Electronic Arts has officially confirmed the next installment in their multi-billionaire dollar franchise, FIFA 13, via its first details. The game's first screenshots has also been released.
Lead producer David Rutter unveiled the first details on the umpteenth FIFA installment in a recent London preview event, stating that the football title will feature five major improvements over its predecessors. These include (via NeoGAF):
First Touch Control - One of the first things to do for FIFA 13 was to implement a more realistic ball control. Now it will be more difficult to control a receiving ball with your player. It all depends on the strength, the speed, the ball height and the technical skills of your player to wrestle control of the ball and dribble it.
Player Impact - Another feature that got improved is the player impact engine. There will be no more unrealistic animations in the players challenges. The engine has been optimized and new a set of impact values has been added at the hip and the upper body area.
Complete Dribble - In FIFA 12 you could dribble just by changing direction; in FIFA 13 this won’t be possible any more.
Tactical Free-Kicks - A whole new free-kick system has been developed. Up to three players can now gather around the ball and make fun of the opponent’s defense and goalie. You can now feint a direct shot and adjust it to a player who comes off the wall. Also the defense set pieces have been improved to go with the new free kick system. For example, you can make a defensive team with more players into the wall and send out a single man to block the ball.
Attacking AI - The offensive Artificial Intelligence has been overhauled. The CPU-controlled players have better running routes and better guessing options as to where you’ll pass the ball. Also the strikers are smarter and move with the offside line of your defenders, waiting to receive the ball and run with it towards your goal post.
Other improvements to the game were mentioned including a new passing system, shot rotation moves, as well as fresh goalkeeper animations. Rutter also said the referee will be improved, accompanied by the cheering animations being adjusted to mirror current football atmospheres. Finally, utilizing the new Dimensional Imaging software will apparently improve FIFA 13's visuals noticeably.
The aforementioned improvements being made certainly sounds encouraging. With FIFA 12, the developers completely changed the FIFA formula and it indeed paid off: the game sold over 10 million units and received critical acclaim. Looks like they're taking a similar approach in FIFA 13 by adjusting major components.
As for the game's release date, GameStop's currently listing it as a September 29th launch. Predecessor FIFA 12 released around the same time frame so it does hold merit. First screenshots, meanwhile, are below.