FIFA 13 preview: career mode, new transfer system,mini-games and more

“Budgets are set within a somewhat realistic level,” says Channon, “but we don’t take it to the level where it breaks the game.” Also, the team hasn’t included UEFA’s new financial fair play rules. Which is probably for the best – who doesn’t like to procure a shiny new attacking midfielder every transfer window or two?

However, in our first experience of career mode (see p.22), securing that star player proves trickier than it was in FIFA 12 – and deliberately so from a development standpoint. In last year’s game, the AI assigned a value to each player, and if an offer appeared and the money was right, they’d switch clubs. This led to a lot of churn where players like David Silva and Luka Modric would change clubs every time a rival chairman came knocking. The mode’s producer, Santiago Jaramillo, says this won’t be the case in FIFA 13.

“The logic in FIFA 13’s transfer system has been rewritten, making the best players harder to buy,” he says. “You’ll need to make concessions depending on the player’s skill level, their form and the length they have on their contract.” If you want Rafael Van Der Vaart, for example, you’ll have to guarantee him first-team starts when he’s fit, as well as clear some rival attacking midfielders off your squad. If managers renege on their transfer promises, Jaramillo tells us, their new acquisition’s morale will dip sharply and they may hand in a transfer request as a result.

For the first time, managers can now also offer players as part of a transfer bid. The player included as part of the bid can’t refuse to switch clubs, although if the deal falls through their morale may dip due to being part of a transfer offer to begin with. After all, who wants to be palmed off like that?

The renewed focus on realism also plays a large part in the Be A Pro aspect of career mode, in that players now have to earn a place in their club’s first team. “Last year, you could create a player and join, say, Barcelona as a striker,” explains Jaramillo, “and you’d play while Messi just sat on the bench. We’d be giving you this entirely artificial experience.”

New changes to this aspect of career mode dictate that if your player signs for a top club early on, you’ll be playing in the lower leagues on loan in short order. Alternately, you could sign for a less prestigious club – such as Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS – and level your player up until a bigger club swoops in with an offer. No matter which path you take, however, your man will have to prove himself and raise his overall skill rating before the biggest clubs will even look at him.