With FIFA 23, an era is coming to an end this fall: After 30 years, more than 100 million units sold and profits that probably go well into the billions, Electronic Arts is retiring its sports simulation early. Or rather: the name of his sports simulation. After it was not possible to agree on a new license deal with the world football association, the series will continue in 2023 under the title EA Sports FC. So FIFA 23 is the last offshoot to feature the iconic four letters on its cover. Accordingly, the makers want to say goodbye again and say goodbye with a big bang. FIFA 23 must be something special. The biggest, most beautiful and of course the best FIFA ever released.
But now that the creators have published the first details on content, gameplay and modes, I can only say: I’m not completely convinced of it yet.
Don’t get me wrong, EA Sports really went all out with the series finale. There is now crossplay, two World Cup modes and a greater focus on women’s football. The PC version is finally on par with current-gen consoles. The presentation is even fancier, even the blades of grass on the virtual lawn have been given a makeover.
And yet I still have the insipid aftertaste that somehow there could have been more. For me, EA Sports was just too half-hearted in many areas. Things were simply not thought through to the end. It starts with the gameplay. There are a few exciting detail changes: The new Power Shots, for example, look really fun and could give the offensive game an additional facet. Corners, penalties and free-kicks have been given a new coat of paint, which isn’t so bad considering the World Cup modes. There will certainly be a game or two going to penalties. So making standards more intuitive and less fiddly should pay off.
Source: EA Sports
But apart from that, you look for the big innovations with a magnifying glass. Instead, when I tried it out, I felt like I was just playing FIFA 22 with a few extras – and not a whole new title. What might also be due to the fact that EA Sports is promoting the same features as last year: HyperMotion. More realistic animations. More control when dribbling. There wasn’t anything groundbreaking, just the usual buzzword bingo candidates thrown together anew.
EA Sports has also missed a few opportunities off the pitch, for example in terms of crossplay: After almost 30 years, the makers are finally offering you the opportunity to play with your friends across multiple platforms. And then it only works with restrictions! Okay good that current gen and old gen can’t play together, you can’t complain about that. That’s purely due to fairness.
But why isn’t there at least crossplay in all modes? The decision to focus solely on 1v1 matches in Ultimate Team and Online Seasons is once again leaving thousands of players in the dark. For example, people who would like to play online co-op with their friends. Or the entire Pro Clubs community, which has already sent an open letter to the developers because they once again feel collectively ignored.