FIFA 23 Review
FIFA 23 returns to the pitch with more ways to play than ever before. With expanded features, additional leagues and an unrivalled game day atmosphere, this is the most immersive football experience available.
EA Sports' "last hurrah" with a game that carries the "FIFA" namesake has hit the virtual pitch. The latest entry in the storied series offers plenty of iterative additions and is packed with content in its official sendoff. Next year, the franchise will be known as EA Sports FC as the FIFA license gets dropped from the title of the franchise. This being the last year with "FIFA" in the title, EA has looked to pack in as much footy content as possible. This year's installment offers revamped fundamentals, updated gameplay, generation crossplay, FUT overhaul and more. Along with this, there are 30 leagues, 100 licensed stadiums, 700 clubs, and more than 19,000 players are included in the game.
"there are 30 leagues, 100 licensed stadiums, 700 clubs, and more than 19,000 players are included in the game."
There will also be free future updates to support World Cup content from both the men's and women's tournaments. Off the shelf, FIFA 23 offers more ways to play than ever before. With new improvements, additional leagues and an unrivalled game day atmosphere, FIFA 23 is the most immersive football experience available. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, FIFA 23 has something for everyone, let's hit the pitch and break it all down.
FIFA 23 Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PS4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC
Developer(s): EA Vancouver and EA Romania
Publisher(s): EA Sports
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
HyperMotion2 adds more realism to the pitch
HyperMotion was introduced for a new generation of console and PC hardware, and this year it returns on the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. If you are on the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One, you will be using the same set of canned animations. That aside, the new motion system on next-gen hardware adds more realistic player movements, making them look and feel more like their real-life counterparts.
"..the new motion system on next-gen hardware adds more realistic player movements, making them look and feel more like their real-life counterparts."
The overall result is a more believable on-pitch experience with more fluid movement. HyperMotion 2 accomplishes this by using motion capture and machine-learning tech to generate animations that look more natural. It took a few games for me to see the difference, it's a subtle change, but it makes a big difference. The new engine adds over 6000 new animations to the game making the action on the pitch look more authentic than ever. I still can't help but feel the promise of HyperMotion 2 hasn't been fully realized, but it's on the right track.
Ball control and gameplay
FIFA 23 builds on the success of last year's entry by adding new ball control mechanics. The new system gives you more control over the ball, making it easier to keep possession and pull off fancy dribbling moves. The controls feel tighter and I found myself losing the ball less often as a result.
"The controls feel tighter and I found myself losing the ball less often as a result."
This is especially apparent when playing on higher-difficulty settings where player AI has been tuned to be more aggressive. The game has also been slowed down significantly from last year. The pace feels more methodical, which I welcomed as it gave me more time to make strategic decisions on the pitch.
Redesigned Set Pieces
One of the most significant gameplay changes comes in the form of set pieces. Free kicks and corners have been completely reworked giving you more control over how you want to approach them. You now can put a spin on the ball, change the trajectory, direction, curl and more. This gives you a lot of freedom to create some interesting set-scoring opportunities. I found myself scoring more goals from these situations as a result.
New power shots
The new standout for me is the new power shots shooting mechanic, it's a risk vs reward system when it comes to nailing a shot on target. If you time your shot perfectly you will be rewarded with a powerful and accurate strike, miss the sweet spot and your shot will lose power and accuracy.
"If you time your shot perfectly you will be rewarded with a powerful and accurate strike, miss the sweet spot and your shot will lose power and accuracy."
You can also have your pocket picked if you flub the strike. I really like this new mechanic as it adds an extra layer of skill to shooting, making goals that much more satisfying.
FIFA 23's graphics and performance
One of the issues that I had with last year's game was that the players didn't look as good as they could have. These changes are most noticeable on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game. This year's game features some visual upgrades to player models and faces, but it still is behind other sports titles visually. On the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One, the changes are much more subtle. The biggest difference is in player faces, which have been given a significant level of detail.
You can now see more stubble, individual strands of hair, and more detail on player faces. This attention to detail makes the game look more realistic than ever. The PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of FIFA 23 also benefit from a framerate boost, running at a smooth 60fps. The game still runs smoothly and I didn't experience any dips in framerate during my time with the game.
EA has completely revamped the FUT team mechanics adding the chemistry feature this year. The changes are extensive and have made the mode simpler to use, and more rewarding. The chemistry in FUT is the link between your squad's members based on their club, league, and nation. The more players you have with the same league, nation, or club, the greater their stats will be boosted to help your team on the pitch. You can now see how each player's chemistry link to your team, making it easier to determine which players work well together. This greater flexibility allows you to truly build your own fantasy team, with far less restrictions.
Final thoughts on FIFA 23
FIFA 23 is a great football game that makes some significant improvements over last year's game. The new ball control mechanics and set piece redesigns are welcome additions that make the game more enjoyable to play. The power shots mechanic adds an extra layer of skill to shooting, making goals more satisfying to score. However, the game's visuals are still behind other sports titles, and overreliance on microtransactions hurts FUT. Overall, FIFA 23 is a great football game that fans of the series will enjoy.
FIFA 23 PROS
+New ball control mechanics give you more control over the ball
+Redesigned set pieces give you more freedom to create interesting scoring opportunities
+Generational cross-play is excellent
FIFA 23 CONS
-Visual upgrades to player models and faces are still behind other sports titles
-Not all modes have seen new big enhancements
-Microtransactions hamper the experience
Overall Rating: 32/40 (80%)
A copy of the game was provided by EA Sports for the purpose of this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
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