Fifa 23 review – EA’s latest Fifa game bows out in style | Games

Jhey think it’s all over… The football simulation series that has graced the gaming charts every year since its launch in 1993 is about to face the final whistle, thanks to a licensing battle with Fifa. Next year, Electronic Arts will unveil its boringly named replacement, EA Sports FC, but for now, we’re going to race one last time on this heavily scarred ground.

It’s immediately clear that the development team was determined to move forward, rolling out a series of vital updates. Finally, we can play women’s league football, if only in the English and French top divisions. Still, it’s fun to play as the stars of the recent Euro 22 tournament, to race maze through the box as Beth Mead or to rally the Olympique Lyonnais defense with Wendie Renard, and that can be truly inspiring and educational for girls who have taken up the sport through this glorious summer tournament. And there’s full online crossplay between same-gen consoles (PC owners can play against PS5 and Xbox Series X buddies) in Seasons and Friendlies, as well as Ultimate Team, greatly expanding your base. competitive.

Fifa 23 stadium realism. Photography: Electronic Arts

How does it play? It’s really rather charming. There’s a fluidity to the action that contrasts with the somewhat top-heavy Fifa 22. It’s not quite the turbo ping pong feel of the classic Pro Evo, but the quick passing and quick movement off the ball make for quick attacks that really feel. exciting. There also seems to be a much more granular employment of analog button presses, allowing for well-weighted crosses and precise long-range keystrokes. While set pieces still aren’t perfect, you can now add spin and flex to the ball with the right analog stick, and use a slightly more informative on-screen pointer to get the right direction.

Updated impact physics adds greater unpredictability to collisions and loose ball situations. I saw a through ball contact the back of the target player’s shoe, sending the ball back towards me; I powered a low cross that spun wildly off a defender’s shin and into his own goal. These whimsical little moments add a nice sense of realism and tension to the game. ball and overtake their rivals. The likes of Thiago and Traore can call for quick acceleration, darting away from nearby opponents in a sudden blur, while Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw will run the full length of the pitch, building momentum as they go. Taken together, the new additions provide moments of true visual spectacle: play long enough and you might see Lewandowski daringly hit the keeper in a crowded box or Bernardo Silva toss a stray ball into the top right corner from such a sharp angle that he would make Euclid shake his head in disbelief.

Throughout each match, there are visually pleasing moments: players perform tricky jumps to change direction, the ball squirts water from a wet surface; the net swelling wildly when a shot makes contact. Even the commentary is bearable, despite Derek Rae’s odd Accidental Partridge moment (after a missed shot that results in a goal: “And the goalie just wishes he hadn’t done that.” )

As always, there is plenty of football to offer here. Quick Play lets you jump right into a single match or tournament, alone or against friends or competitors online. Skill Games tests you in various passing and shooting elements. Volta is street football with lots of fancy moves. In Career, you take a player or manager through their life as a footballer, managing all aspects of their rise through a schedule of matches, training sessions and transfer drama. That hasn’t changed much since the last game, although the presentation is more polished and you get the chance to take in the playable highlights of the matches rather than having to go through the entire 90 minutes. It’s kind of like an interactive version of Match of the Day, and it’s tense, fun, and challenging.

Then, of course, there’s the monstrous Ultimate Team, where you buy virtual packs of player cards to build a superteam of heroes while trading trades and challenging other Fifa owners to online matches. . The big addition for me is Moments, a new set of single-player challenges that let you earn money for card packs and loan players. These could be mini skill challenges, or you could be tasked with re-enacting key moments from a major actor’s career. New things are coming every day, so there’s always a way to earn packs for nothing. Fifa 23 may be more generous with its freebies than previous titles, but at its heart, Ultimate Team remains an evil loot box specifically designed to entice fans into buying card packs on a regular basis. The quest for tangy dopamine for elusive star players is more real than ever.

Controversial player packs aside, Fifa 23 is the culmination of EA Sports’ philosophy. This series has always been about realism, but for many years it has been about Roy of the Rovers realism – a dying penalty, a scissoring goal-line clearance, a 35-yard howler leaning into the looks like a failed exocet. missile. Now, it feels like the physics, AI, and animation have come together in a way that makes even those ridiculous moments feel naturalistic and enjoyable. The first Fifa on the Mega Drive presented itself as an authentic experience of real sport, real drama, real spectacle. It wasn’t then, but maybe, in this final iteration… it is now.

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