When EA Sports released FIFA Soccer 12, it changed the face of its ongoing soccer series and reminded everyone why it remains a worldwide phenomenon. Everything just clicked, from the online competitionm the buttery-smooth gameplay and slick presentation. However, there’s always room to make something better and that’s exactly what EA is doing with FIFA Soccer 13 this Fall. The company recently teased some information about the game, and while we didn’t go hands-on with it, it certainly paints a bright picture for the future of FIFA.
First of all you’ll be able to notice more real-world soccer type of play with FIFA 13, as the development team is really aiming for a more life-like presentation than ever before. They want the unpredictability to be more fun this time around, rather than adding to the frustration of competition. You’ll learn how to penetrate defenses better this time around, rather than trying to play keep-up with the opposition. This is done through five not-so-basic additions.
The first is Attacking Intelligence. This is essentially a re-tweaking of the in-game AI that will allow player positioning to be adjusted so that each player is able to see a play as it’s happening and adjust accordingly. This allows unpredictability, or open routes, to more easily free up. As a result, the defenders can easy fall out of position and thus the play changes to something a little bit different. Sometimes you can even read a defense properly and prepare accordingly with your own offensive plan, thus staying a step ahead – unless the opposition sees it coming…
Next up is Complete Dribbling. While that sounds like something that would be better suited for, say, NBA Live 13 the feature definitely fits in here. You’re now able to dribble the ball a full 360-degrees rather than one specific direction that might lead to a possible interception. Using your hips, you can now threaten an attack by giving the idea that you’re headed one way then “dribble” the ball a different one, letting you also dodge tackles and maintain a better position on the field. Considering how FIFA’s animations have already incorporated features like this in previous games, we can see this becoming an even more fundamental feature.
If you want to learn more about how unpredictability really enters the picture, look no further than the third feature: First Touch Control. With this you’ll need to have your player adjust when it comes to receiving tricky ball passes depending on defensive pressure, where the ball is coming in from, how high up it is when it comes in and whether your player is ready to receive the ball. It all sounds technical, but EA Sports has adapted this into a near flawless system where you can make a play happen no matter how you contact the ball. It also opens up the possibility of “loose balls” so you can make a run for the opposing goal if you manage to slip away, though that’s a pretty big “if” depending on what team you're facing.
FIFA 12 used a new Player Impact Engine, enabling you to take part in every motion on the field. That same technology returns for a second time around with the Player Impact Engine 2.0 with a number of modifications. Body size and strength come into play, especially when it comes to taking advantage of an opponent off a “bad touch”. You can also use your whole body when it comes to trying to making a defensive play. For instance, when someone shoots for the goal, a defender can try to get in the way if the goalkeeper isn’t ready for it. You can also create dog pile opportunities, giving the chance to draw in more members of the opposing team, and then trying to slip the ball loose to a waiting teammate. Pushing and pulling for position has never been so important.
Last but definitely not least, there’s the new Tactical Free Kicks system. This gives you the option of choosing up to three players with an incoming ball, so you can try to throw off opponents with fake-outs, passes and dummy runs. On the other side of that, defensive players can actually add players to a wall as they go by moving someone towards it or shielding an opportunity when it comes about. They can also inch the wall up, though they could draw a penalty as a result.
It sounds incredibly technical, but it’s all coming together to really enhance the soccer experience we’ve gotten used to in previous games. FIFA Soccer 13 will be given a more in-depth preview when we check it out next month at E3.