FIFA 13 First Impressions Preview - The Return of the King
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Pity the poor FIFA developer, slogging away every year to introduce something, anything new and improved to justify that hefty price tag, while also trying to avoid cocking up what went well before. It can’t be easy.

Pity the poor FIFA marketing team too, slogging away every year to convince the punters that this, this is the year. This time they’ve nailed every aspect of the game that they said they’d nailed last time, promise. It can’t be easy.

And pity the poor games journalist too, slogging away every year to make FIFA previews and reviews interesting, when the truth is that 99% of the readers already know whether they’ll buy the game or not. It’s not easy.

The truth is that FIFA 13 is going to get all of us working harder than ever to do our jobs. Last year it was easy to pin our focus on the Impact Engine, built from the ground up to improve the physicality of the players in the game. “Revolution not evolution” was the tagline and it worked rather well. This year we have no such luxuries. Not yet.

Instead, FIFA 13 looks set to offer up a series of iterative attempts at improvement. “Might be slightly better than FIFA 12 and we’ve definitely got all the new kits” could be the tagline. I’ll send it over to the marketing team and see what they think.

So what have we actually got? Well, this year’s game addresses five separate areas, all of which represent gameplay tweaks designed to capture the unpredictability of the sport. They include alterations to first touch control, player impact, dribbling, free kicks and attacking AI. Each sounds perfectly reasonable on paper.

The truth of the matter, however, is that the information we have is based on a hands-off presentation of the game that didn’t show any proper footage of the game. There were some wire-frame mock-up type-things, but that was it. You should mostly take the following as a statement of EA Sports’ intent. This is what they’re aiming for.

Let’s start with first touch controls. In previous versions of the game the ball would stick to your player’s toe like a teenager’s spunky sock, regardless of the quality of the player. Not any longer. Now the quality of your first touch will be dictated by the speed and power of the pass, as well as the momentum, positioning and skill of the receiving player.

The point of this is to encourage situations where a poor first touch can lead to different, organic feeling opportunities. You may not bring it under control perfectly first time, but maybe that touch will knock it past the defender. Or maybe you’ll just give it away under pressure. Either way, the intended result is realism.

Player collisions are also set to be tinkered with. The Impact Engine may have been one of FIFA 12’s most significant innovations, but it also threw up a few wonky and hilarious situations. With a few changes to the system, FIFA 13 is hoping to eradicate the impossible arm positions you occasionally see when one player holds off another, those homoerotic man love player pile-ups, the odd bug that saw players being flung into the air by the hips of opponents, and more.

Put simply, the arms are better, homosexuality has been removed and hips are weaker. Stick that on the back of the box, EA.

The dribbling has also been adjusted, with lateral movement made possible by the use of the left stick. This opens up far more attacking possibilities, as you can move around defenders while still facing the goal. Think FIFA Street but with less rainbow flicks. 360 degree control remains possible too, meaning your player movement should more closely reflect the real thing.

As will free kicks. Rather than just trying to pelt the ball in from 30 yards every time, FIFA 13 will encourage you to execute training ground set-pieces, with passing routines and dummied kicks becoming a possibility. You can also place extra players in the wall, then get them to lean out of the way to make a gap.

Beyond this, EA Sports has also been working on teammate AI and movement. New algorithms use your position to calculate a couple of moves ahead and discern what you intend to do, in order for attackers to make intelligent runs. They will also walk the offside line more intelligently as well as make diagonal runs into space.

There’s more too with further small, fiddly changes in store like improved referee intelligence around fouls and cardings, alternative pass types like dinked ground passes and lofted through balls, plus new animations for both play and celebrations. All sound like decent ideas, incremental improvements on a game that, to be fair, was pretty blummin’ good in the first place.

Yet the big stuff is yet to be revealed. We know there will be optional Kinect controls, but EA Sports remains tight-lipped about just how they’ll work, plus we’d be massively surprised if there wasn't a big feature to be unveiled at some point in the near future. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime devs, marketing teams and journos alike are all stuck trying to make iterative gameplay improvements sound exciting.

Still, at least we’re not Joey Barton. Nobody wants that. 


User Comments

Forum Posts: 97
Comment #1 by X V3NOM SLAPS X
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 03:45:09 AM
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Hope they make pro clubs a lot better!!!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #2 by Larsson91
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 03:50:26 AM
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FIFA 12 was a big improvement from FIFA 11, and I'm sure this won't be as revolutionary as you said. But, you're right, no one wants to be playing FIFA 12 once everyone else is rocking the new kits... it's a bit like fashion really!

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #3 by unabatedshagie
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 03:52:38 AM
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Meh, I've bought the last 4 or 5 releases of FIFA.

Think I'll give it a miss this year as my enjoyment of the series is quickly running out.

Forum Posts: 550
Comment #4 by fallout frank
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 03:55:09 AM
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Remove goalkeeper from pro clubs and I will be happy, very annoying going 0-0 just because their keeper can save everything simply by pushing A.

Forum Posts: 169
Comment #5 by Arron114
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 03:56:04 AM
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Can you export tevez out of this one to PGA for 6 months of the season ?

Forum Posts: 45
Comment #6 by 123yhman
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 03:56:50 AM
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'Still, at least we're not Joey Barton. Nobody wants that.' lol fucking class. Anyway the game sounds pretty good with a few new improvements

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #7 by AtomFire
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:00:49 AM
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Wheres all the comments saying same shit every year like with CoD?

This game has been going alot longer than CoD and i don't see any comments about it.


Forum Posts: 28
Comment #8 by ischas
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:07:18 AM
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"...momentum..." :(

Forum Posts: 169
Comment #9 by Arron114
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:07:57 AM
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@7 not as weird as you coming on here looking for a fight.

Fifa and other sports franchises have not once pretended to sell you a repackaged game as a brand new innovation.

Its been an updated seasonal sports game for well over 20 years. You are under no illusions what you're buying.

Forum Posts: 2773
Comment #10 by jtr1gg3r
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:14:04 AM
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How about they fix the referees.. been awful since FIFA 10!

They either give pens and free kicks for good tackles or jump in the way of your pass at every opportunity :L

Forum Posts: 54
Comment #11 by Clarky08
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:21:12 AM
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I always look forward to the new FIFA. Maybe the lack of revolution this time is another reason why they done EURO as add on rather than a new game as the differences between the games would be minimal.

I need my updated kits and rosters though and anything that brings the game closer to the real thing is a good thing in my opinion.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #12 by Xtrovert
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:43:12 AM
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i hope they improve everything about being offside, such as being able to play on if your opponent is offside but never gets to touch the ball, the replays actually show the players that are offside and not the person passing the ball etc. and i also hope they could finally have the j-league and the japanese national team in the game (i know that is probably never gonna happen but a man can dream lol)

Forum Posts: 90
Comment #13 by Oultranator0731
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:49:24 AM
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"Put simply, the arms are better, homosexuality has been removed and hips are weaker. Stick that on the back of the box, EA."

Quote of the year, lol.

I'll be getting FIFA as I normally do but I would like to see some improvements to Ultimate team and Pro Clubs.

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #14 by IggulStar
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:59:21 AM
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The main thing for me, is that I hope the do something about offsides. Shockingly awful in FIFA 11.

Forum Posts: 3655
Comment #15 by Akuza
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 05:06:13 AM
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FIFA 12 was quite a big step.

It also caused some ridiculous things to happen, where a player would touch you while your running and they would end up in the net causing the ref to give a red card...

I truly hope they sort that out.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #16 by Larsson91
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 05:09:29 AM
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#14, how can you complain about offsides? I've played FIFA 12 more than anyone here I'm sure and never once has the game got an offside wrong. Sure, sometimes the ref blows for a free kick for offside when he could let play carry on but that's hardly shockingly awful.

Forum Posts: 169
Comment #17 by Arron114
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 05:09:54 AM
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@15 hahah that happened to me.

Forum Posts: 98
Comment #18 by BADFELLA
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 05:39:41 AM
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just give us as a dlc update like euros...

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #19 by MajorBrusselsXI
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 05:57:58 AM
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@4 - And in contrast, I feel they should take goalkeepers out because of the noobs who think there strikers and then you lose 15-0.

Forum Posts: 93
Comment #20 by assassinscreeds
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 06:31:42 AM
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I want be a referee mode. Too many dodgy decision when winning ball yet get foul and sent off. That way we can all be Howard Webb and actually give decision MAN UTD. U could start in lower league and better u do u work up to league decidedes and cup finals

Forum Posts: 93
Comment #21 by assassinscreeds
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 06:33:53 AM
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Meant to say AGAINST man utd.. Whoops

Forum Posts: 36
Comment #22 by streetunderpt
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 06:47:51 AM
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I want them to fix the stupid freezing issues since the last patch!

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #23 by Igzy 23
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 06:53:43 AM
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Everyone is saying they want a referee mode but it will just be like handballs, everyone wanted them and I bet hardly anyone uses them because of how useless they are or against you all the time. Ref mode would gt boring very quickly IMO - I won't be getting this as I have sworn off EA games until mirrors edge 2 comes out.

Forum Posts: 115
Comment #24 by Mittens2317
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 06:54:37 AM
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I want ref settings: Off, Lenient, Normal, Strict, Realistic, 100% Correct.

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #25 by RikusTwilight
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 07:13:46 AM
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If they make it exactly like the Euro 2012 expansion I'll be happy. The Euro game sounds like what they're going for in 13, which would mean you actually have to pass it around defenders, inbetween teammates and make some good runs in order to score - rather than 12's "I'm going to be a 4 ft 3 player and sprint past everyone, cut back inside the box, and do a curved finesse shot which is virtually guaranteed a goal thanks to dodgy AI and/or lay it off to an attacking team member inside the box when in reality it should be possible to score yourself, so that the goalkeeper cannot get it and it's also a guaranteed goal"

Both of those things have been made harder to do in the Euro.
Guaranteed goals make Fifa, make Pro Clubs and make Online so boring. Let's have a bit of 'proper' football where not everything goes in all the time, where you build up an attack instead of sprinting past defenders all the time

Forum Posts: 1150
Comment #26 by Eggnogga
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 07:15:49 AM
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Thanks, but no thanks EA. Not this year.

Forum Posts: 1185
Comment #27 by MartyMcFly
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 10:08:54 AM
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Please just fix AI teammate passes. I don't know why they feel they have to chip/lob the ball to you from 5 yards away.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #28 by eskimoletdinov
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 10:16:55 AM
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as a fan of FIFA, played em all from the very 1st. i look at this list of changes and cant help but think, surely this could all fit into an update for 12 and actually do something a little different to the norm....before it said, i know, NEVER going to happen

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #29 by MajorBrusselsXI
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 12:21:13 PM
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Wheres the feature "Suarez no longer looks like a duck!"

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #30 by iiSNOWBALLx
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 01:50:39 PM
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please take out the feature where players moan 24/7. realism is nice but i don't want to be receiving them when im playing the game period.

Forum Posts: 162
Comment #31 by Don Pedro X
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:02:15 PM
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If they get rid of Ultimate Teams I'll be happy!

Forum Posts: 1193
Comment #32 by gazmaster1
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:21:02 PM
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Here is what I see happening. UT really brought to the fore front of the game, its what keep the cash flowing in. A few updates here and there which could of been done via an update to Fifa 12. Nothing much else. This is the lease exciting Fifa in a very long time. Ideas have ran out unless they have something up there sleeve. And why in the hell cant they update the fan graphics and player likenesses.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #33 by Foreseen 360
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 04:47:05 PM
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I love Fifa, every year I say that I wont buy it, but I always do. I don't like that they added UT in the retail game, it was a good idea when they released it as DLC, but now its taking up disc space and wasting gamerscore from the rest of the game that I enjoy playing. UT was only made, so they could make money from people buying packs, so they should just charge for the game mode as well.

Forum Posts: 175
Comment #34 by Yourburntstar
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 06:16:40 PM
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Bring on NHL 13 news.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #35 by jb369
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 07:50:21 PM
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As everyone else has said, FIFA 12 was a massive improvement over FIFA 11. However, as mentioned in the article, with FIFA 12, a lot was left to be desired, and personally, I wouldn't be overly disappointed if EA just decided to change a few things around for FIFA 13, and refine the great ideas they implemented into FIFA 12.
Also, I'm hoping for some more changes to career modes, mainly the AI. I get tired of having to restart in my 8th or 9th season because all the good players retire and big clubs are left with a misshapen club where they have to play 11 strikers or something similar. Would also be cool to see AI managers get fired for poor performance, and the ability to start unemployed or switch clubs mid-season.

Forum Posts: 425
Comment #36 by Colby
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 09:06:25 PM
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@31 why would they get rid of Ultimate Team? That is the best part of fifa.

Forum Posts: 3568
Comment #37 by exo-apollo
Friday, May 18, 2012 @ 12:00:39 AM
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Oh good the price of FIFA 12 will drop when this comes out. Casual football fan success!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #38 by scoobasteeb
Friday, May 18, 2012 @ 08:51:44 AM
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please.. please get rid of whatever it is that makes players leave in career mode. Every season, if a player is doing well, "i need to leave", if they are from spain "i dont like the weather" its rediculous. You go to barca and messi leaves, same with Ronaldo, Rooney and virtually every good player on the game. by far the most annoying thing.

Pro clubs needs to be sorted, if you are 3ft tall you should not be able to barge a 6ft AI out of the way, nor score every time you finness from the edge of the box.

But most importantly... more boots!! :P

Forum Posts: 232
Comment #39 by Klint Beastw00d
Friday, May 18, 2012 @ 04:26:07 PM
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Bring back the Turkish league please. So many good players in that league that need to be in the game.

Forum Posts: 394
Comment #40 by Ned King
Friday, May 18, 2012 @ 07:31:07 PM
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Anyone who's says get rid off Ultimate Team must be dreaming,its a cash cow for EA and I can only see them making it bigger in the future.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #41 by DirtySickNasty
Friday, May 18, 2012 @ 09:27:15 PM
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oh god they have to improve UT like only little things like with managers they should let u search for them by nationality and formation also with the healing cards search with the ones u need and formation cards u should be able to search for the formation u want like 4-4-2 and only get results of a 4-4-2 also for the positon cards and pro clubs should be like the fifa street world tour were u can make ur own jersey and crest and the players level up with u that should be in there were the AI players level up

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #42 by LovableCrazee
Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 09:26:23 AM
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Servers to be closed shortly

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #43 by k9 jsb
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 03:37:52 PM
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Id be happy just to see graphic improvements and maybe a touch of realism in the sense of referee blunders with no goals been given for balls just crossing the goal line and maybe a trait for players like Drogba and c.ronaldo hitting the floor trying to get FKs off soft tackles. Increased comentating variety is a big plus too, the longer the comentating stays fresh the longer and more suprising the apeal is

Forum Posts: 276
Comment #44 by DaMitchMan90
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 09:44:48 AM
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I hope they put more achievements in for pro clubs and ultimate teams

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #45 by M a t t y y 7
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 11:29:14 AM
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they need to make it alot harder to score a finesse shot because right now its far to easy so much noobs cutting in on the edge of the box and pressing rb seems to fly in the top corner every time. They fix that ill be happy :)

Forum Posts: 94
Comment #46 by Silent_Murder92
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 01:20:08 PM
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Sounds silly but all I want is for them to make Ultimate Team play time count towards 50 hour achievement that's if they decide to throw that in again this year!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #47 by Laurence Barker
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 09:11:18 AM
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@46 It doesn't sound silly at all. I put quite a bit of time into Ultimate team, only for it not to contribute to 50 hours of pitch time played. I still don't have that goddamn achievement...

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #48 by DR DRIBBLER
Sunday, May 27, 2012 @ 05:25:25 AM
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cant wait for fifa 13 at least that wont have them euros acheviments

Forum Posts: 537
Comment #49 by xRelentlessx
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 09:59:31 AM
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IMO opinion they spoiled Fifa 12 with the new tactical defending, takes so long to learn how to use and isn't anywhere near as effective as I'd hoped

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #50 by M3NAC3360
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 02:42:01 PM
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Everything in that article sounds exciting. Not really sure what the article poster is on.

New A.I is needed for attackers. Easily the worst thing about Fifa games this gen.

I am excited. Hopefully we see plenty of gameplay out of E3.

Forum Posts: 495
Comment #51 by djrapperz
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 05:13:11 AM
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I cant wait for FIFA 13 to come out. Ive been playing FIFA since 98. I am not always impressed with some things but no matter what i get it every year. Cant wait for achievement list to come out

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Game Info
EA Canada
EA Sports


US September 25, 2012
Europe September 28, 2012

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