So I was one of those who own an EA Sports Season Ticket which gives one early access to their titles before they are officially out in retail stores.
Today FIFA 13 became available on EAS Season Ticket and I downloaded the game to my XBOX to give it a good look from a Sounders fan perspective.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, many Seattle players got a boost based on their performance in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League. As such, Seattle is the 2nd highest rated MLS team behind LA Galaxy in FIFA 13.
However player ratings were only part of the story and as you will see below they are now going to be a bit more fluid.
EA Sports added some new features in FIFA 13 and I was curious to see how they would affect the Sounders and MLS in general.
I was worried that MLS teams would become unplayable if they overdid this feature and I am happy to report they didn't. It takes a little getting used to but now one has to know their team's players better to know what types of passes they can easily deal with vs ones which may go careening off based on their ball control. The Sounders fare well here, better than many other MLS teams as our starters generally have very good ball control.
The other feature I was looking forward to with a skeptical eye was something called "Matchday" which EA Sports describes below:
"This is a huge technological innovation that will make every match feel like a seamless extension of the headlines ripped from the football pages around the world," said David Rutter, Executive Producer of FIFA 13. "There is nothing bigger in the world of sports than match day. It brings together the emotions, passion and drama of the world’s sport for players, pundits, managers and fans alike. We are going to capture that experience and bring it to life in-game."
Through EA SPORTS Football Club Match Day, fans will be following the heartbeat of football and their favourite club. Real-world fixtures and upcoming clashes of their favourite club in the top leagues will enable them to play right along with the beats of the season. Player form—displayed in detail within the team management screens—will change frequently, so players in form, or players struggling to keep form, will see their stats change throughout the season based on their real-world performances. Plus, Games of the Week will highlight the top global matchups for fans to enjoy.
When I first read this months ago I imagined EA simply enhanced rebranded a feature what was in FIFA 10, 11 and 12 called "Live Season" which didn't interest me because it only included the top European Leagues (though Mexico's league was included in FIFA 10's Live Season before being removed in FIFA 11 and 12).
As it turns out MLS is included in Matchday. The worlds of the Sounders real season and your gaming playing as the Sounders have now collided.
Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson go on a tear one week? Their player ratings goup. They can also go in the opposite direction if they fall out of form. This is true for every player on every team in the league.
Also when a player is injured or suspended, just like their real life counterpart, they are not available for selection. In the video below Eddie Johnson is missing from the lineup due to yellow card accumulation. EA then puts together a probable lineup (one which I changed however).
Overall form and player availability tracks with what's really going on in the league (However Tiffert was on the bench and Rosales started rather than the other way around).
When one scrolls through the team selection menu they can view the the team's form in defense, midfield and attack. Select a team and view a squad and you can see which particular players had their ratings go up or down.
Beyond that, the commentators reference facts about different team's results and players form while you play.
So I dived into to Matchday and decided to play today's fixture vs San Jose to see how this feature works in practice. You'll be happy to know Martin Tyler now knows the club's name plenty of our players names and seems to know a bit about the current season as well.
Have a look and tell me what you think in the comments below. EA Sports FIFA 13 officially comes out September 25 in North America