First Impressions – FIFA 13

I’ve just got my third warning from the chairman. He’s not happy. I’m 3 league games into my first season as manager of Tottenham and after every game so far i’ve had a memo from the board about my performance during the match. We’re 5th in the league at the moment, so it’s not about how the team is playing, it’s actually about my language during the match, apparently the board believes that my language during the matches doesn’t fit with the image that the club is trying to portray. I have a habit of letting my feelings be known, as i’m sure many people do when they miss the target or a decision goes against them. In this latest iteration of FIFA however, if you have Kinect wired up, it picks up what you’re saying and will change the commentary to let you know it has. “Oh, the manager seems unhappy with that decision” bellows Martin Tyler. Damn right I do.

It’s a nice touch, those that listen to the podcast will know that I am skeptical of the Trojan Warhorse called Kinect that Microsoft have got into many gamers residences up and down the land but in this instance the ability to change formations, to press or play the offside trap or even make a substitution on the fly is definitely a positive. It’s one of the big changes that has been integrated since I last played a FIFA game in FIFA 11. Other positive additions are the skill games while the match loads up in the background. I’ve been playing the game in total for about 3 hours and I can already feel that my skill level is improving thanks to these little time sinks. Skills that I always saw other people utilise are now quickly becoming second nature to me.

Something else that is thrown at you when you start playing is that you can level up as you play. I’m not sure what the hell this is for yet and to be honest I don’t really care. Yet. The final thing that has caught my eye in the first few hours of playing is the “challenge mode” where you are given a scenario from one of the weekends major matches and have to reenact it. In the instance I played, Barcelona were down 2-0 at Seville but eventually came back to win 3-2, i had to at least replicate this impressive feat and did so on my first attempt, but again, a nice little diversion. I can definitely see why people spend their gaming years rotating between the latest FIFA and the latest Call of Duty.

Overall, my first impressions are generally positive. The AI definitely seems to have stepped up a notch and tackling seems to be more of an art form than holding down a particular button and waiting for your defender to nick the ball off of the opposition. Some of the goals I have scored have been impressive but i’m still waiting to unleash the dragon and score from 35 yards out into the top corner. I’m definitely looking forward to spending more time with it just as long as the chairman doesn’t keep picking up on my “colourful” use of the English language.

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