Fifa 23 Review | The End of a Profitable Era

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EA’s widely successful football simulator has returned once more but ultimately for the last time. As of 2023, EA is severing its ties with the Fifa brand and moving forward as ‘EA Sports FC’, whatever this means. While the question looms as to whether or not the core game will be affected much, it is still an interesting prospect. Staying true to its questionable per-annum release cycle. Each instalment comes with a varying degree of changes to make it passable as a stand-alone game and not just an expensive update. In this Fifa 23 review. I will cover what is new, what is the same, and my general thoughts after exploring every facet of the game. So sit back and enjoy!

Otherwise, check out this 4K gameplay footage. 

Fifa 23 Review | Break down 

Image source: Wallpaper Abyss

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: EA Sports

Genre: Football

Series: Fifa

Certificate: 3+

Released: 30th September 2022

Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

It is Still Fifa… but Broader

Every year we spend a considerable amount of time scrutinising EA’s lack of ingenuity and experimentation. But the truth is, there simply is not a lot that can be feasibly changed in an annually-released sports game without it skewing away from what makes it what it is. It is still a traditional football simulator as expected with all of the modes we have come to expect. Remember, this is why we buy and play Fifa after all! But that does not mean there are not any changes of note, it is just another day at the office for the franchise.

The core mechanics and visuals have been tweaked ever so slightly that provide a ‘fresh-faced’ aesthetic rather than a graphical overhaul. The hyper motion technology is on show once more as the player’s movements, actions, and characteristics are simulated to perfection. This adds a heightened degree of realism unmatched by most other game series. Furthermore, the overall pace of the game is noticeably slower than Fifa 22. Players feel more weighted and realistic and the midfield battle is more significant. Though players with 88+ pace will still dominate in transitions and counterattacks.

In contrast, defending feels sharper overall. Jockeying attackers and regaining possession feels less cumbersome than before and opting for a defensive setup to counteract an attacking one becomes a more fruitful decision. 

It is All About the Power!

 Power Shots are significantly emphasised, with a dramatic zoom-in to accompany an animated long-range strike. By use of the bumpers in conjunction with the shoot button, a delicious bit of oomph is added to your strikers’ arsenal. If you find space get your angles right, and you will spank it through most that stand in the way. And with this mechanic being quite generous to players, expect online multiplayer to be full of hit and hopers. One caveat though, they are very easy to intercept with their timely build-ups.

Image source: The Telegraph

Women’s Football

There is no question that women’s football has become increasingly popular in the sport which is reflected by the increased presence of women in the Fifa game franchise. Fifa 23 follows suit and allows players to play the women’s teams for English and French clubs. However, you are limited to one campaign and tournaments only, and transfers are not included. A big step in the right direction but still some way to go. 

Fifa 23 Career Mode

The career modes are largely the same as Fifa 22, with minor additions added to player and manager experiences. They are still fun, time-consuming modes whereby you can assemble your dream team of transfers for a chosen club to dominate world football. Or individually control a player in your image to rise through the ranks to become a global star. No changes there.

One minor alteration, however, is the ability to play the highlights of a game, such as penalties without enduring the full 90 minutes if you would prefer not to. Meaning you can still impact games while on a speed run. 

One very welcomed surprise for me was the inclusion of Ted Lasso’s AFC Richmond as an inclusion to the mode. While the squad is threadbare due to a limited number of characters, it is still a nice touch.

Image source: Reddit

Fifa 23 Ultimate Team

FUT mode returns as a staple of EA’s Fifa legacy and the true money maker for the franchise. Hence, it boasts a healthy number of alterations to keep the cash flowing. 

The first notable change is the team chemistry is reduced to just 33 instead of 100. While matching players from clubs, leagues, and nations boosts your chemistry and attributes, you are no longer at a disadvantage for fielding players of poor chemistry like before. Adding freedom for diversity in your starting lineup. 

One drawback though is you can no longer drastically change a player’s position, meaning you can only apply position cards for a player’s secondary position. This prevents teams from becoming completely broken with 6 strikers in a team and so on. 

All the while the predatory Fifa Packs are promoted like never before and these squad-building limitations only further the perceived need for them to find appropriate players. The culture of micro-transactions, opening packs, and the nail-biting anticipation of a walk-out is alive and very affluent. 

The one saving grace here is the new addition of the ‘Moments’ feature which allows players to earn packs by completing sing-player challenges in games. Things like scoring challenges and skills objectives. This not only lessens the lure of buying packs with real money it also shortens the grind of winning a large number of games to accrue points. All the while you are improving as a player. 

Final Words 

Overall, Fifa 23 is a fitting send-off to the goliath football game. It shows the progress it has made in regard to development, technology, and playability while also reflecting real-world elements of predatory financial schemes and growing recognition for women’s football. Fifa has come a very long way since its primitive days and has spanned multiple console generations, this much is admirable. 

That being said, Fifa 23 is the latest and last entry into a series that has felt heavily stagnant for a number of years. The games ultimately look, feel and sound like at least three preceding entries with little more than subtle visual upgrades and cut-scene animations. That being said, it is still a wonderful football simulator that grants you the opportunity to live out your childhood fantasy of winning the Champions League with your club or scoring the winning goal yourself. You should not fix something if it is not broken but you should also not be charged 60 for it either. 

Verdict – 7/10 – Good

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