Sports games usually have one thing in common, and that is that there usually isn’t much difference between one version or another. Are those small differences really worth buying the latest releases? Well, let’s find out.

I’ll start of by saying a lot of things remained the same in FIFA 13; the biggest changes to the series happened in FIFA 12, with the Player Impact Engine and the new ways of defending. However, this gave the developers a lot of time to fine tune the Player Impact Engine and work on some new game modes.

Let’s kick things off with a bit of info about the gameplay, because truth be said, gameplay is certainly one of the aspects of the game that has to be good and in FIFA 13, and they’ve done a great job refining it.. In FIFA 12 everything looked far more realistic compared to previous releases of FIFA; although it still had its fair share of bugs it was a welcome change. In FIFA 13, the game developers invested more time in getting things sorted when it comes to AI. AI Players are now much more maneuverable and dart around the pitch looking for that gap in between two defenders to get the ball and go deep to try to score a goal. The way they do that depends on the skill level of the AI players, you will definitely notice this when you’re playing with fellow teammates like Iniesta or Xavi, compared to a youth player of West Brom.

Another new asset to the game is the way the players receive passes. No longer do they have glue on the inside of their shoes, but depending on their skill level or the difficulty of the pass, it’s possible that the ball jumps away from the player. No longer can you give extremely hard passes to your teammates without considering the risks and potential consequences of losing the ball. A new way of dribbling has also been introduced to the game making it easier for the players to work with. When your player comes into certain zones the game automatically puts this player into a kind of a dribbling mode allowing you to make short turns or dribbles. Players who played the last FIFA Street series will definitely recognize this feature.

Our last change in the gameplay is a small one, but does bring that extra bit of realism to the game. In previous versions in certain situations, FIFA 12 allowed you to make quick free kicks to speed up the game, this is still present in FIFA 13, however these events occur more frequently than before, resulting in a smoother flow and steadier pace to the gameplay.

New added game modes

Pro Cubs Seasons (online). This mode allows you to play a season online versus other players. I know this was also available in FIFA 12 but, now they’ve made significant changes to the layout and the way promotion to different leagues works, they’ve also made it possible to actually win the title of a season round! FIFA 13 also brings you a refurbished EA Sports Football Club. There are substantially more possibilities available and more statistics from the real football world are shown.

You can still support your favourite team by playing games for them to ensure that they are the biggest club in the world, but more importantly, the real form of clubs and players are tracked. Is a player in the best shape of his life? If so, his stats will also rise. This is especially nice when you consider that some players at the start of the season will not be so good, but suddenly break through.

There is also a shop added where you can spend coins you earn while playing FIFA 13. This allows you buy all sorts of things, which you can use in different modes. For example, you can buy an extra game in a season, so those much needed three points can be obtained or you can directly determine the outcome of a match.

Brand new to this years FIFA 13 are ‘Skill Games’. You can play these exercises as a kind of tutorial. How you give passes, how to shoot, how to dribble and much more. Each exercise has different levels that go from easy to difficult. They replace the arena during the loading screens for a match. So now you can spend your time wisely, instead of aimlessly shooting at the goalkeeper.

The ‘Be A Pro’ mode has received some changes and updates which really benefit the game, now you can work as a coach of a national team ( if you are asked to work for them). Fortunately, you can use your coins to buy a ticket, so you’re always immediately asked for coaching a national team. The interaction with your players is different now. You will need to keep them happy and you better listen to what they have to say. If a player asks if he’s allowed to play in a friendly match to prove himself and you ignore him repeatedly, then he will no longer be motivated and thus perform less. Disgruntled players are again detrimental to the atmosphere, making your team perform worse.

FIFA 13 is another step forward from previous games in the FIFA series, gameplay innovations are successfully implemented. It’s still not perfect, but I am more than satisfied. The new online seasons provide the online gamer for extra depth and more power, but also for people who just want to play against the AI, there is more than enough to do. There are still some frustrations, such as the slow simulation, but overall, FIFA 13 is a step in the right direction. It may not be revolutionary, but it’s a fine, well balanced evolution in this much loved soccer franchise.