was thrust upon us (presumably as retribution for some heinous past-life crime) in 1998. While the game’s ‘wonderful audio’ and ‘stunning high-def graphics’ are heralded, these are nothing more than filthy, filthy hyperbole-box-blurb-lies; for which the author deserves a ballistic missile containing an assortment of extra-spiky porcupines to the crotch. Twice. And then thrice. It was the first series to introduce polygonal players, as opposed to 2d sprites on a three-dimensional playing field, I’ll concede. Alas, though, the effect was as aesthetically pleasing as the result of my great fruit-binge of 2010 (which constituted a vast quantity of liquified turd that left me completely dehydrated. A resolute portion of the bastard refuses to flush to this day, a testament to my valiant brown achievement). Suffice it to say, you must squint from thirty feet away, eyes beleaguered with ten cataracts apiece, before dubbing these ‘incredible graphics.’ Most pertinently, there’s a rampant disjointed feeling about the play, characteristic of these early soccer sims. The hilarity of the limb-flailing tackles was the pinnacle of contests between players at this juncture, and immersion in the game suffered as a result. Soccer can scarcely be termed a man-tacular man’s game for man-beasts, cannonball-testicled guys need only apply (indeed, oftentimes the players plunge grass-wards and undulate wildly like big girls should an opponent even exhale in their vicinity) but the shirt-rending jostling is a crucial element of the sport. FIFA Soccer 13, in a somewhat conservative series, looks set to be the first to lend this vital constituent ingredient to the tasty, tasty cake of soccer video game realism.
It’s looking to be a magnificent one too, with those delightful sprinkles and suchlike. Perhaps it’s chocolate. It’s too early to say.
Axiomatically wonderful visuals in this image from EA aside, FIFA Soccer 13 represents an extraordinary accomplishment for the genre. I have spoken previously about the AI embellishment for both attacking and defending squad members (right here in our E3 preview, for your perusal/delectation) but it’s the radical Player Impact Engine that’s truly tantalizing. As you see in the clip above, players will now compete for position, jostle and shove each other with abandon. (It is rumored that they’ll partake in some jovial jeering, suggesting that their counterpart’s mother is morbidly overweight and other such sadism. This remains unconfirmed.) As such, it’s hardly bullshit hyperbole to venture that sports games have possibly never seen realism on this grand scale. The line between arcade title and simulation is becoming so blurred, we could be looking at it through the eyes of myopic moron Mr. Magoo.
Providing that repeated staccato references to soccer as ‘football’ don’t cause you to expel great waves of righteous projectile-bile-vomit (which is an actual genuine ailment that afflicts some of us, I’m told) you can also revel in this demonstration of FIFA Soccer 13‘s social integration: