it is not a revolution, but it is the greatest evolution of recent years


The gradual reiteration and evolution have become the hallmark of FIFA. EA’s current sports simulator offering is in what is possibly its most stable stage in terms of commercial success. They found the key many years ago, and since then the franchise has been intractable. As a consequence, the absence of major changes has prevailed, sponsored by the fear of changing what the public has more than assumed. If something works, why change it? That seems to be the maximum. In fact, the immobility has been such throughout the last five years, that this delivery seems the closest thing to a revolution that we will live in a long time, and it is not that it is either. Despite its notable improvements and new additions, FIFA 23 It still suffers from some of those defects that have become a hallmark of the saga.

Starting with the hard and fast news, and as we have been telling you throughout the summer, FIFA 23 arrives with the expected inclusion of women’s clubs under the arm, incorporating the Barclays Women’s Super League and Division 1 Arkema. Furthermore, both the Qatar World Cup 2022 as the 2023 Australia and New Zealand Women’s World Cup, will come to the game with free updates. On the other hand, the game comes with more or less substantial improvements and revisions in Volta, Pro Clubs, Fut and even in career mode, which adds its manager section, with Ted Lasso at the helm.

jumping into the field

But before entering each of its subsections, it is convenient to attend to the most important of all; the parties. From the outset, the most striking thing is the timid, but remarkable, evolution of the game system. The application of technology Hypermotion 2 It is noticeable in the evolution of the matches. This EA patented system, which is based on the advanced capture of real matches (and training sessions) through the use of Xsens suits, results in the improvement of several sections. The first of these is the animations, which have been improved by implementing more than 6,000 new movements. FIFA 23 uses Hypermotion 2 and Full Team Authentic Motion, a data bank extracted from two other high-intensity real matches, to generate more natural movements in each of the teams. All this increases the improvement experienced in last year’s edition, giving rise to games in which the movement of the ball becomes more relevant than everdownplaying the sprinters, and the repertoire of infinite dribbles that became so decisive in previous installments.

The goalkeepers, despite having improved their performance, continue to receive goals that threaten our suspension of disbelief.

Now, both moving the ball and keeping in mind the specific profile of the player we are managing will be key to the development of the matches. Thanks to the new movements of the teams, and the renewed physics system, turnovers are more realistic than ever, giving rise to split balls and unpredictable rebounds that naturalize the party’s performance. On the other hand, we must always bear in mind the type of player we manage (or the one we face). This typology is marked by the parameters of speed and explosiveness control, and gives rise to three variants that range from explosive sprinters, but with little background, to tireless wide runners who will give the side on duty a really bad time.

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In the mechanical, the great addition is given by the Power Shots o footsteps, a shot that we can activate by pressing L1 and R1 at the same time, and that allows us to both direct the shot and calibrate its intensity. Of course, we must make sure we have enough space if we do not want the closest defender to steal our wallet at the last moment. Its staging, which subtly brings the camera closer to the field of play, contributes to raise the tension of these momentsgiving rise to exciting situations in which a recovery can be celebrated with as much enthusiasm as a goal from our team.

The effectiveness of the defenses has increased, as was the case with the last edition, making running the band no longer a foolproof option.

All this constitutes a set of improvements that cannot be classified as a revolution, but which come to mean a notable jump compared to what was experienced in FIFA 22. Of course, it is far from the clean slate that we claimed in this house a year ago now. So some old vices come back to the fore, like the inexplicable songs of the goalkeeperswhich denature some moments showing the most robotic animations of the entire game, or the infallible plays that begin to appear when you’ve been playing for a while, mainly linked to the slaps.

A renewed atmosphere to receive the coach

Audiovisually, FIFA 23 shows a facelift that elevates the final result, this being especially notable in the public and on the pitch. The fans who come to the stadium have a more varied number of models, with more animations and with the inclusion of more than 500 new songs. The atmosphere has improved substantially, however, some of the close-ups that imitate the television production continue to make the difference between the different models offered by the title too obvious. The grass, for its part, records each of the actions that take place on the pitch, through visible marks that will accompany us throughout the entire match. The final result, as far as the environment is concerned, is more than satisfactory, and is only marred by comments that, in our language, have been calling for a total restart for years. Running into phrases that have been accompanying us for more than 10 years and with uneven audio cuts, which tend to come in at the wrong time, ruins the visual and sound staging. Fortunately, now, in addition to being able to put comments in another language, we can play the matches while enjoying the musical themes licensed for the occasion.

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Beyond the field of play, EA Sports has put its hand in each of the game modes that accompany FIFA 23. One of the most relevant novelties is found in career mode, that now allows us to play the role of coach, allowing us to choose between some of the most successful coaches on the current scene, such as Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Thomas Tuchel or my favorite, Ted Lasso (available from September 30). When it comes to the career mode of a lifetime, we now have a new personality system, based on three archetypes, and with the inclusion of highlights and dynamic moments. Something I told you about, not long ago, in a text dedicated to these new implementations, and that will mark the evolution of our avatar and the future of his career.

FIFA 23 - Ted Lasso Screenshots
The inclusion of Ted Lasso will delight fans of one of the best Apple TV + series.

But if what is going to make you jump onto the pitch is the social aspect of FIFA 23, you will like to know that both VOLTA and Pro Clubs have received a moderate revision, which marks differences with respect to its predecessor. In the case of TIME, the arcade aspect is enhanced with the inclusion of new abilities in his progression system, which emphasize his less realistic face. The fields have also been expanded, giving more space for filigree, and significant work has been done with the mini-games offered, increasing their variety. For its part, Pro Clubs articulates its novelties around the “party role”: the title collects data from our performance while we play, and gives us a final score based on the milestones expected from the type of player we have created. Thus, Pro Clubs aims to move away from the trivialization of team actions, giving them the value they deserve, and seeking to avoid the impersonation of roles that occurs when several players from the same team seek the highest score.

Chemistry and FUT Moments

The other great modality that remains for us to deal with is the omnipresent FUT. FIFA Ultimate Team became, a long time ago, the most relevant mode of the football simulator. Its monetization system is one of the company’s largest sources of income, and its inference in the market has been so pronounced that it has not managed to escape controversy. I think it is not necessary to remember what the relationship of consumption that can be established among the minor public means, something that should always be taken into account when offering this type of product to a non-adult public. At EA they must have taken note of the situation and, perhaps for this reason, this year the mode has been reworked, tweaking several core aspects such as the chemistry generator or the progression system.

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The new chemistry system gives the player greater flexibility when building the squad, allowing players to build chemistry regardless of their position on the field, focusing attention on aspects such as the club of origin, the league or their nationality. Regarding the progression system, FUT Moments contribute to the profitability of the time invested in the game. These new events consist of challenges inspired by actual matches or events that occur throughout the season. The title will vary its already generous offer, proposing from situations based on soccer events, to recent matches or events of its own invention. These challenges have three levels of difficulty and can be completed in a few minutes. By overcoming them, we get stars that help us to unlock players, packs, and other content, thus generating a grateful new path of progress.

All in all, FIFA 23 is presented as a delivery that goes a little further, in terms of news, than its predecessor did. The inclusion of Hypermotion 2, with its new AI management, means an easily perceptible and welcome change at the gameplay level. This, together with the visual improvements established for the occasion, make crossplay between generations impossibleso PS4 and Xbox One players will not be able to measure up to those of the current generation of consoles, a sign of the gap that is beginning to open between this installment and the previous one.

FIFA 23 cannot be said to break the deck. It is not a before and after in the saga, it is not the kind of delivery that justifies its purchase based on a widely perceptible jump at all levels. But neither can it be denied that, compared to the improvements implemented in the latest installments, it comes out more than well. Added to the playable novelties are more or less in-depth reviews of each of its modalities, along with the inclusion of the long-awaited women’s soccer and the arrival of the World Cups that await us during this course. I am one of those who would like to witness a reboot that turns a base as recognizable as hackneyed upside down. But given the certainty that this is something that will hardly happen with this franchise, I think it is fair to emphasize the effort made on this occasion to take a somewhat more pronounced step forward. What can be said is that, despite continuing to adhere to that of gradual evolution, FIFA 23 is something more “new” than usual.