A little while ago I acquired a PS Vita and the latest FIFA game for Sony’s nifty hand-held.  I was instantly addicted, whilst occasionally frustrated.  The game was so easy to jut pick up and play, and the games flowed nicely and there was an inherent passion emanating from the game.

So when FIFA 13 came out for my console of choice, the XBox 360, I jumped at the chance to play it.  Of course, because I was already used to the game-play I jumped right into the career mode and started playing for Arsenal.  Sadly however, shortly after signing me, Arsenal decided to loan me out to lowly Stoke City.  I was gutted, but determined to make the most of my situation.

Jumping from one version of FIFA to another is easy, the basics always stay the same, and over the course of a few games you figure out what’s been tweaked and what’s new.  A couple of things jump out right away, the first being that the AI is defiantly more intelligent.  Where I was able to run circles around opposition defense on the Vita, I was now having to work extremely hard for every single goal.

The next thing I immediately noticed was that when you make a run towards the goal, your perspective shifts and you get a kinda forced tunnel vision as you feel yourself actually running with the ball.  It’s hard to explain in writing, and it totally throws you for a while, but once you get used to it, it makes the game seem more real.

The collision physics seem to have been ramped up as well, with some amazing rag-doll moments when striker and goalie both rush the ball.

Another more subtle change is the removal of your magnetic boots.  Now when you get passed the ball, it won;t automatically stick to your feet, but behaves more like a real ball, and if you’re rushing too fast you may just end up having the ball bounce off you.  Oh the embarrassment.

And finally, unlike on the Vita, you can’t just hold down the sprint button for the whole match, or you’ll pull a muscle.  Pulling a muscle pretty much sucks, it can happen when you’re about to score or set up a goal and you’ll pull up short and come to a stop.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to play on after a few minutes of not being able to do anything.  If you’re unlucky, you’ll hobble off to the sidelines and spend the next few weeks on the bench recovering.

Whilst missing games sucks, these little tweaks all add to the depth of the game, making it a much moire enjoyable experience.  EA often get flak for pushing out new copies of the same games each year, but the improvements they’ve made with FIFA this year really do elevate the game.


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