FIFA 13 (Wii U) Review:

If you get a double, give it to your dad.

I apologise, but I have not played the Become a Pro (or Legend, forget what it’s called) mode, but I know what it consists of, as I have played it in other games – it’s good and unchanged.

Sorry if this review is a little messy.
Sorry if this review is a little messy.

FIFA 13 is as FIFA does. If you read that sentence and cringed a little, you already know this game is not for you; on the contrary, if you read that sentence and got very excited, I think you need to take time away from football games. However, for those of us who are partial to the odd footie game, FIFA 13 is one of the best.

First off, the Wii U version of the game does not include the “Ultimate Team” mode. The Wii U version of the game does include the Gamepad however, which EA Sports clearly had some fun with. You can play the game on the Gamepad, you can swipe players across the screen using your finger to do breaking runs, you can check your formation, change your formation, get in depth tactical information, one player can use the gamepad to make substitutions while the other plays traditionally and you can even shoot using the touchscreen. This all sounds good (and it all works smoothly), but you simply cannot take your eyes off the TV screen long enough to use any of it bar the occasional swipe for a player to run alongside the one you are in control of.

fifa-13-wiiu
Why did EA have to throw a hissy fit? This is good.

While this is disappointing, the game has more than enough modes to keep you motivated for a long time. Indeed, “Career Mode” is more than good enough to while away the hours. For those that do not know, Career mode sees you take managerial control of any team in the game (which is a stupendous amount), putting you in charge of player’s well-being and transfers.

Career mode is simply fantastic and sums up the addictive nature of football neatly – there are not many better feelings then taking a team right through the league system to the top. To help this along is the game’s simple but effective interface, everything is clear, precise and slightly cold and clinical. This makes navigating your team slick and smooth, leading into the really rather good transfer system. The transfer system in Career mode works like a dream and is simple to use and navigate, on the plus side you do not have to worry greatly about team finances like in the Master League of Pro Evolution Soccer fame.

Beyond Career mode are exhibition matches, leagues, cups, training, edit options, Become a Pro and online – all rather standard affair, but each mode most assuredly has its place.  Online mode in particular is strong, as there is a separate online league going on all the time, meaning you move up the league by playing more and winning more. Unfortunately, I did not see an option for taking your career team online or out of Career mode – a massive oversight on the developer’s behalf.

There are people dribbling all over this page,
There are people dribbling all over this page,

As far as I can tell, FIFA 13 is largely unchanged from FIFA 12 (as is normal with FIFA games), but there are one or two more noticeable alterations to the winning formula. Scoring a goal for example is slightly harder this time round, with long-distance shots being trickier to pull off. This suggests a stronger goalie A.I. The game feels smoother than FIFA 12 and slightly more fully featured, with player likenesses better than they have been and the ball itself responding with what seems like a better physics engine. It’s small changes sure, but its small changes for the better, however still small issues persist.

It’s still difficult to play games other than end-to-end, counter-attacks; while this is fun to watch it does not feel overly realistic. Indeed, FIFA games still feel stuck somewhere between realism and the arcade. I feel with FIFA 13 however EA Sports have actually got the balance right for the most part as the game remains fun up to a point.

After around the 50 hour mark, you realise that everything feels the same – despite what the game’s stat system suggests, sure you can try higher difficulties but it just does not do enough to keep the experience fresh. I noticed this when playing multiplayer after successfully winning the Premier League with Cardiff City after many, many attempts – you get tired of the game and are ultimately playing it just to finish what you started. For 50 hours however (and after a long break from the game) it is fun, exciting and plays sweetly; exactly what you would want from a sports game.

Summary:

FIFA 13 is one of the best football games I have played, yet it still has issues with realism and lacks the Ultimate Team mode people seem to rave about. There are neat specific Wii U features that unfortunately end up not being used due to the fast-paced nature of the game. I don’t think football games could ever be perfect after FIFA World Cup ’98 on the N64, but this is up there with the best sports games.

As long as you can make Arsenal lose, you’ll always find enjoyment in a football game, and this is one of the best Arsenal beating simulators I have played.

FIFA 13 – 85, Arsenil.

(85/100)

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