Sports on gadget: Soccer fever grips gamers

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 16, 2012 23:01 hrs

For gamers who like annual franchisees, Santa Claus comes home twice a year – once on Chirstmas Eve and the other when the game’s latest version is released. So, when Canada-based gaming company Electronic Arts’ (EA) latest installment of football game FIFA 13 was released last month, it was a big launch for the gaming company. On the day of its release a million copies were sold and in the next five days the number touched 4.5 million worldwide. Clearly, FIFA’s popularity continues among gamers.

So, how does the latest version of FIFA 13 score? Available across multiple platforms like Playstation, Xbox, PC and PSP, the first thing that strikes you is the extraordinary attention to detail the developers have given. For instance, if you’re Lionel Messi you can pull off some stunning moves with a football and score sublime goals. Try doing that with an average Joe playing in league two of Spain, and the result is totally different.

The First Touch Control is a great addition to FIFA 13. In earlier versions, the defenders could hardly win possession without a sliding tackle or side tackle. But with touch control, it is much harder for an attacker to trap a ball especially if a defender is on your back. This made the game more reasonable and realistic. Earlier, it used to be quite predictable as you knew how a defender or an attacker would react, but with touch control, the player has to be watchful of every movement.

The player animations are detailed and life like — something which can be said about every version of FIFA. Perhaps this is where EA’s key to the success of FIFA lies. They keep the same format but keep tweaking it in such a way that it still keeps a gamer engrossed. The graphics, too, are better than FIFA 12 and the goal celebrations are much better as well. The sound effects are an upgrade of the earlier versions as well with a great stadium feel to the game. When a match is being played in Brazil, one can hear the samba beats in the background.

At the cost of repeating the same point again, it has to be said it is the attention to detail which makes FIFA 13 a great game to play. The commentary by Sky Sports commentary team of Martin Tyler and Alan Smith (English Premier League fans in India would be familiar with these two) is pretty good and based on real life situations. For example, if Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud misses a goal in the game, Tyler will point out how he is “having a hard time scoring goals” – something which is true in real life as well. Or if a particular player’s birthday falls on the day of your playing, the commentary team will tell you that as well. Compared to FIFA 12, the latest installment is a far superior version. Though fans of FIFA might say this every year, this time the difference is quite good.

There are various game plays and modes like multiplayer (online), career – where you become manager of a club and change their fortunes over a season. You can buy or sell players, send them out on loan to other clubs – in other words be a real life manager.

EA’s main competitor for FIFA has been Konami’s PES or Pro Evolution Soccer. While the PES, too, has over the years evolved, it still doesn’t match up to FIFA. With FIFA 13, EA probably has widened the gap even further. For football game lovers, FIFA 13 is arguably one of the best games to have come out in the last few years.

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