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EA’s FIFA soccer franchise has been one of the most popular and most playable sports games of the past decade. The latest iteration, FIFA 13, is no exception to the quality we’ve come to expect from the series. This year’s version maintains the groundbreaking improvements we saw in FIFA 12 and builds on them, but it really make any major breakthroughs itself.
There are a handful of significant improvements over previous games in FIFA 13. For one, the computer’s artificial intelligence is greatly enhanced. Earlier generations of the game suffered from serious computer intelligence problems, with opposing players sometimes getting stuck running into each other or constantly falling for the same one-two pass gimmick. This year’s version features a much smarter PC opponent that adapts to the user’s style of play. Another improvement is FIFA 13’s more realistic physics. Tackles, collisions in the box and races for loose balls feel much more realistic. The motion of the human body is notoriously difficult to replicate, but this game makes an admirable effort. One final perk that FIFA fans will love are the new skill games. These games, which focus on basic gameplay skills like dribbling, tackling and crossing are surprisingly addicting and help to improve the user’s gameplay on the virtual pitch. They also add a new challenge to an already interesting mix of game modes.
Although it is a marked improvement over previous generations, FIFA 13 does leave a little to be desired. For all the enhancements in game physics, the computer assisted shot controls make scoring feel a bit too easy. It’s less satisfying to watch a Ronaldinho strike blister the top corner of the net when the computer takes care of all the hard parts.
Ultimately, this game isn’t perfect, but it delivers everything soccer fans have been promised.