Virtual footballers about two weeks removed from finally playing the next installment of FIFA. We bet, in the meantime, diehard fans are giving FIFA 13's demo plenty of burn in anticipation for the game's release. The first touch control and the AI's much improved movement off the ball will evidently jump out. Meanwhile, previews of FIFA 13 have given the usual promises but what areas need the most polishing over last year? Take a walk and see where FIFA 13 can't afford to falter. FIFA 13's arrival is fast approaching so we can only hope EA made good on the following concerns.
Possession, Possession, Possession -- FIFA sets out to be a sim franchise, but the ball control at times makes you feel like you're playing Sensible Soccer. Successful tackling, even with tactical defense, still feels too frequent and the indian-giving dis-possessions occur far too often. Unnatural momentum and reflexes play roles in those instances. Nevertheless, ball control should be hard fought and mostly won by intercepting passes and forcing bad touches/passes; you know, kind of like how it works in real life. FIFA 12 achieved this aspect of the game to a degree, so the lane's open for FIFA 13 to make things right. The demo holds for some optimism but the true test lies in how it'll translate in matches against human opponents.
Pressure Costs Shape -- FIFA 12's AI teammates, who can't make a run to save their lives, are unrelenting in their own half and provide clairvoyant cover with the right settings. This just can't be in a game with realism as its calling card. It's possible to play out of it as seen in the video above. However, any seasoned player will tell you it's far harder to pass effectively against custom high pressure tactics than it is to just sit back and let the computer do all the work. Additionally, there should be a better balance between playing an open game versus parking the bus, depending on how teams actually play.
Dribbling VS Defending (Once Again!) - FIFA 12 made notable strides in one-on-one match ups via precision dribbling and tactical defending. However, you and your opponents can still do alright by just charging into attackers in hopes of a clean possession. Auto tackling should be severely toned down in terms of its frequency and success. Meanwhile, dribbling ability should be sensibly tuned to player abilities like it's always been.
Passing -- Ping-pong passing used to plague older versions of FIFA. The compromise in later editions makes the ball travel as if the pitch got covered with sludge. Weighted through-balls should still have their zip about them with a considerable accuracy loss to keep things believable. Also, what I'm about to say may sound radical, but I really think EA should force manual passing for ranked online matches. Users will have to adjust quickly and, honestly, a whole community being forced to take care of the ball will create better, more accurate football in the long run.
"These Refs Must Be Bought Or Something" -- The "inconsistency" of ref calls in FIFA 12 became frustrating from the jump. Obvious fouls don't get called and incidental contact gets carded. Meanwhile, these dudes call off-sides if your big toe so much as taps the line. EA really needs to work on call recognition since bad officiating really ruins the flow of a match.
Career Mode, All of It -- The mode has been riddled with game-breaking bugs, unbelievable transfers and no licenses for major tournaments. The latter won't get remedied as long as PES holds on to the rights for the spectacles like UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Nevertheless, there should be no reason why your save just freezes or, in my case, seeing David Silva suddenly want to join Arsenal in his prime. Hey, I didn't fight it. Yet moves like that just aren't plausible and ruin the authenticity of it all.
What am I doing wrong? -- Your match rating seemingly likes to go up and down whenever it pleases. I know it's tied to how the team plays as a whole, but it's still vague. FIFA 13 should just go back to FIFA 10's system, which put individual play in higher regard and highlighted your mistakes on the fly.
Fatigue -- Pro footballers have to be extremely fit to play week in and out. Yet even they get gassed when the minutes piled on. FIFA 12 made a step in the right direction by adding cramping and dropping performance by the bitter end of the game. Burnout effects ought to kick in quicker though: especially for players abusing the turbo button. Make people think twice about constantly making runs down the flanks. Then, maybe, we can get more substitutions and intelligent, creative build-ups going across the board.
Do Something About These Be A Pro Hackers -- Online Be A Pro modes have been riddled by cheaters customizing stats for unreal, game-breaking attributes. These hackers have been a problem practically since Be A Pro came about. At this point EA ought to do a much better job in banning/suspending these dudes to make competition fair for everyone. There's no point in touting Be A Pro's online features annually if they can't get it right.
Let Us "Cook," EA -- FIFA's been good about including a wide array of goal celebrations. However, we've been long overdue for one of sports' great victory dances to make an appearance in the series. Lil B's internet sensation should've gone digital and international by now, so FIFA 13's the perfect platform to accomplish those feats. Besides, the possibility of seeing Wesley Sneijder become a Master Chef off a set piece goal is too hilarious to skip.