The sky’s the limit for EA’s soccer simulator on PS5
FIFA 23 is the final edition of EA’s acclaimed annual soccer simulator. While this goodbye is certainly a bittersweet one, it’s something FIFA fans will remember in years to come. With a revamped Career Mode, new challenges, smoother controls and amazing next-gen graphics, FIFA 23 on PlayStation 5 has all the ingredients to surpass its predecessor. Electronic Arts has finally remodeled FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), letting you create your dream squad without any kind of penalty. While it is sad to see this console icon go, FIFA 23 is the perfect end to an iconic franchise. Do you want to know why?
With each new release, FIFA refines its gameplay to make virtual soccer feel more like its real-life counterpart. This, the last edition of the franchise, is a clear example of that, solving one of the main problems that’s been dragging on since FIFA 21: its reliance on pace. Up until now, lesser-known players such as Wissam Ben Yedder would overshadow superstars like Messi or Lewandowski simply because they could run faster for a longer time. Thankfully, this problem disappears with the newly added AcceleRATE system which offers different methods to sprinting. This way, no matter what player you’re using, you’ll be able to catch up with those who used to rule the pitch running non stop.
Hypermotion, the AI-based technology that made its debut in FIFA 22, is also back. Its latest version, Hypermotion2, improves everything we’ve seen so far to emulate a real-life soccer experience. Player animations are now smoother and feel natural whether they are blocking, jostling or dodging their rivals. Set-pieces have also been improved, letting you determine the trajectory of the ball depending on where you strike it.
Women’s football is more of a focus this year as well. While you were able to play as women’s national teams in the prior games, FIFA 23 lets you play for the first time with women’s clubs from the Barclay’s Women’s Super League, Division 1 Arkema, National Women’s Soccer League, the UEFA Women’s Champions League and further additions are coming on the horizon.
Last, but not least, FIFA 23 adds the Power Shot feature, a brand-new technique that lets you smash the ball into goal with incredible strength. To unleash this fearsome strike on your PS5 you’ll have to press L1 + R1 + Circle. However, performing a successful Power Shot is no easy task, since the technique has a long wind up time, leaving you vulnerable to defenders. While difficult to master, Power Shots are a great addition to the FIFA franchise because they add that extra spice to make matches even more exciting.
Game Modes on PS5
FIFA 23 might not be revolutionary but it definitely is a noticeable evolution on its previous iterations. Its most popular game modes are back with a twist.
Let’s start with MyCareer mode, where we’ll once again be able to manage our very own soccer team. While this mode still lacks the depth of games such as the Football Manager series, EA has done a great job in revamping it with interesting new features such as playable highlights, transfer analysis and new menus. As usual, you’ll be able to create your own club, customize its kits, crest, stadium and negotiate which superstars are going to be part of it. However, for the first time in the franchise, you’ll be able to play as an actual manager and lead your favorite team. While it might not seem a big change, it’s certainly a treat to all fans that want to lead their favorite team to glory.
FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), the franchises’ most popular mode, has also undergone a much needed in-depth overhaul. Remember its restrictive chemistry system? EA has added a new point system to build chemistry where you no longer have to position players one next to the others to get a link. If they are from the same country, league or team, these parameters will automatically add to chemistry. This makes it easier to build your dream-team and more importantly, to have fun experimenting with different line-ups.
FIFA 23 also introduces Moments, an interesting alternative to Squad Battles where you can compete in short scenarios and challenges to earn stars. These Moments Stars are essentially tokens that you’ll be able to trade in the Star Gallery for Item Packs. These are a great feature that allow players without much time to play to have a quick and rewarding go with FIFA 23.
FIFA’s VOLTA is also back with juicy new features such as letting you showcase your skills in both online and offline competitions. While still reminiscent of FIFA Street, the reworked VOLTA gameplay offers new XL pitches with bigger nets, polished signature abilities and new skills to unleash your flair, such as the ball roll cut or the heel fake. There’s also been substantial improvements in its Arcade mode, adding new props, bigger stadiums, dynamically coloured balls, real-life crowd audio and much more. Other modes such as Pro Clubs will now include Archetypes and will let you further personalize your players.
FIFA 23 simply looks and sounds fantastic on the PlayStation 5. From the cheering and chanting crowds to the photo-realistic players, you’ll often be wondering if you’re watching a real TV broadcast. Popular players aren’t just rendered to perfection, but their behavior, quirks and signature moves have also been stunningly recreated. Stadiums look great as well, and the same can be said about the player’s kits. Overall it's one of the most impressive looking sports games to date.
The game’s lifelike graphics go way beyond copying the appearance of famous soccer stars and renowned stadiums. The realism is also shown throughout the match. Players' faces and clothes will be covered in sweat while they play and have visible marks on the turf after they slide on a rainy day. These little details, while not adding much to the gameplay, certainly make playing FIFA 23 the closest experience so far to playing a real soccer match.
Does FIFA 23 have in-game purchases?
FIFA 23 has microtransactions in the Ultimate Team mode in the form of loot boxes or, as EA calls them, FUT Packs. While these ultimately don’t matter because you can acquire the same items through the tokens you earn by playing the game, they are a massive turn off for the average player. Despite how much FIFA’s fanbase have shown their discontent in previous entries of the franchise, in-game purchases seem to be a constant in AAA sports games such as Madden NFL 23 or NBA 2K23. Ultimately, this is an unfair move because they tilt the playing field in favor of whoever pays the most, and not who has the most skill.
A memorable farewell to an iconic franchise
EA says goodbye to the FIFA brand with an excellent game and a love letter to soccer fans all over the world. While the game is not revolutionary, it’s definitely the best FIFA we’ve played in years. Its improved gameplay, features and changes made to the Ultimate Team mode provide hours of fun, both online and offline. Also, the game looks and performs amazing on a PlayStation 5, being an excellent choice for all next-gen console owners. While the presence of microtransactions is unacceptable in any sports game, FIFA 23 is still a great game that foretells an excellent debut for EA Sports FC.