FIFA 13: First thoughts from the Demo

Like many other EA Sports fans, yesterday I finally got the chance to play the hotly anticipated Fifa 13 Demo and I have to say, I really liked what I saw.

First and foremost, a change in fluidity is very noticeable, especially when in possession of the ball; this creates a much more exciting game when attacking.

The increased off-ball movement paired with the new dribbling controls creates the opportunity for more chances, whilst defensive errors appear to be more prevalent. I really like this.

The aerial play also seems much improved. The through balls and chipped shots/volleys have really impressed me. Unlike last year’s game, the ‘over-the-top’ passes can actually split the opposition defence leading to further chances.

A pass over the back four can now fall kindly to an attacking player, who can finish the move off with a stunning chipped volley. For me, these changes simply make Fifa 13 feel nicer to play.

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On the other hand, I’m not a fan of EA’s new first touch feature. Considering that the teams available to control in the Demo are some of the best sides in Europe, at times the first touch of these players is really pretty poor.

Often the degree of miss-control seems very exaggerated, this worries my slightly bearing in mind I’ve been using some of the better players on the game – imagine the carnage when playing with the lower league sides. However, I’m sure I’ll grow used to this change once I’ve slightly more match practice on the full game.

With regards to the actual gameplay, I’m overall very impressed – it’s certainly a big step up from the 2012 edition. For the first time in years you can really notice the small changes that have been made.

The role of player pace also seems to have changed – no longer is the game dictated by the faster players. In previous years, player speed and acceleration has been the easy route to success in any match. EA seem to have changed this for FIFA 13. Now the faster players seem less overpowered making the match engine feel much more realistic and fair.

Finally, I love the new match day feature. There’s not really much to comment on so far, but it seems to give the game a more professional edge. Even from the demo I get the feeling FIFA 13 will be more in touch with events that are currently happening in reality.

The in-game match experience also benefits from the match day option. Throughout the demo commentary we’ve already experienced much more in-depth and detailed player analysis than ever before. Hopefully in the full game this will continue for all the teams. In previous title’s, this has been the one feature that the FIFA franchise has been lacking, especially compared to the American EA Sports games such a Madden NFL.

Already FIFA 13 looks like a very tidy game, it seems like EA have excelled themselves again.

I look forward to the full release on the 28th September, no doubt that’ll bring a number of late nights.

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