The Five Fundamentals of FIFA 13

Is FIFA 13 the "revolution" EA is making it out to be, or are we just in for a new set of tweaks?

'

It is 11:05 AM. I am out of breath and covered in crumbs. Not just any crumbs, mind, but the crumbs of a Danish hastily eaten on a mad sprint to a meeting (there is nothing crumblier than a press-junket pastry). If sacrifices were to be made, though, eating a dignified breakfast was to be rightly one of them. For this was the grand unveiling of FIFA 13 and I was surrounded by the cream of the sports gaming press: a cadre of journalists from across Europe, all wide-eyed and eager to hear about the latest updates to the FIFA franchise. None of them were late or covered in crumbs.

There was no time to wallow in crumb-related self-consciousness, though. Important people were waxing lyrical on the future of the FIFA franchise. "Revolution, not evolution", said lead producer David Rutter. "Captures the unpredictability of real world football", said line producer Nick Channon." The world's most connected brand in sport", said Andrew Wilson, the head of EA Sports. This was a finely tuned marketing machine at full power.

The substance beneath the marketing spiel is five fundamental new features designed to enhance the way FIFA plays: an improved Player Impact Engine, AI improvements, a better dribbling system, tactical free kicks, and a brand new first touch system. Here's the lowdown on each.

Player Impact Engine

The Player Impact Engine is getting a range of tweaks. One of the biggest upgrades removes the comical pile-ups that occurred when players fell into each other, resulting in moments like the infamous Fabianski kiss. An algorithm will detect when a pile-up is happening and trigger a range of new animations that let players roll out of the collision without looking like they're trying to make out with each other.

Player statistics such as strength and balance will also affect the Player Impact Engine, particularly in push/pull situations. Stronger players will have an advantage in trying to win back the ball against weaker players, complete with new animations. The whole push/pull mechanic has been tweaked to be much stronger this time around, too, but there's a greater risk of conceding a free kick, should you use it too much.

Player statistics also play a greater role in off-the-ball situations. Defenders can use their size and strength to force opposing players into poor touches or bad decisions before they receive the ball. This potentially lets you interrupt the flow of the game, or better defend set pieces without actually having to steal the ball from the opposing team. It results in a "better balance" between attacking and defending, according to team EA.

Artificial Intelligence

A new positioning code makes up the bulk of the AI improvements, which should prevent many of the weird zigzag runs that happened in FIFA 12. AI players will analyse the whole length of a run by thinking two plays ahead, rather than just one. That means they will look at who will receive the ball next, and who is most likely to receive the ball after that, hopefully making better use of space and opening up more opportunities for creative goal scoring.

The referee gets an IQ upgrade too, or rather a sort of downgrade to make him more human. That means there will potentially be less super-human and ultimately unrealistic decisions. Referee position, line of sight, and a dose of human-fallibility should mean that sometimes mistakes will be made and decisions will sometimes be questionable.

Complete Dribbling

In addition to the 360-degree dribbling already in place, FIFA 13 will respond better to how far you push the analogue stick in a certain direction. You'll be able to slow down the pace during a run, allowing you to navigate better between opposing defenders. It's more natural as well, with players no longer having to face the direction in which you want them to dribble. That means you'll be able to dribble in any direction, but always face the goal, much like players do in real life.

As well as looking more natural, It'll also make it easier to shield the ball from defenders and get around them with skill moves. Tied into that is the introduction of the ball control mechanic from FIFA Street, that lets you stop the ball and move it around on the spot with your player's foot using an analogue stick. It was a great feature in FIFA Street, and it is a pleasant surprise to see the core FIFA team taking some its improvements on board.

Tactical Free Kicks

Free kicks have traditionally been rather static affairs in the FIFA series, but 13 aims to change all that with a new Tactical Free Kick system. You'll be able to position up to three players around the ball, two of which can perform a dummy to throw off the opposition. To balance that new ability out, defenders have the option of deciding how many players to put in a wall, whether to risk the wrath of the ref and tiptoe it forward, and when to jump. This results in a neat cat-and-mouse game between the two teams, with defenders trying to ensure they don't jump on a dummy and attackers making trying to decipher when the jump is made.

First Touch System

The final improvement EA unveiled for FIFA 13 was a brand new first touch system. It attempts to rectify the somewhat unrealistic first touches of FIFA players, who have the uncanny ability to control the ball to a dead stop, regardless of the type of ball coming into them. The new system takes into account external factors like how fast the ball is travelling, the height, and the angle, as well as player attributes, affecting how accurately the player is able to control the ball. This should result in more pop-ups, miss-hits, and the ball simply running away from players.

Evolution Not Revolution?

After two hours the presentation was over and the coffee had run out. And while my knowledge of FIFA was all the richer, I couldn't help thinking that perhaps FIFA 13 won't be quite the "revolution" that David Rutter was making it out to be. Sure, the "new" features are great, but many of them are merely enhancements of old ones. There is no huge overhaul that compares, for instance, to the Tactical Defending System in FIFA 12. Nor is there a great leap in the visuals to lust over--at least at this stage. Revolution? Perhaps not. But an already great game made better? That's still something to get excited about.

'

Written By

Want the latest news about FIFA Soccer 13?

FIFA Soccer 13

FIFA Soccer 13

Follow

Discussion

105 comments
MALMSTEEN4774
MALMSTEEN4774

Cant wait till i get Fifa 13 on my PS VITA!! :D

browny92
browny92

to be fair i think it sounds great there improving on core thing that wernt refined in fifa 12

jami_london
jami_london

Hopefully they change the offside mechanic,  i.e its never wrong , even buy a rizla paper , and let you change teams without having to return to arena every time when playing 2 player versus.  

I would also like to see much better on-line games , without the horrible lag that makes defending so difficult.

Fingers crossed....

NAT3_P
NAT3_P

If it ain't broken don't fix it! Do. We all agree FIFA is not broken?

erfanzaker76
erfanzaker76

why in the E3 press microsoft confrence didn't play therefore there wasn't who play the fifa 13.i'm so sorry i can't write english very well.I'm from asia

Thanks alot

marshalmathers2
marshalmathers2

What I hope to witness is the full realization of "PERSONALITY PLUS" where each and every individual player feels unique - on my hands - and behaves differently and more like his real counterpart. Difference in just 'speed' and 'weight' is not enough for me. Afterall, GAMEPLAY is what matters the most!

 

 For example I would like to tell the difference between 'Ramsey' and 'Wilshere' form Arsenal, 'Higuain' from 'Huntelaar', 'Adebayor' from 'Drogba', and 'Ribery' from 'Robben'.

TruSake
TruSake

what EA needs to do is figure out how to stop losers from quitting an online game just because they're losing the game. Such as give the other player a loss and give you an instant win, or at least let give the other player a loss and the CPU takes over to battle you for the win.

Pockets92
Pockets92

I'm rather excited about this. I do like the idea of the referees being 'more human'. Just makes things more interesting, well up to the point where a decision doesn't go your way. I'm rather interested to see if EA are going to add leagues such as the Blue Square Bet Premier into the game. I certainly would love to play as my local team and get them to the top of Premier League and win a few champions league, but one can dream. Will be interested to hear more about what they are adding to the game.

dnguyen3
dnguyen3

Great, an addition of human fallibility, realistic refs, and more accurate stats is going to make it harder to beat anyone who uses Barcelona. 

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

All FIFA needs is AI that's above NES levels. What good is having all those licensed teams when the players can stand there and ignore rebound after rebound. Even most animals would have a reflex to deflect something coming at them, launching it back (and into the net).

MVan86
MVan86

Sounds to me like a heavy dose of refinement - since it's basically most systems being cleaned up while a few new touches have been added. Still would we rather gradual yearly refinements or gaps of several years between games returning us to a hit and miss aspect?

 

@ohjtbehaaave Do you have the same attitude to all yearly franchises, whether or not they're owned by EA?

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Don't fall for it people!  "Revolution"!!!  lmao.  Just another fancy word EA's marketing dept dreamed up to slap more BS on the back of the box and repackage the same game for $60 bucks.  If you're fine paying that for minor tweaks and roster updates fine... but you should get your head checked.  EA is just biding it's time with total rehashes/reheats of the Sports games until the next gen systems arrive.

Turkish_Swag
Turkish_Swag

If this is all that is going to change the 11-12 change was bigger. The freekick change had to happen. It felt like everything was automatic. Hopefully they will improve the Ultimate team. no changes last year...

triple-hunt
triple-hunt

Not really into football, but I do love the games. Gonna love this one even more so as York City will be on it! :-) 

 

Gonna get my home City to the premiership on the Vita :-) 

 

Would be awesome if this had cross-play between vita and ps3... Any of you think this may be so?

lilceazer
lilceazer

I really do have two requests from EA;

Firstly sort out the servers!!!!

Secondly add a booting system on team play because it is really hard trying to play with your mates when you have someone on your team who wont pass or will score own goals.

dnguyen3
dnguyen3

"Revolution, not evolution" sounds like marketing to me. You can only get as realistic to soccer by playing the sport itself, EA is only going to tweak it in little ways. I like FIFA but a whole "revolution" is not convincing me enough this is going to be huge. 

bigruss51
bigruss51

Fifa 12 is already an amazing game and the new features will make it even better. I wish EA could make a decent NHL game.

 

fotis52
fotis52

The same thing every year... Announcements for additions with fancy names, most of them impossible to do since they require hitting 10 buttons all together, only to end up to the final game and realise that half of them is garbage, others don't work etc....

shalashaska88
shalashaska88

PES fans...are like Liverpool fans. Living in the past.

dark_rising76
dark_rising76

Player impact does need a good improvement but it wasn't horrible. I just wish that EA will make career mode more exciting. The morale system was for the most part unrealistic at times and there should be an easier way to search for players that are available for transfers.

 

Other improvements that I feel they need to really concentrate on is goalie defending better, fouls by AI, do preset formations AND squads so we don't have to keep switching and changing our squad lineup on the main management page, better presentation and commentary (Martin Tyler and whoever the other guy is that rarely speaks), international duties (Olympics, World Cup or Euro Cup) and finally louder stadium music.  

marshalmathers2
marshalmathers2

Can someone tell me exactly how did KONAMI copy EA SPORTS?

Fact :FIFA introduced "Be a Pro"PES copied "Become a Legend"Fact :FIFA introduced "First Touch Controls" & "Skill Moves"   (right analog stick)PES copied "Feints" - or whatever its called.What's going to be next? controlled goal celebrations?  Precisoin Dribbling? Tactical Defending?I can't believe how blind PES fans are.Yes 'Pro Evo' is a fun game, but it needs hardcore fans to get past its glitchy play style and faulty animation to actually be able to play it.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

$10 roster updates LOL! EA is a joke!!!!

Kaanki53
Kaanki53

I just laugh at the PES fanboys :) Come on guys all the world sees that FIFA is better then PES at the last two years. Before then, PES was better, future ? I don't know. But what I know is that FIFA is the best now.

CincoToes
CincoToes

 @NAT3_P Hell yeah, just sell the same game every year! Good thinking.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

 @MVan86 Many do it... but EA Sports has it down to an art form.  They spend more money on marketing and selling BS than they spend on actual development of the next game.

bigruss51
bigruss51

 @dnguyen3

 they have to come up with something to say to get people excited about the game. From here on out we won't see any revolutions until next gen. But it will still be a good improvement and thats alright with me. The big thing for me is team licensing. They should have all the teams from the world and euro cup and include those tournament options so we don't have to go to the previous games. 

marshalmathers2
marshalmathers2

 @dark_rising76 You made some good points there. Don't agree about goal keepers because they seem just fine to me ( they shouldn't be robotic as they were on previous games as if they were drone to the ball like magnet ) .I seriously don't see player impact is of much ' impact ' on gameplay!!! What they are trying to make is valid, trying to mimic real life 'ball control' as players need to actually control the ball coming at 'em and they might need extra touches and steps to gain full control on the ball. Also it is very interesting that they are finally addressing the issue of making the players move the ball in a realistic manner having to control its distance away from the players when they are running with it. "Precision Dribbling" added great difference in the way the game can be played, and taking into consideration how far an analog stick is being pushed to kick away and dribble the ball - in my opinion - adds some more. I just hope it's integrated into BOTH analog sticks rather than just one.

shalashaska88
shalashaska88

 @DaWarthog Wow this is dumb, I got my January transfer updates FOR FREE. If you're gonna slap some dirt on the game do a research first!

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

 @Kaanki53 You never said anything to defend the cheezing in your fake game. If FIFA is so much better why are they trying to imitate PES.

MVan86
MVan86

 @ohjtbehaaave I asked if you have this attitude towards ALL yearly franchises regardless of who owns or distributes them, not about your attitude towards EA.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

 @shalashaska88 How the hell you don't know when you are getting nickel and dime to death. This is the argument I have to put up with here. You can't even play online unless you pay for the roster updates. Or maybe we should call it a hidden online pass for people that bought the game new. It doesn't matter to me. I didn't say every time you there a roster update its $10. Its a one time fee come dude get with the program.

shalashaska88
shalashaska88

 @DaWarthog Tell me, WHICH part is it that they're trying to imitate so much? I've played both games and they've been imitating each other for quite some time now.

 

I admit FIFA did take some elements from PES. But so are other games of other genre! And you know what, EA added more stuff to what they took from PES like collision, improved animation every yearWhat did Konami do? Improve the terrible running animations? Terrible passing mechanics? Its all their fault, they took fans who bought their game evry year for granted. Ive been a fan of the Goalstorm/ISS pro/WE/PES for so many years, and I've just had it with them this gen. So shut up, and evaluate. If you love PES more, go ahead. But you come here and tell us FIFA sucks, you're just asking for it. 

marshalmathers2
marshalmathers2

@MVan86

The way I see it: EA Sports are making cycles of Jump, Tweaks, Jump again in a few years. I'll explain what I've experienced as a long time FIFA player (plus THAT other rival football sim) in adding new ideas and innovations to each year's installment.

 

e.g. FIFA 2001 - 2006 were all tweaks and finessing of the same structure with stand-outs like FIFA2003 and FIFA06.

 

 FIFA 07 : A ground breaking Jump by intoducing FREE BALL PHYSICS.

 

 FIFA 10 : A reasonable jump by what feels like changing the whole infra-structure of the game and improving players physics.

 

 FIFA 12 : TACTICAL DEFENCE .

It's what separates FIFA 12 from the rest. Not just from past FIFA games, but from any football sim I've ever played before. Can't imagine how can they improve it but I'd appreciate it.

"Precision Dribbling" is another fine aspect that you can actually feel when you're holding the controller. The most celebrated of the trinity; "Impact Engine" didn't strike me as much.It's then natural that FIFA 13 will be a more tweaked version infused with great new ideas in pursuit of realism. It's never an easy task for developers to come up with such leaps in innovation like those achieved during the past few years of the FIFA franchise.

 

 What I hope to witness is the full realization of "PERSONALITY PLUS" where each and every individual player feels unique - on my hands - and behaves differently and more like his real counterpart. Difference in just 'speed' and 'weight' is not enough for me. Afterall, GAMEPLAY is what matters the most!

 

MVan86
MVan86

 @ohjtbehaaave Personally I thought the tactical defending set up in FIFA 12 was a big difference from the system in 11.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

 @monker490 I've played ALL the newest  EA Sports games and they only add MINOR tweaks to the games.  FIFA and NHL are good game engines... but they are both now totally in reheat mode.  If paying $60 bucks for basically the same game every year is your thing then more power to ya.  I will say this... FIFA and NHL are on another level of quality compared to how mediocre Madden has been for years.

monker490
monker490

 @ohjtbehaaave Ummm. Ii can tell which FIFA game is which after atching them in action for just 10 seconds. Seems you've never played FIFA and you're only harking because you bought Madden year after year which doesn't even come close to FIFA's yearly innovation

MVan86
MVan86

 @ohjtbehaaave We will indeed because I think you're determined just to hate EA without even stopping to give them a chance to prove you wrong or right.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

 @MVan86 You're the perfect example of a blind sheep filling the EA cash cow paying $60 a pop each year for the same game that's basically a roster update. I guarantee if there were 4 FIFA games playing on different tv's you wouldn't be able tell FIFA 12 from the last 3 games.

Same goes for Madden.  But it's a free country... you can spend your money on $60 reheats and however you choose.  I'm done with nonsense.  We'll just agree to disagree.

MVan86
MVan86

 @ohjtbehaaave I did ask if you criticise everyone who does it not JUST EA. I've played FIFA 11 and 12, 12 does indeed feel different and better so I don't see your 'plain truth'.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

 @MVan86 Well since my comments are in a FIFA thread... which is EA SPORTS... it all makes pretty good sense now doesn't it.  This isn't a debate on who milks franchises.... this a pointing out how Madden, FIFA and many EA Sports game are rip offs in a FIFA thread. That's just the plain truth.  Sorry you can't accept it or are too blind to see it. 

MVan86
MVan86

 @ohjtbehaaave No I'm sorry, you're just hating on EA not all yearly franchises that do pretty much exactly the same thing.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

 @MVan86 In short I'm pointing out EA Sports has been pulling a scam for years now with releasing reheats of the SAME game for it's sequels... for $60 bucks.   It's much more blatant than what other franchises are doing.  If telling it like it is is hating... than so be it.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

 @MVan86 Not "ALL" franchises pull the scam EA Sports does which is release a reheat of the last game with minor additions.  So each case is different.  In this case with FIFA... Madden, NCAA FB... it's basically the SAME game engine you've played for 5 years straight now without much innovation.  At least when you see a game like Assassins Creed being pumping out each year... there's obvious money, ideas and EFFORT being put into the next installment.  EA Sports are slackers and just cruising with their Sports titles most years.

shalashaska88
shalashaska88

 @DaWarthog Er, dude. I have never, EVER invested or put any money for my PSN account. How do they even take my money when there's zero amount of credit in my account? I played online, for 3 YEARS of FIFA, I have not paid a single cent for it. What the hell are you talking about??? You work for Konami or something???

shalashaska88
shalashaska88

 @DaWarthog At least I'm giving you arguments. What are you doing? Spewing out profanities, talking like some big man, when there is not a single intelligent post coming out of your mouth. pfft.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

 @shalashaska88 You're just bi%*h a$$ fan. Learn how to say how you feel without ranting as if its that time of the month for you and maybe we can have a real conversation.