7 Ways FIFA 13 Can Improve on FIFA 12
With the first screenshots and details being released yesterday, Addicted-Gamers looks at how FIFA 13 can improve on the most critically-acclaimed game in the series. Whilst its redeeming features were many, there were still plenty of reasons to induce rage and spout vitriolic abuse at our TV screens. Here are seven ways FIFA 13 can improve on FIFA 12.
1.The Impact Engine needs to go
Don’t get me wrong, FIFA 12 was a perfectly playable game and, at times, a fantastic representation of the beautiful game but the Impact Engine ruined what could have been an amazing game. You don’t have to look far to see the problems with it: YouTube is filled with videos of ridiculous physics and game-breaking moments thanks to the much-heralded Impact Engine. To say it needs to go may be a bit extreme (and, judging by yesterday’s comments, impossible as it is included in next year’s game) but more often that not it ruins the game and it simply wasn’t needed. FIFA 11 got on perfectly fine without bumping in to players and it wasn’t something the fans were clamouring out for so the exclusion of this feature would be much-welcomed. At the very least, moments such as the referee getting in the way of the ball need to removed. If the Impact Engine did its job properly then it wouldn’t be noticed at all but it has gotten far too much coverage to be a worthwhile component of the annual franchise.
2. The emphasis on speed need to be toned down; technical ability should count for more
Now on to the gameplay: FIFA 12 was much improved over the past few entries in the FIFA series. Gone were the unrealistic ping-pong passing and over-emphasis on chipped goals as slick passing and clever play was encouraged. At least, that’s what should have happened. Unfortunately, speed counts for everything on FIFA 12, no more so than in the game’s Ultimate Team mode. Card prices are dictated by how fast a player is and for very good reason. Speed undermines any technical ability a player has and it encourages unfair teams and is generally unbalanced. Case in point: Lionel Messi has scored 72 goals this season at the time of writing, yet I wouldn’t rate him in the top 20 players in the game thanks to his slow, plodding actions and his lack of physical attributes means he is shrugged off the ball by a stronger, faster player. This really needs a re-think. Barcelona have curbed this trend in real life and this needs to be reflected in-game.
3. A step up in graphics/presentation
FIFA has been living inside its own bubble for years. EA’s other franchises often utilise state of the art presentation to make it look like you are watching the game on TV. Even other sports franchises such as the NBA 2K series and NCAA football have included incredibly lifelike representations of sports stars and athletes which make FIFA’s efforts look, quite frankly, pathetic by comparison. Players look like vague waxwork models of themselves (unless you are a global face of the game such as Wayne Rooney) and the complete lack of detail around the stadium is baffling. Pro Evolution Soccer gets the right mix with cameramen, managers and an actual dugout all present but FIFA lacks any of the atmosphere. The game feels too sterile and the real lack of crowd chanting and crowd movement (the 2D cardboard clones are laughable in this day and age) ensure that FIFA loses its edge and it also loses what makes football, well… football.
4. A More engaging career mode
I stopped playing career mode within my first two weeks of purchasing career mode. Why? To put it bluntly, it wasn’t very fun. I’ve already mentioned how sterile the game feels and it is a similar occurrence when grinding through the career mode. It doesn’t feel like you are managing a team but just playing another offline-game. FIFA 12 took a short step in the right direction with players actually questioning your decisions but I want to see training included, personalities clashing in the squad and a true online component. How cool would it be to play an online season with your friends a la F1 2011? It would add another dimension to the online play and it would keep players coming back again and again to show who’s the boss.
5. AI revamp
Where do I begin? This is possibly the more stressful part of FIFA 12. For the uninitiated, the AI join you on Pro Clubs (where you control one person and let the AI do the rest of the work) and also face off against you in offline-matches. On the harder difficulties the AI simply toy with you by predicting your moves and passing around the midfield to ensure every game ends goalless. When they eventually try and get the ball in the box, they inevitably end up scoring cheap goals. Sure, the sliders can be modified for a more personal experience but the out-of-the-box AI are frustrating and don’t play as if a real team would play. The AI that accompany you on Pro Clubs do their level best to stop you from winning any game. Whether this involves falling over their own legs, passing a ball to the opposition striker or letting in a slow-moving shot is up to them. It is extremely frustrating to lose games when it’s not your fault. The Artificial Intelligence needs to become intelligent.
6. Ultimate Team overhaul
EA Vancouver took a step in the right direction by actually including Ultimate Team as a free add-on this year and whilst it certainly is one of the most fun aspects of FIFA 12, it certainly can be improved for next year. Madden has the right idea when it comes to Ultimate Team, there are more choices for stadiums and players and there should be more choice next year. Legend Cards should be introduced in the game, who wouldn’t want Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi in the same team? Lessons could be learned from other series. Uncharted TV is a welcome step forward in online gaming. Being able to watch other people’s matches or a ‘goals of the week’ compilation would really add something to the game. Chemistry also needs to be improved. It has been suggested that, the more you play with a team, the more used to each other they become. It certainly makes a lot more sense than the archaic system they have now where nationality overrules everything.
7. Stop exploits and increase beta testing
Anyone who plays FIFA- from people like me who play it religiously, to those who play every now and then- will have seen a trend of players exploiting certain methods online to their advantage. A common one is the aforementioned ‘pace abuse’ but there are more troubling ones such as hacking leaderboards and pros to max out their stats. EA have not listened to feedback or simply ignored the evidence and, for a game to be out for nine months without many of the issues being dealt with smacks of ignorance or arrogance- I’m not sure which one they’re more guilty of. Before FIFA 13 comes out the entire game and all of its idiosyncrasies need to be tested, even if it needs to delayed until late-Autumn. From the date of release, EA need to work with the community to ensure exploits are easily patched and stopped before they become too popular.
How would you improve things for FIFA 13? Does it even need improving at all? Leave some feedback in the comments below and keep reading Addicted-Gamers for all of the latest FIFA 13 news.