sport news FIFA 23 REVIEW: This is the closest it gets to playing the beautiful game trends now
The FIFA franchise is arguably the most popular sports video game series on the planet - but it’s largely been a victim of its own success.
This is a system seller - many people buy a console just to play FIFA - so the pressure to produce a quality title each year is massive. Since it’s inception in 1993, the question of how developers EA Sports can continue to top itself is its biggest challenge. This year with FIFA 23, it’s more of the same - but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
So how do you judge a FIFA game? It depends what kind of player you are. Are you a career mode addict? Are you obsessed with building your dream squad on Ultimate Team? Or do you just love playing your mates on Kick-Off and Seasons? The chances are, fans of Fifa will find something to enjoy in this finely tuned and evolved iteration of the biggest football game.
FIFA 23 is here and while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, evolved motion capture technology and small updates provide a swift and satisfying gameplay experience
WHEELS IN HYPERMOTION
Every year fans are looking out for new features that their hard-earned money (£70 for digital edition on a PS5 and Xbox and £54 for physical copy) will get them - but on that front there’s not a lot of new content here. Instead, developers EA have tweaked the formula to make realism take centre stage.
Their new game engine HyperMotion2 is the talk of the town this time around. We already had HyperMotion last year - which used motion capture to mimic the movement and behaviours of players - and this goes a step further, adding a new layer of authenticity to the game with more realistic dribbling, turns, flicks and tricks.
You certainly notice this when taking touches as you weave your way in and out of tackles in tight areas, especially when controlling flair players like Neymar, Vinicius Jr and Kylian Mbappe.
Fans will certainly notice the game's HyperMotion2 engine - which learns from players' real life behaviours - when controlling flair players like Kylian Mbappe
You'll be able to perform more flicks, tricks and skills than ever and notice subtle details in player movements
Most big name stars have their unique play styles stamped on the game and it enables you to do more skill moves and showboating than ever before.
The new realistic behaviours also bring an authentic experience while defending. Your tackles will be much meatier and aggressive, you'll feel a lot of shirt-pulling and the timing of your challenges is pivotal - just like in real life.
The new HyperMotion also includes a new instant replay with detailed stats about how far out your goal was, how fast the ball was travelling and the xG for that situation.
Facial animations are top notch... for the most part.
Arsenal fans will have rightly been outraged this week after seeing Mikel Arteta’s design looked absolutely nothing like him. There’s a handful in the game that clearly haven’t had much TLC - which is surprising given most stars are scanned into the system.
Facial animations look impressive... for the most part - though Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta looks nothing like the version EA have created for him (left)
SET PIECE OVERHAUL
Another big change you’ll notice is that dead balls have been given a makeover.
In the last few years, a lot of players have become increasingly frustrated with set pieces - and almost given up on them entirely - because they were just too complicated and too difficult to pull off. In FIFA 22 and a few editions beforehand, you had to use your reticle to place where you wanted the ball with one analog stick, and with the other decide what kind of shot you wanted.
Now, all of that is gone. Now, a simplified system allows you to line up your set piece with a field of vision and an arrow showing you what direction the ball is set to travel in. To change this, you only need to decide where you want to hit the ball - and it will tell you what kind of shot you’re about to take.
It might be a knuckle ball, it might be a right foot curler, it might be a low shot. There are so many possibilities that come with this - which applies to corners too - and it made me want to spent a lot of time in the practice arena with Cristiano Ronaldo trying out various scenarios.
One including me leaving De Gea absolutely gazumped as I smashed in an outrageous fizzing, dipping shot that moved in about three different directions after selecting an outside of the foot shot. It’s safe to say the ball physics on this are impressive.
The game - which introduces women's club football for the first time - has also tweaked set pieces to allow a simpler and more effective way to take free kicks and corners
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