FIFA 13 Preview: New Features Guide
1st Touch Control
The first touch, when the ball arrives at a player’s feet, is the most important touch in soccer. Soccer players are evaluated by the quality of their first touch, just as a basketball player might be evaluated on his jump shot or a running back on his 40 time. You could view an entire game as a succession of good first touches and bad ones. And yet, for many years, first touches in FIFA were automatic — sticky — as if the player receiving the ball was catching it with his foot. There was no risk involved in controlling long or difficult passes under pressure, whether attacking or defending.
No longer. In FIFA 13, developers are determined to provide a more realistic variety of first touches. They insist that nothing will be randomized — what they call “contextual trap error” will result from defensive pressure, the trajectory of the pass, the height of the ball, the player’s skill, the player’s position, the spin on the ball, and even the weather.
Skill-based trapping will lead to increased differentiation between players, and provide more opportunities for “football thoughts” — players will be more engaged if they actually have to think about their first touches. The system is designed to balance the game’s powerful offensive innovations without making it more difficult to play.
FIFA dribbling has come a long way since FIFA 09, in which players were limited to only 10 directions of movement. FIFA 10 introduced 360 degrees of movement, and FIFA 13 intends to deliver fully and finally on this promise, offering 360 degrees of movement with the ball using “multiple mechanics working organically and seamlessly together.” Players will be able take more precise touches, change their mind or direction without waiting for animations to complete (even at high speeds), and beat players one-on-one without resorting to the series’ over-involved repertoire of fancy skill moves and stepovers.
Other changes include the ability to separate a player’s facing angle from his moving angle, providing more opportunities for deception and trickery, while also making it easier to avoid tackles without changing direction. A revamped ball-shielding system works in concert with the Player Impact Engine, allowing players to use their bodies and strength to protect the ball and break in and out of shielding at will.