FIFA 23 is the last chapter of the series. From next year, the most impressive of the Electronic Arts franchises will wear a new jersey, transforming into EA Sports FC. A forced choice, the result of the divorce between the American publisher and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). That of this year therefore necessarily had to become the best episode ever, the one to remember, the one that will go down in history. EA has therefore drawn on all its know-how and the result is exactly what we expected: FIFA 23 is packed with content, even more realistic and undoubtedly fun, both for newbies and veterans of the saga. In short, we tell you already now, without turning around: it is a must buy. And this obviously net of the problems we have had – and still not completely resolved – with the Anticheat, the new system that prevents changes that can provide some kind of advantage over other players.
The right balance
It’s the first adjective we thought of during the FIFA 23 introductory match.
Fresh from FIFA 22, we could not help but notice that, although it was all extremely familiar, the gameplay was different.
A sensation that actually has a well-defined name: Hypermotion 2.
It is the founding system of this chapter, the one that allowed the developers to give us a new level of realism without giving up the football show that fans of the series like so much.
Yes, but what does “a new level of realism” mean? What changes on the pitch?
Players move more smoothly, they stretch to intercept the ball, they measure their strength during tackles, they work hard to get rid of the ball with footwork that has nothing to envy to the athletes we watch on TV every week. The final feeling is that of having to deal with players who respond better to our commandswho more accurately mimic the behavior of real footballers, who are – finally, we would add – a little smarter and more aggressive.
However, Hypermotion 2 is not limited to this. This technology was developed by Electronic Arts thanks to the observation, recording and analysis of real matches, played by equally real professionals. And no, this doesn’t just include male footballers.
Never before has FIFA tried to be more inclusive than this yearor, not only by increasing the number (in any case still reduced) of players included in the roster but also by equipping them with a very full-bodied set of movements that are different from those of the male counterpart. In short, women have their own personality, their own way of playing, their own distinct presence.
It’s still not enough, mind you. We are far from parity, despite Sam Kerr on the cover, but this chasm that still separates women’s football from men’s football we certainly cannot attribute to Electronic Arts which, on the contrary, seems to be making some interesting efforts to give female players the space and dignity. they deserve.
The gameplay, however, is not only made up of athletes whizzing on the field and colliding with each other. At some point you will have to shoot on goal also because, until proven otherwise, the aim of the game is to win and to win you have to score. Here comes the new Power Shot which, in some ways, might seem like a trick stolen by good old Captain Tsubasa (Holly & Benji for friends). It is in fact an extremely powerful shot which you can activate by pressing the upper bumpers of the controller. As you can imagine, it is perhaps not the most realistic element of FIFA 23 but it does add a valuable and useful arrow to your bow.
Then the set pieces change, with the view of corners and free kicks that now becomes that of the player in charge of taking them. Therefore, instead of the crosshair that helps you decide where to get the ball inside the area, you will have a curved line that simulates the possible trajectory and a much smaller crosshair, positioned on the ball, which allows you to decide where to hit it, impressing thus an eventual effect to the sphere. The overall effect is certainly more realistic although learning to master the system will undoubtedly require some practice.
Eventually they also change the penalties. Now the ball is surrounded by a circle that continuously registers and widens, going from green to red and vice versa. The trick this time is strike at the right time, naturally directing the ball to avoid a central hit. The solution seemed a bit more practical to us but something is still missing: not knowing where you are aiming can be deceiving, leading you to make mistakes more often than expected.
On the other hand, there are no changes for normal shots, the result of modules, strategies and frenetic races in the center or on the flanks. But gods appear new replays, introduced by Hypermotion 2 and characterized by the presence of elements in augmented reality which highlight the distance to the goal and the trajectory of the shot. You won’t always see them, mind you. The system seems to prefer only direct shots with the player positioned at least 12-13 meters from the net. During our test we scored much more spectacular goals – including overhead shots – but they don’t seem to deserve this new replay.
FIFA 23 review: for all tastes
After the usual opening game, the one that helps the game to establish the most suitable difficulty for you, we plunged headlong into the Career mode which, again this year, is divided between Coach and Player. The news here are not so many but they are enough to bring a breath of freshness: we start from menu, totally revisedto the possibility of play only the highlights of a match, an interesting middle ground between the total simulation and the obligation to play the canonical 90 minutes.
The Manager career now allows you to interpret real CTs with the addition of a gem that particularly enjoyed us: Ted Lasso. The AFC Richmond coach, protagonist of the homonymous TV series available on Apple TV +, is one of the selectable coaches. And yes, you can pair it with the Richmond, just like we did.
Those who prefer a career as a football player, on the other hand, can count on new Personality system, with a curious mix between life in the field and private life that in some ways reminded us of the unforgettable story mode of the good Alex Hunter.
The Volta Football skill tree
Don’t you want something that takes you so long? Well, it’s always there Kick off, for quick battles against the CPU or against your friends, both online and offline. You can also play some quick games inside Volta Football, with the ability to play with and against other players, selected online by the matchmaking system; in Volta you will also find Arcade, which allows you to experiment with minigames, and Battles, for solo or cooperative battles against artificial intelligence.
All these activities will allow you to take home precious points, with which to enhance the skills of your avatar, and objects that you can use to customize your digital alter ego; in addition you can count on the Distinctive Abilities, with which you can give the player a very specific style of play.
This year Volta Football and Pro Club are united by the XP award system. This means that the experience points earned in Volta contribute to the growth of the Pro Club player. In addition, both modes allow you to earn SP (Season Points) and Volta Coinwith which to unlock new equipment and new items.
FIFA Ultimate Team: what changes?
Ultimate Team it is perhaps the most loved game mode by fans. An entire community was born, grew and evolved around FUT over the years. Electronics Arts knows this and never fails to pamper its fans. This year it does it mainly with two elements: the new Chemistry System and FUT Moments.
Until last year the players of the same team were linked by a series of straight lines that showed the compatibility and understanding between two players occupying adjacent positions. Now these lines are gone, giving way to a system based on 3 Understanding Points which, in turn, refers to 3 main factors:
1) your preferred position: a holder contributes to the Entente and can only increase his score if he plays in his preferred position;
2) thresholds of agreement: as players who correspond to the club, nation / region or league of other players of the starting eleven are added, Intesa thresholds are reached which activate the addition of Understanding points to associated players;
3) Manager bonus: the coach also contributes to the increase of Understanding for the players with whom he shares the league or the Nation.
All this released from the position of the players, in the sense that the Entente depends on the mere presence of teammates. For example, you can earn an understanding point with a defender and an attacker who come from the same club, even if they do not occupy neighboring positions in the formation, those that previously would have been connected by the famous straight line. In this way you can more easily get a good team chemistry, while also giving yourself some room for experimentation.
The second big news are the FUT momentsa series of challenges that allow you to play alone and to earn the Job, a new “coin” that you can spend in the Star Gallery to take home some useful rewards, players …