Last week a couple of us Canadian Online Gamer staffers were invited to EA Canada to attend the annual EA Sports open house. It was two days of sports games, and one of those games was FIFA 13. We had an opportunity to preview the game for the first time back in April and you can check out that in-depth write-up HERE.
Since our first preview EA Sports has continued to work on FIFA 13 in preparation for its launch later this year. We were treated to a recap of what was discussed back in April and how the FIFA development team continues to move forward. Of course one of the biggest things that was reinforced was that they wanted to continue to make the game “predictably unpredictable”. In other words, they want the user to experience that anything can happen and no single result is guaranteed when playing a match in FIFA 13.
One of the new things discussed was the FIFA 13’s social network. They will be offering a virtual rewards program including the EA Sports Football Club Catalogue. Here you can unlock boots, balls, kits, and even unlock other play modes. This rewards program, which is engrained into the game’s social network, continues to highlight EA Sports mantra of “Always Connected”. Of interest to you FIFA 12 online gamers is that your level and XP from FIFA 12 will be carried over to FIFA 13 and you can continue to earn more as you play FIFA 13. This is a nice little touch as it allows you diehard FIFA 12 online players to keep what you have already earned, and you won’t have to start from scratch.
One of the big FIFA 13 unveils that we were treated to during the open house was a brand new Career Mode. Santiago Jaramillo, who is a Game Modes Producer on the title, told us that one of the biggest requests that gamers have is to allow them to play for a club and country of their own choice. In FIFA 13’s career mode a focus on Internationals is now a key gameplay item as their wish has been granted.
As you play through your career mode you can now play all international friendlies, and you can play in the Euro Championship, World Championship, or any championship that is available to your club. It is something that has been requested for quite a long time, and now you have the opportunity to do this. It was also mentioned that the international matches that will be made available to you is dependent on the prestige and success level of your club of choice.
As you “Play as a Player” you will find that there is a fair amount of depth in your management of your team. Something that was highlighted here is that club loans now play a big role. Should you start your career on a high profile team, and your skill level is not that high, you will be “loaned out”, with the hope that you become a better player, and then returned to your club at a later time. Should you turn down a loan offer you risk not being proposed a new loan offer from another team for an extended period of time (virtually speaking of course). It is truly a management based experience and something a lot of FIFA fans should appreciate.
Another feature that has been improved during the Career Mode is transfers. This aspect has been worked on to make it a more lifelike experience. The development team has re-written the transfer logic and made things more true to what would happen in real life experiences. You’ll find true market value, counter offers, as well as player & cash transactions. It was quite amazing to see how the game is going to make things seem more true to what actually happens in the various soccer leagues, and you’ll have to put your “thinking cap” on more then a few times in order to make some smart decisions in this area.
Aaron McHardy, who is a Gameplay Producer, came on stage to introduce all of us to something new, and something I think is very much needed in a game like FIFA 13: Skill Games. These skill games are tutorials that allow any level of user to learn, or master, the FIFA fundamentals. Given they are games, they are fun. There are 8 disciplines for you to learn, and there are 4 types of games within each discipline. At this juncture in the game’s development there are a total of 32 different games for you to play, and they all allow you how to play the game at various levels of skill. The four different skill levels (bronze, silver, gold and skill challenge) gradually teach you the intricacies of each discipline, such as passing, shooting, crossing, dribbling, corner kicks, etc. They become progressively harder for each level. These games also have leaderboards and XP as well, so you can compete against friends or worldwide leaders, and you’ll earn in-game XP.
We had a chance to play a few of these Skill Games and I have to say that they are something that is not only welcomed, but also in a way needed. They really do start out with the basics of each discipline and as you progress through the skill levels you will learn how to do more complex things. I had fun learning the basics and slowly being introduced to the more complex moves which adds modifiers (other button presses) the mix. This is a great thing for rookies to the series as well as for those fans of the franchise who have yet to master all the disciplines in the game as they are not just tutorials, but skill games that are a quite fun.
Overall we continue to be impressed with the strides being made as the development of FIFA 13 continues, as each time we play the game, I have to say that I get a bit more excited for what looks to be another solid entry into this long running franchise. Keep your eyes here on COG as we continue to get more opportunities to play FIFA 13 leading up to the release this September. Until then feel free to check out the screenshots below showing a bit of everything, including the new modes mentioned in this article.