chris-littlechild - June 1, 2012
The FIFA Soccer series is surely one of the most prolific in the EA Sports arsenal. It began in 1994, and the official licensing from FIFA has ensured that the games have become the world's most popular soccer sim. (Consider Pro Evolution Soccer, and its laughable team names. The generic-amundo ‘London FC', anyone? The players got a similar treatment, with Le Saux dubbed Le Doe in an amusing little prevarication to prevent THOR'S HAMMER OF COPYRIGHT JUSTICE descending from the skies to smite the groins of Konami's employees.) Realism, indeed, has always been the cornerstone of the franchise. Never has this been more evident than with Fifa Soccer 13, which truly looks to be a revolutionary step for the sports genre.
Each annual incarnation has brought new modes, control methods and systems to FIFA. As such, players across the globe are clamoring to hear what will be debuting in this installment. Happily, the early signs are heartening indeed. The previous game's ‘tactical defending' mechanic dealt nicely with the threat of the auto-tackle and the sad plight of oft-beleaguered attacking players. This time, advancements in A.I have also been added to the goal-hungry squad members too. You'll see strikers ‘predicting' moves you're performing and adjust their runs accordingly, making better use of space on the pitch. Executive Producer David Rutter promised in a recent interview that your men will have the capacity of "thinking two plays ahead." (An extraordinary dichotomy of fear and wonderment emerges at this notion. Do we applaud such radical advances in gaming A.I, or call in Will Smith in his I, Robotshooting shit right up guise?) Each confrontation in FIFA Soccer 13 has been slapped across the realism-balls like an overly-amorous little dog too. For the first time, opponents are able to use their bodies to block each other, rather than flailing their legs around ineffectually like a pissed spider on a greased surface. In short, this new entry to the series is certainly shaping up to be an immersive, visceral experience.
It's a significant release for many reasons. The series and its progeny has been criticised over the years for its steadfast aversion to major change. Lazy sequel syndrome, if you like. Even so, a protracted period of refinement has led the FIFA titles to their loftiest heights yet. Reviews for last year's efforts were laudatory indeed, players and critics alike raved about FIFA Soccer 12. While there were gripes about collision detection and other minor matters, there are signs that these are being addressed. There is nothing better for a gamer than to see a developer willing to take complaints into account and address them. From the tantalising taster we've been given so far, this appears to be just the case with EA Sports. As a result, I'm anxious to see if we're truly being given one of the most realistic sports sims yet. Another welcome sign is the suggestion of improved player-likenesses. This next step towards authenticity has been improving at a fantastic rate too, as this comparison between FIFA Soccer 12 and its expansion pack UEFA Euro 2012 shows:
To see if the game lives up to this wonderful early promise, stick with Egotastic!; as the body-odour-addled masses descend on E3 from June 5.
Images provided by EA.