For nearly 30 years, EA sports has kept the FIFA franchise at the top of the league. That in itself is nothing to hark at even if for most of the years they just copied and pasted. With the release of FIFA 23, we will be saying goodbye to what is now a household name in gaming. However, all is not lost as EA has turned down the renewal of using the FIFA name and will be releasing football games under a new moniker, EA Sports FC from next year. So with all that in the back of my head, let me tell you what I thought of EA’s last tumble under the sheets with FIFA.
The future is back to basics
Before FIFA 23 was released, EA announced some “Revamped Fundamentals”. These overhauls were to shooting, passing, and dribbling systems. Well, I can tell you they were not kidding. The shooting is crisper, and the passing is more realistic. As if you are not spot on in your direction you will miss the intended player. The dribbling is slower but you feel in more control than in the last few years. They have also simplified the set-pieces to more of a point-and-click rather than, point, click, toggle, toggle some more.
There are other nice touches like the new Power Shot. When you use this the intended shot has extra power and accuracy but you slow down time-wise and it lets defenders get near you quicker. There are also the Extended Crossing Zones. This offers the option of putting teasing balls into the box from different areas of the pitch. These upgrades work very well and step in the right direction. Once you get a few games under your belt you will get used to the new slowed-down gameplay and will start using all the weapons in your arsenal.
Smoke and Mirrors
FIFA 23’s new HyperMotion 2 technology shows you what this franchise was missing over the years. You will notice little things it does that give the game an uber-realistic feel. The net now bulges more naturally when you hit it. The pitches now take damage as you play a match and it stays that way throughout. These along with the new photorealistic player animations you just know EA invested a lot of time to get these captures.
With all the new bells and whistles some of the basics have been overshadowed I think. Most of the women footballers all have the same faces. The facial captures of some of their male counterparts are well wide of the mark it’s hilarious. Another thing that is annoying but more for PS5 players is the noises pumped through the DualSense controller. When you hit the post it sounds like a hammer hitting tin, and the ref’s whistle sounds like it’s underwater and in your face. Thankfully you can turn the controller audio off…. just do it, and you’ll thank me.
What’s in a mode?
The different modes in FIFA 23 are much of the same as in previous years. They have joined Volta and Pro Clubs together and this year they welcomed Women’s club football. Don’t get too excited as you can only play women against women, this justifies the similar rankings the top female players have with the males.
There are a few changes to the career modes too. New behind the scene and match build-up animations are a nice touch. There are new cut-scenes for transfer signings that makes them feel important until it gets old. The same can be said for transfer reports that rate your negotiations. I was all excited to learn from them until after a while I knew better than the stupid computer.
Ultimate Team is back again of course, as it is the flagship money maker. I am not going to lie. Since my review of FIFA 22, I have bonded with my teenage son over FUT. In saying that, he does all the buying, selling, setting up the team, and challenges. I on the other hand just sit there confused and plays the matches. It’s a good system that works for us and that’s my story.
This year chemistry system has been completely changed to allow for better freedom team-building-wise. Every FIFA fan knows what to expect from FUT. There are two ways you can play it, challenges (SPCs) or putting your hand in your pocket and paying, it’s simple really.
For the final year before the brand name shift, I was surprised by all the changes EA brought this year. FIFA 23 is a solid addition and a step in the right direction. Let’s hope they keep on stepping.