FIFA 23 Review – A Wonderful Finale

FIFA 23 Review

After 30 years in the game, the final whistle is about to blow on the partnership between FIFA and EA. Due to this, FIFA 23 is a monumental title. It marks the end of a yearly release that spans back to 1993 and could possibly be the last video game to sport the iconic acronym. With a rich legacy to commemorate, will the last iteration be a somber farewell or a triumphant celebration?

With each release, FIFA refines its gameplay to edge closer and closer to its real-life counterpart. While this year is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, the refinements made improve each aspect of the beautiful game. A frustration that lingered throughout its predecessors was the reliance on pace. EA Vancouver tackles this issue with the new AcceleRATE mechanic. The system takes into consideration the various methods of sprint speed such as an explosive start to a gradual build-up. This means that players can now catch up to those who used to just fly past and also increases the importance of timing runs. The inclusion of this adds a tactical edge to offensive and defensive plays to create an enthralling experience.

Unbelievable Tekkers

FIFA 22 introduced HyperMotion, which significantly improved the intelligence of players. HyperMotion2 expands on that to make FIFA 23 the most realistic rendition of the sport. Player animations vary and are much more organic as they react differently to each situation. This provides for a much more physical contest where you can use your body to block and jostle. The ball also reacts realistically upon impact with any part of the anatomy, which can make for some dramatic goalmouth scrambles.

Set-pieces are a huge part of football. Not only are they key to gaining an advantage but they also add drama and tension to the event. Previously, it was hard to determine the outcome of your input which made it quite rare to be successful from a dead ball. This has been overhauled in FIFA 23. Now you can dictate where you would like to strike the ball and see part of its trajectory. While this has been done previously, it’s a welcome addition that improves these moments.

A completely new feature is the Power Shot. If you shoot while holding R1 and L1, you will unleash a thunderous strike that can make the net ripple. The player takes their time to line up the shot which gives opponents the opportunity to block or make a challenge. This risk/reward system adds even more options to the wealth already available. Its presentation is a little strange as the camera slowly zooms towards the footballer taking the shot which adds a jarring arcade feel. However, it’s a useful technique that is sure to result in plenty of highlight-reel-worthy goals. 

The Dream Team

Stepping away from the pitch, FIFA’s most popular mode, Ultimate Team has also had an overhaul. The chemistry system was restricted and stopped you from being able to experiment with team lineups. With that in mind, EA Vancouver has introduced a new point-based system to build chemistry. You no longer have to laboriously position players directly next to one another to get a link. If players are from the same country, league, or team, they will automatically add to the chemistry. This is a fantastic system that completely alters the methodology to build a team. Hopefully, this will result in more varied match-ups where you can add even more of your personality to your team.

Squad battles and rivals can take a while to complete. Without the ability to change match times, busier gamers may not be able to engage as often. To counter this, FIFA 23 introduces Moments, a bite-sized challenge mode that offers rewards. In this mode, you can access a series of scenarios with distinct objectives. The completion of these will grant you a new currency that you can use to purchase a range of packs. This is a great addition that allows you to dip in for a quick go.

Women’s football is at the height of its popularity and this has finally been recognized in the famed series. FIFA 23 marks the first time that you can dive into club football with females. On offer are the top tier in the English and French leagues with further additions on the horizon. Plans are also in place to add the World Cup competition for both male and female teams.

Pick a Way to Play

As with previous releases, the game offers a wealth of modes that will keep you busy throughout the season. VOLTA is back with its trick-focused action and Arcade mini-games that offer a different experience to the core game. Pro Clubs now includes Archetypes which allows you to further personalize your player. You can also carry these abilities to your Player Career mode. A new feature is the ability to do Playable Highlights. Rather than being on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, FIFA will simulate parts and throws you in at key moments so that you can influence the game. 

The presentation is the greatest it has ever been. Hype videos build up big matches and the attention to detail on players and the stadium is stunning. One of the most impressive aspects is the pitch itself. Although this is only subtle, marks and scuffs remain on the field for the entirety of the match. This adds a lovely sense of realism and builds a narrative for your time on the pitch.

FIFA 23 is the perfect end to the franchise. The addition of the PowerShot opens up new ways to score and the overhaul of the chemistry system allows you to add more variety to your team sheet in FUT. While the game doesn’t drastically change the formula, it evolves on its already strong foundation to create the most immersive experience to date.

*** A PlayStation 5 key provided by the publisher ***

The Good

  • The PowerShot Adds More Variety
  • Various Sprint Styles
  • New Chemistry System
  • Moments in FUT

The Bad

  • Still Includes Microtransactions
  • Only Small Changes