Target inflation reaches historic levels
written by Lars Cornelis, previous reference
Last season, 875 goals were scored in the Eredivisie. With 306 games, that averages 2.86 goals per game. We see similar averages in England, Italy and France, while Germany scores slightly more and Spain slightly lowers. In Fifa 23, on the other hand, matches that score more than five, six or even seven goals are common. It says all about the current FIFA website.
In terms of content, there is nothing to criticize FIFA 23. FIFA has long contained almost every imaginable competition, including the Champions League, European League and Conference League. This year, for the first time, two women’s competitions will be added. In the English Premier League, we see Vivian Miedema at Arsenal, while in France Jackie Gronin and Lieke Martens play at Paris Saint-Germain.
A Philips Stadium is also added, and you can even play with fictional AFC Richmond from the Apple TV Plus series Ted Lasso. In FUT, in addition to Ted Lasso content, we’ll find new icons and heroes to build a dream team that spans generations. Cruyff, Van der Sar, Coyt and Frinke in a team? Yes you can. Fifa 23 is already packed with content hence the men’s World Cup in Qatar and the Women’s World Cup in Oceania will be added soon. There is, of course, always room for more. We’d also love to see De Kuip properly represent a traditional Dutch Top 3, but this one looks for spikes at low tide.
The real room for improvement lies in the gameplay. In this regard, we will find a new Power Shot this year, and new animations have been added via advanced Hypermotion technology, which records movements during real matches. When it all comes together, FIFA 23 shines like never before. I still have a powerful shot from Berghuis on my mind: after a corner kick the ball is cleared by the opponent, after which the ball ends right outside 16 in front of the midfielder’s feet. The ball was passed perfectly and then slammed hard into the corner causing Roberto Carlos to say “U”. Try not to cheer loudly at this point.
Such goals are also possible thanks to strict and sensitive controls. As an attacking side, you can regulate your movements with great precision. First, take the ball or shoot it on the spot, shoot the ball to pass your opponent, take it completely with a powerful shot or put the ball modestly: all this is possible. But when in realistic football the unparalleled movement of football experts like Messi, Frenkie de Jong or Anthony are the moments when you come onto the pitch, the beautiful goals in FIFA 23 fall into a sea of ridiculous goals.
Not only are there too many goals in a normal match, too many goals are pointless. You often see that during the match itself, but in the replays, it becomes really clear what is being pushed towards the TV by the HDMI cable. Sometimes goalkeepers flashily pull their hands out or suddenly change animations halfway through a dive, balls get an unreal effect, roll through an impossibly standing man before a shot is fired, etc.
Perhaps the most extreme example was a special target of a computer-controlled opponent. With a pass to the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper’s foot disappears through the ball. Yes, this is how the ball rolls towards the goal. accident? Later in the game, the defender’s foot is literally shortened an inch or two, so the ball can be shot straight through his gate.
They seem anecdotal examples, but there is something to point out in every match. Especially before the break and right after it, there are a large number of goals, often in a strange way. This indicates that there are more forces at play: goals must be scored and they will be scored, no matter how. At EA, it seems, they still think football gets more fun the more goals are scored, but that’s not the case. With this inflation target, no gain — or loss, for that part — feels like your own balance. This is especially a shame, because there is also enough in FIFA 23 and that’s fine.
For example, defense has become more interesting because the way players sprint has changed. Although the player’s sprint is basically modified visually, it does make a difference in the experience. The top defenders now chase after their man with impressive strides. This gives you as a player the feeling that there is still something to save. Interventions can also be very tricky and still perfect on the ball. Grass flies through the air during such interventions and the solid line remains visible on the mat for the rest of the game. In preview, we still had vain hope that such interventions would provide some balance and a more realistic degree. This is unfortunately not the case, but they make the defense in Fifa 23 more exciting and, above all, more satisfying.
The guards also have crazy saves at times, as they go completely extended into the corner. Hypermotion pays off especially in corners. If the ball gets too close to the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper independently towers over the rest to snatch the ball out of the air, before turning itself away so as not to lose the ball on its way to the ground. Such moments seem very sincere. It’s more incomprehensible than the same goalkeeper – be it Manuel Neuer or Justin Bigelow – after a few minutes when some sort of bag of salt drops backwards onto a perfectly portable ball.
It should be clear that something was fundamentally wrong with FIFA (years ago). You can discuss whether the pace is too high and even whether the number of goals is (slightly) more than in real life does not make the game more attractive, but there is more happening. Modern Hypermotion is mixed with old animations that can no longer keep up, and spotting beats rattles from all sides.
For goalkeepers, this clash of old and new style leads directly to ugly goals, but elsewhere on the pitch, it also begins to become distressing. a defender intervening in a wooden form, an attacker walking towards the ball with a strange arc, or stubbornly turning while a pass passes clearly behind him; These are moments that determine the course of the outcome and the fun of the game.
Several things that have been added in recent years, such as ball protection, precise dribbling, and modern Hypermotion animations, show the true potential of Fifa under the right circumstances, but the foundation is rotten. Old, rickety, finished. There is real work to be done for EA in the next year to complete a major revamp or catch up. EA Football FC 24 will not be able to change the name alone.
Fifa 23 is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S, PC and Nintendo Switch. All innovations can be found in the current generation of consoles and computers, in the previous generation only a part and in the Switch version (‘Legacy Edition’) there are no innovations. For this review, Fifa 23 was played on PlayStation 5.
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