FIFA 13 E3 2012 hands-on preview: your questions answered!

Recently, we asked what YOU want to know about FIFA 13, so that we could reveal all at the E3 2012 hands-on. Guess what? This is that thing. These are your questions…answered. EA’s big name footy game is playable to the public for the first time – and we’ve grabbed hold of it behind closed doors to resolve your questions about its title chances for the upcoming season.

What’s the major difference between FIFA 13 and FIFA 12?
Haikal Syed on Twitter

I covered most of the changes and improvements in my original hands-on, here. The big new thing I noticed today is that it’s a faster game than last year’s (and, I’m pretty sure, than when I played it two weeks ago). Not to an arcadey extent, but everything feels a little niftier. It’s also more fluid when it comes to stopping (or rather, not stopping) for set pieces or throws ins – players actually kick the ball back into position when play is stopped, and look to get into position for an instant restart. (And there’s no fumbling around trying and failing to pick up the ball near the touchline any more, thank God.)

Is the AI of team mates improved, e.g. better forward runs?
RedRedWhiteRed on Twitter

Yes, most certainly. Players overlap into space when out wide, bend their runs more realistically up top and generally seem a little smarter. The one downside is that defensively, I still saw some decision making that was Titus Bramble-esque – full backs just not tracking their runners and defenders watching as players ghosted past them. And I’m not talking matches as Man City and Chelsea, not Macclesfield and Crawley.

Is defending any easier?
Daniel Rayner on Twitter

Noticably so, though defenders still aren’t perfect when AI controlled as I mentioned above. Best bit of news is that the square button tackle isn’t anywhere near as all-or-nothing as last year’s game, with the AI seeming to assist you in getting your angle right. Players also recover much faster when beaten.

Will a CB’s strength counter and ST’s speed?
Smoge via OPM

Actually, the attribute seems to do that so much better. Playing as Milan against Barca (everyone wanted to play as Barca), I managed to stop Messi a number of times with Mexes by just getting in his way and using the latter’s strength to nudge him off the ball. I didn’t even need to use the tackle button in that situation – it appeared to be decided by the physics. (That’s not to say Messi is suddenly underrated – I still lost 2-1 with him scoring both.)

Do the players and teams actually feel different? That includes the neglected smaller teams.
John Walton on Twitter

Hard to say on the smaller teams as they weren’t available to play. Current code has Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid and Lyon. In terms of the new first touch system (where ball control comes down to actual physics and attributes, rather than being automatic), the Lyon side seems noticably poorer than the others. EA Canada needs to be careful with that, because what you don’t want as you go down the leagues is pro footballers who actually handle like pub players.

Will players, managers and coaches feature on the sidelines?
N3FAR105 via OPM

Sadly not, and from what I understand it’s not something that EA Canada is looking at anytime soon. It’s too much of a peripheral feature (though one I personally would love to see) rather than a gameplay one for them to prioritise it. Also, apologies for being unable to answer your other questions – it’s just not stuff they’re commenting on now or that’s in this early code.

Has FIFA changed any tactical options? One thing I prefer about PES is the ability to place players precisely when choosing tactics.
RedRedWhiteRed, via Twitter

Not from what I played today. PES is still ahead on this front. One new addition to FIFA is being able to add extra men to your defensive wall by taking manual control of them and dragging them to the end of it – if you’re quick enough to do so. Speaking to line producer David Rutter a couple of weeks back, I got the impression that the ‘quick subs’ option I’ve nagged him about for years (and has always been one of PES’s strongest features) is again being omitted.

Are Vita cloud saves confirmed for manager mode?
Lee Haynes on Twitter

I’d love to see them, but EA isn’t talking about manager mode at present – and there’s no Vita version confirmed for this year as yet.

Will the transfers be more detailed in Career Mode?
Will Welham on Twitter

Nothing to report. Rutter says exciting new features to be announced at a later date.

What improvements are being made to FIFA Pro Clubs?
Jcreedy on Twitter

No real details on Pro Clubs specifically, but EA Sports Football Club is being expanded and enhanced. Your XP from last year’s game carries over into FIFA 13, and being a returning player earns you some kind of goodie from the new in-game virtual catalogue. From the latter you can unlock new and classic kits, celebrations, Virtual Pro points, Ultimate Team coins and more. There’s also – and for me, this news is both amazing and life-ruining, given how addicted I am to the latter mode – an app coming that’ll enable you to update your team via iPhone and iPad. Goodbye, free time.

Is the commentary being improved? Comments being cut mid-sentence definitely needs sorting.

No sound in my hands-on either today, or a couple of weeks back. So another one for another day!

Apologies to those whose questions aren’t covered here – it’s simply because with seven teams and no access to manager mode, there’s a limited amount to talk about in the current build. As soon as we get our hands-on with the latter, there’ll be a further preview piece up on the site.