While I do love spreadsheets, I don't really care about football. Given that, I've never particularly followed the football management genre. My knowledge of the games that make up this sim subset comes entirely from conversations I've overheard. Those conversations were exclusively about Championship Manager. Then, when Sports Interactive moved from that series to Football Manager, that became the sports-flavoured bar-chart simulator of choice. All of which means I've only now learned that EA's FIFA Manager existed via the news that EA's FIFA Manager is going to stop being a thing that exists.
Last month, EA Sports announced their new Ignite engine. They showed demos, revealed features, and generally explained how it would improve on their previous tech. Then they admitted that Ignite was only heading to consoles, and that the PC version of FIFA 14 would use the same engine that powers its predecessors. Now, EA Sports head Andrew Wilson has explained the reasoning behind this decision.
Sure, you can roll your eyes at unfailing annualisation of sports games. But just look at real football - they make a new version of that every year too, and it hasn't changed for decades. Maybe they've spruced up the hair tech since the 80s, but other than that it's exactly the same game. So at least EA Sports are putting the effort in with some new features and upgrades for the now confirmed FIFA 14.
The word on the touchlines is that PES 2013 marks a return to form after a few years on the bench. Are EA scared? Are they sweating like a striker in the sights of Joey Barton's studs? Apparently not. EA's chief operating officer, Peter Moore, has responded to the positive buzz for Konami's competing football sim by saying: "We always welcome competition from our good friends at Konami," adding that it "keeps us all on our toes".
"Pro Evo has been a favourite game for a number of years but I think people recognise Fifa has been a powerful force and we've raised the quality of what soccer games are in the entertainment business."
Not knowing anything at all about the football, I'll simply copy and paste what EA thinks you should know about Fifa 13 - that this version has "1st Touch Control, complete dribbling, and EASFC Match Day". So, if you want to control what you touch, dribble and... whatever that last bit means, hurrah!
I am however pretty confident I understand the part about a demo being available, and that you'll unsurprisingly need to go through Origin to get your hands on it. I'm also at least 90% certain that you'll find the trailer embedded below, even if the players do all seem to have forgotten their bats.
While I'm not even going to pretend I know much about the foot-to-ball, I am led to understand that EA's FIFA series is "really quite popular" - indeed, that its fans like to FIFA in the morning, and FIFA all through the night, and when treating themselves to a present, will indeed give themselves FIFA.
Here's a trailer for this year's model, due out next month, which does indeed look very much like the Sport. Behold its beauty and majesty. It lands on the 25th September in North America, and on the 28th in Europe. Wherever you are though, a playable demo is due for release on the 11th.
Last night EA announced its financial results for the first quarter of this year, and the figures say some fascinating things about the state of the games industry. There's number crunching below, along with some interesting insight into the workings of a major publisher.
This week, Tom Francis, Graham, Rich and Owen convene to talk about Rayman Origins, Fifa, Diablo 3, Skyrim DLC, DayZ, Bohemia's Carrier Command Remake, X-COM, Ghost Recon Online, the Steam charts and your questions from Twitter. All in all, it's a very positive experience.
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There are two instances in which you’re likely to see a footballer somersault on the pitch. The first is if he’s scored a goal and communicates his joy through the medium of gymnastics, the second is if his legs have just been taken out by a defender and he communicates that he no longer has the ball through the medium of flying and screaming. Both instances are simulated spectacularly in FIFA 12.
For the first time in many seasons, this year’s edition of FIFA on PC is identical to its console cousins – the same engine, animations and online modes that console players have come to expect, as well as the new defensive controls and an ‘Impact Engine’ designed to render player collisions with devastating accuracy.
The FIFA 12 demo is out now. This year, they've added a smart new physics engine, the "Impact Engine", to better model player collisions. Think of GTA's hilarious ragdolls, but with more balls. This video, spotted via Reddit, suggests it might need a little bit of work.
What a finish.