Fifa 23 is the latest in the ever-running EA football series and will be the last entry to bear the Fifa name and for the last game, it has a number of good features that expand on Fifa 22. That being said it still feels incredibly similar to that past game.
The number one criticism of Fifa has always been that each game feels too similar to the one last year. The same modes and graphics but with an updated roster. Fifa 23, unfortunately, does not break this trend but in all fairness what is new in this version are good updates that make this the most polish next-gen Fifa game yet, even if it is a very familiar football experience.
HyperMotion2 On The Pitch
Fifa 22 changed up the game with the introduction of the more intricate and fluid HyperMotion and 23 further improves the mechanic with Hypermotion 2. While you’re still ultimately playing football, the character and pitch look good and have more natural interactions with the ball. The game even includes various new features such as Power Shots, Technical Dribbling, AcceleRATE, and an overhaul of how to do Free Kicks and Penalty Kicks.
Power Shots are probably the best new feature on offer. This emulates being able to perform long-ranged kicks similar to the ones in actual football matches. It’s pretty fun to pull these off especially compared to previous games in the series where it was much harder to perform long-ranged goals. The shots are strong and fast, but require a large space and the right timing. In addition, the accuracy will be lowered and difficult to control. It’s a high-risk high-reward mechanic.
The other big new feature is Technical Dribbling which makes the game more fluid. The motion of the ball from foot to foot feels smoother and more responsive and the direction of the ball determines how the dribbling goes. This works well with HyperMotion2, which provides a number of new dribbling animations.
They’ve also added a sort of class system to the game called AcceleRATE. This divides all players into unique archetypes. For example, there are players who have an Explosive-type like Vinícius Jr. They’re fast but difficult to control, and with poor stamina. By comparison, defenders like Van Dijk have a lot more stamina and strength. It’s a good addition that helps balance the game. Defenders can more easily catch up with attackers when they’re passed meaning that the match is always changing and feels more alive.
There are also a number of smaller quality-of-life features. They overhauled how to do Free Kicks and Corner Kicks: when doing a Free Kick, there’s now a small trajectory line that shows you where the ball will go. You control a reticle behind the ball that allows you to determine curl, elevation, and the style of kick you want. This helps make it far less frustrating and more fun to pull off.
At the end of the day, it’s still the usual Fifa-style football but these new elements bring a greater flair and excitement to the game beyond what we’ve come to expect.
Career Mode – Manager
Career Mode returns in two forms, allowing you to be a new player or manage your own Football club. What’s different this year is you can now use well-known existing coaches like Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, and Carlo Ancelotti. You can also adjust your team’s outfit and decide which club you want to play with. It’s a small thing but it makes the game will more personal with all the customization. It also shows more love for the football community with certain managers being loved just as much as the players.
Speaking of creating a club, the club creation feature has some pretty good new addition, where you can choose more varied Jersey Kits as well as Logo & Crest with way more options than in previous years.
One thing I liked, in particular, was that when you buy a star player, there will now be a cutscene to show the recruitment. It starts with getting a deal, the medical test, and the first presentation when the star arrives at the club. It gives more soul to the game and helps make these models feel more like real people.
Career Mode – Player
As for the player side of things, EA added a new system called Player Personality. There are three types of Personality that can be upgraded and divided into three parts: Maverick, Virtuoso, and Heartbeat.
Each personality has its own advantages and will increase certain stats. Maverick is an individualistic and ambitious personality type, so when focusing on that personality, players can increase stats related to Shooting. Keep in mind, if you are good at playing it, all personality can be maximized during your career as a player.
These personalities can be improved through matches or shopping and investing. For example, when you buy a new car, the personality points for Maverick will increase. The “spending money” can be obtained through investment or from salary.
While these new modes are interesting, aside from them both career modes are still pretty much the same as previous games. There are quests or objectives to get skill and personality points, there’s a Skills Archetypes system, and so on. These new features add a nice polish to the game, but they don’t really add enough to make it feel like a whole new experience. If you already have Fifa 22, you’re not missing much.
The more arcade Volta Mode also appears from Fifa 2022. It’s once again mostly the same but now comes with a new Battle Pass-like system of progression. Players can get various rewards from coins to cosmetic items. There is no premium version. The only way to increase the level is by playing all the modes in Volta. The higher the difficulty, the faster you level up.
It’s a good addition overall. In the last FIFA, Volta just came with different gameplay but no other incentive to keep people playing. The battle pass system however adds some more motivation to continue playing Volta with the purpose of getting better rewards.
Fifa Ultimate Team
For the Ultimate Team mode, the most notable change is the game’s chemistry system, which has been totally overhauled. Players will now receive chemistry from club-mates, and national team members regardless of where they are on the pitch.
In previous Ultimate Team modes, players would have to be next to each other in a formation in order to receive the benefits of chemistry, which increases player stats. Now, Man City players Erling Haaland (forward) and Ederson (goalkeeper) would link together due to their club, when previously, only the two center-backs could link to a goalkeeper. This means it’s far easier to build a decent team without the use of microtransactions for progress.
The mode also has FUT Moments. This feature is similar to a mission or quest. You can experience a single-player scenario that recreates various iconic moments that have occurred in the football industry. The reward is FUT Stars which can be exchanged for Packs.
For example, Mbappe’s moment will start with him being noticed by AS Monaco because he is fast and can score a goal with good dribbling skills. In the mission, you have to shake your opponent with a simple feint and then score goals. You also must do so in the specified time.
Keep in mind though, if there are any FUT Moments for specific players like Mbappe, you must have Mbappe on your team. This of course is meant to encourage the loot box mechanics which is disappointing for those that just want to use their favorite players.
FIFA 23 still uses the Frostbite Engine but there are some noticeable changes. The visuals just look more sharp and more detailed in particular moments. You can see the player’s sweat or rain as it falls on them. If in the previous game, the grass also looked pretty blurry, but now it’s quite clear, especially when doing set pieces or penalty kicks.
They’ve also added far more new animations and cutscenes. Not just in terms of gameplay, but also in how the athletes celebrate goals, win, lose, and when winning a league which gives the game more personality which is a good thing.
For better or worse, Fifa 23 doesn’t really feel like a new game as much as it does as an enhanced port of Fifa 22 with some extra content and balancing tweaks. That new content and updates however do make the game feel smoother and more complete.
Additions like the cutscenes and animations are simple, but that makes the journey to football stardom feel more immersive and memorable when playing career mode. Likewise, the revamped chemistry system on FUT, makes the game more accessible and easier to understand, not to mention, easier to avoid microtransactions if you just want to play the game. That being said, you still need certain players to unlock Fut Moments, pulling you back to the loot box mechanics.
Overall the improvements to the game are applaudable but they don’t change the fact that this game still feels like the same one that was released last year. A lot of these additions really do feel like they could be DLC for Fifa 22 as opposed to a full-price new title. Whether you’re ok with that or not will probably depend on how much of a hardcore football fanatic you are but I can’t deny that the game as a whole is fun to play and made better thanks to its’ small but noticeably improved features.
|Gameplay and cutscenes are more fluid||FUT Moments encourage pulling for more loot boxes|
|Match mechanics have better balancing||Feels more like an update of the last game than a new game as a whole.|
|New mode updates improve the overall package|
Fifa 23 is available for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.