FIFA 23 Review: The End Of An Era

This Is eXputer's FIFA 23 Review.

Another year, another half-baked football game for the fanbase to enjoy. Now I don’t think everyone will feel the same about this title as I do, but I can assure you, there is nothing particularly new or groundbreaking we will mention in our FIFA 23 Review.

And this time unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, this might be EA’s last title under the FIFA brand. So did the polarising company finally manage to win the hearts of its alienated fan base back with this last-minute shot? Or was it a well-deserved red card? let’s take a look in our review.

Setting

Loading Screen.

FIFA 23 has been developed and published by Electronic Arts for the Windows PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia. It is the final entry under the FIFA umbrella developed by Electronic Arts in the 30-year old franchise. All of the modes of the previous games make a return, with the changes they’ve received being directly proportional to the revenue they generate.

Being a money-making Behemoth, the flagship mode Ultimate Team has received the most improvements out of all the others. The biggest and most surprising of them is how the Chemistry system operates, where instead of each player’s chemistry being affected by the players adjacent to them, it is now associated with the whole team.

The fundamentals are still the same. Chemistry will still be based on the club, league, and national parameters, but now players related by the parameters will contribute to the chemistry of the whole team even if their position is not connected. This is unlike the previous entries where we had to place related players next to each other to increase the overall chemistry. It is quite a welcome change in the game and opens up new possibilities for team combinations. 

There have also been tweaks to the player position change. Now players can only be placed at three of the positions they have played in real-life. This prevents them from being placed randomly, to get a perfect balance for chemistry. It also significantly increases the authenticity of the experience.

FIFA 23 Player Placement
Player Placement.

Another addition is the new offline mode known as Momentsfor Ultimate Team. In it, you take over small EA-created or real-life match-defining scenarios from popular football matches. These are here for small quick bursts, and they offer a lot of practice and rewards for the mode.

It is extremely important for this review to mention that this game mode is again cluttered with microtransactions. This has always been the main purpose of this mode, and I have a personal grudge against them. They take away the feeling of accomplishment one receives after achieving something. But a the same time, I’m not even mad anymore, just disappointed even though I fully expected this.

The second most popular game mode is the Career Mode. The developers have improved the Manager Career mode by allowing you to play as real-life managers instead of creating your custom one, which gave mostly unsatisfactory results. The key part of this is that real-life managers have their own back stories making the player feel more connected when making critical decisions. 

Player career mode has also seen some improvements. These include the additions of new teams for both men’s, such as Juventus, and women’s football, such as Women’s Super League and French Division 1 Arkema additions being the highlights.

New customization options are available for Player personalities. Your player can now be a Maverick, Virtuoso, or Heartbeat depending on your play style and the perks you invest in. Maverik players generally prefer solo-play over team-play, Virtuoso players on the other hand are the game changers as they will prioritize tactics and look for key passes to break up the defense. Heartbeat players are team players and will always prioritize team objectives.

Player Personalities
Player Personalities.

Both the Player and Manager career modes have also been augmented with Playable Highlights. Playable Highlights allow you to take control of key moments of a match that define the winner while leaving the rest of the match to the computer AI.

The Volta and Pro Clubs game modes make a return as well, with minor changes. The most welcome change is the sharing of progression between Volta and Pro Clubs. The developers have also enhanced the Volta game mode with new points including poacher, interceptor, chase down, and light passes.

Overall, there have been very negligible changes to the game modes outside My Career and Ultimate Team. Sure Volta and Pro Clubs had the potential, but they clearly did not have the revenue, which has always been the target of EA.

It is pertinent to mention here that the game will also feature the Men’s and Women’s World Cup mode which will seemingly coincide with the FIFA World Cup 2022. 

Gameplay

FIFA 23 Gameplay
Gameplay.

We’ve got a bit to say in this part of our FIFA 23 review. Similar to NBA 2K23, FIFA 23 now has introduced slower-paced gameplay to FIFA. This crucial step has moved it more towards realism and away from arcadey football. This change might be polarizing as many old-time players might need some time to adjust. Though, in my opinion, this change is an improvement.

The new Powershot technique adds a new layer to the techniques of scoring a goal, but executing it is a gamble. If executed properly, it can be the moment that ensures your victory. However, if you make a blunder, it’ll set you back a lot. The camera also zooms in on the player while making a Powershot creating a dramatic effect, which is a neat touch.

The new power slide mechanics allow you to actually take control of the ball while slide tackling now, instead of just pushing it off in a random direction with no control. I also noticed a few changes in the dribbling mechanics. Now, abrupt changes in direction are gonna tax your ball control, so you should execute it slowly and smoothly. One drawback of gameplay changes is the nerfed passing mechanics, creating a big skill gap between new players and veterans.

Players also have different animations, giving them more personalities. I can really feel the difference between each player now depending on their running animations. Overall, I would say the Gameplay has seen some significant improvements, and while this is not something that justifies the full price, it at least feels relatively more distinct from the preceding entries.

Visuals and Performance

Fifa 23 Review
Visuals.

It’s hard to analyze the graphics of a yearly releasing sports title as there are barely any changes. But for the sake of this FIFA 23 review, we need to dive into this stagnant body of water. As expected, There hasn’t been much improvement in the visuals side, akin to the previous few FIFA entries.

The glass does look more vibrant, and the facial animations can sometimes look top-notch, but the graphical options are pretty limited. I do have to give props to the developers for adding loads of more cutscenes now in the game ranging from pre-match stadium scenes to a number of set pieces, which helps in increasing immersion

Hypermotion 2.0 includes new sets of animations which include 6000 player movements this time around, a small leap over the 4000 animations of Hypermotion 1.0. These feel sleek and smooth, but again this isn’t a major breakthrough and is pretty disappointing for the last title in the long-running franchise.

Performance of this game is mostly excellent, as I faced no hiccups or bugs to speak of. At the very least, that’s a good thing to look forward to.

Verdict

Verdict.

As the last game under the EA – FIFA umbrella, this is an unsatisfactory finale. It’s obvious that EA has focused all of its resources on milking this dying cow one last time, and has not made many of the changes fans have been asking for over the years. There have been desirable additions in the Career Mode, and that’s where the positives stop,

To maximize profit, EA has focused the majority of the resources on Ultimate Team and My Career, while the rest of the game modes lie in a corner reflecting on their wasted potential. Hypermotion 2.0 might sound like a big deal at first, but the upgrades on offer are barely enough. The graphical upgrade is barely there as well, however, I will appreciate the developers for the quality of life improvements in the gameplay.

So did FIFA go out with a bang? No. But hey, there’s still something here for a die-hard FIFA fan. For a more casual player, I would suggest waiting and buying the game at a discounted price. 

This has been our Fifa 23 Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

 
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Fifa 23 Review
Overall
2.5
  • Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

As the last game under the EA – FIFA umbrella, this is an unsatisfactory finale. It’s obvious that EA has focused all of its resources on milking this dying cow one last time, and has not made many of the changes fans have been asking for over the years.

Pros

  • Positive changes in the Chemistry System.
  • Real-Life Managers In Career Mode
  • PowerShot.

Cons

  • Meager Improvements Over Past Games.
  • Microtransactions Infested.
  • Slight Visual Upgrade.

Usama Qaiser


He is eccentric about Action games like Devil May Cry & Yakuza as well as treasuring his favorite JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Persona. Nowadays you can find him focusing his mana on writing guides and sharing his opinions at eXputer.

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