FIFA 23 is a slick football sim that finally introduces the women’s game

FIFA is back for one last year and it’s a swan song packed full of football content.

Next year Electronic Arts and the brand part ways, meaning we’ll get a whole new franchise from the video game maker under the banner EA Sports FC.

And it’s clear the developers behind this near 20-year series want to go out with a bang.

While the gameplay itself contains mainly smallish tweaks under the already well-designed hood, big changes have been made to online matches and the teams available.

So, for the first time properly, you now get a fully realised version of the women’s game in the wake of the summer success of the England Lionesses.

Whereas before we had generic women’s national teams only, now you have properly computer modelled teams of players across the WSL league.

  • Daily Star's newsletter brings you the biggest and best stories – sign up today

That’ll bring in a whole new army of players keen to finally see the women’s game where it should be alongside the men’s.

Then there’s cross-play.

PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X gamers will be able to go head-to-head online as FIFA opens itself up to multi-machine multiplayer matches.

A great move to bring down those old supposed ‘console wars’ barriers.

Veterans to the series can now skip the opening tutorials to get straight into the action and the graphics are stunningly realistic.

Every blade of grass can be seen and an overhaul of the crowds make them feel more lifelike as cameras cut away post-goal to show the roar of delight inside the stadium.

  • Little Orpheus review: Mobile phone game transfers well to the Nintendo Switch

Player modelling continues to creep slowly closer each year to reality and your favourite players like Mbappe, Ronaldo, Messi and Kane are all incredible detailed, with good natural movement animations thanks to the HyperMotion2 motion capture tech employed.

The women too are lifelike in their first computer outing, with aces like Sam Kerr and Lucy Bronze shining in pitchside digital glory.

Gameplay feels slightly more arcady this year thanks to the introduction of power shots. Catch that ball just right and you’ll send a beaut of a strike into the goal.

The overall speed of a game is slightly slower, but not that you’d notice much and there’s a strong emphasis on building up to an attack on goal through passing and improvements to the dribbling system.

It’s all incredibly fluid and, as you’d expect with a two-decade franchise, well honed by this point.

The menu systems again are a joy to use and very swish.

There’s an overhaul to the Ultimate Team chemistry feature to make it easier to understand so you can seamlessly rework position changes that will feel more realistic and streamlined.

And bosses are promising even more content in the coming months with free DLC including both the men’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.

It’s a huge gaming bundle and everything you want from a football game.

Fans will be sad to see this console icon go, but with a new look next year there is the potential for EA to freshen things up and deliver something even better.

VERDICT 5/5

Source: Read Full Article