EA is back with another installment of its flagship title, and FIFA 23 is set to be the last FIFA game as we know it
Most of these features are excellent additions to the game, and we can’t praise them highly enough!
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The World Cup mode DLC has also been released in FIFA 23, so there is heaps of content to get stuck into if you buy the game now.
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Let’s be honest, the key to any game is fun, something that has been severely lacking in the FIFA franchise for a couple of years!
However, instead of the Ultimate Team addiction making you stay, this year it is the gameplay that we have loved every minute of so far.
We pray that this is not removed within the first few updates, but it feels like the gameplay is perfectly balanced, offering a real test of all your footballing skills.
No longer will pace and skills be relied on to win you matches, you will also need precision passing, and patient defending to assert your dominance.
The passing is crisp, but the wrong decisions will result in a turnover, while the all-new Power Shots add some drama to the occasion as it zooms on in FIFA Street’s Gamebreaker-esque style.
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, the new AcceleRATE mechanic is a huge success, bringing a much more even contest to the game instead of the speed merchants literally running away with it.
Life is about balance
Cast your minds back to FIFA 22, specifically Ultimate Team, and you will remember a game so suited to speed and skill moves that genuinely decent footballers did not get a look in.
I mean no disrespect, but a game where Dan James and Adama Traore are being selected over Angel Di Maria in a selection based purely on base is quite frankly absurd.
This will be different in FIFA 23, and the main reason for the change is the AcceleRATE mechanic.
Players are now assigned Lengthy, Controlled, or Explosive running styles which have made one-on-one duels much more of a battle.
Tall athletic defenders can now go stride for stride with the explosive attackers they face, and the timing of sprint bursts, skill moves, and heavy touches are now the key to success.
Pace is still a key weapon in your attacking arsenal though, and the use of the right analog stick for a heavy touch will be much more prevalent this season.
Whilst we remain on the subject of Ultimate Team, EA has completely overhauled the chemistry system this season.
The new system makes it much easier to assemble unique squads, and essentially build your ‘Ultimate’ Team.
However, it has been met with derision from much of the community, and we must admit that it has complicated Squad Building Challenges considerably!
This will certainly take some time to get used to, but we believe that in the long run it will be of great benefit to the game.
Bend it like Beckham
Another completely new addition to the game is the way you take set-pieces.
Penalties, free-kicks, and corners have all received some attention, and we love the control on offer in this season’s game.
It is almost a throwback to the old FIFA games in the way you take the set-pieces, with penalties almost impossible to miss the target provided you get the timing right.
Free-kicks and corners run on the same mechanic, and with so much control over the way you strike the ball, we are expecting goals that David Beckham and Roberto Carlos would be proud of.
Sadly, it is not good news for Manager Career fans. Being able to play as a real manager or Ted Lasso is a nice addition, but ultimately it does not add much to the gaming experience.
EA has given the menus a revamp, but unfortunately, it does not gloss over answering the same questions in press conferences with the same meaningless outcomes.
Adding in the extra cut scenes like a player medical again is a nice touch, but after seeing it once, it becomes a bit of a chore to sit through even with the skip feature available.
While the changes in Manager Career may just be bells and whistles, the Player Career has received much more care and attention!
Player Career is now much more than just your on-field performances, with the option to buy items and invest your earnings helping to shape your career.
The new playable highlights also make the career much smoother, although we must stress that you need to be forward for these to be worthwhile!
A big W for EA. FIFA 23’s gameplay instantly makes the game the most enjoyable it has been for some time.
The new gameplay features are a big hit, and all of them seem to have impacted the game in a positive way.
Adjustments made to various game modes, or lack of, are the only blot on an otherwise very positive report card!
All in all, the best FIFA game for a very, very long time.
We reviewed FIFA 23 on PS5 with a code provided by the developer.
The game will be released on Friday, 30 September on all platforms. Early Access is available from Tuesday, 27 September if you pre-order the game.