FIFA 23 played: What can the new football simulation do?
With FIFA 23, Electronic Arts has published their last game under the World Football Association brand. We played it for you.
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FIFA 23: New versions, old suffering
Some things don't change at Electronic Arts. This starts with the treatment of the different versions of the game. While I can still understand the difference in graphics between the current and next-gen versions, the lack of crossplay is very depressing for many players. Precisely because next-gen consoles like the PS5 are still very hard to come by. That doesn't mean FIFA 23 will run flawlessly on next-gen consoles, though. Just at the start of the game there were still visible bugs and errors. Sometimes the camera pans the wrong way, the goalkeeper flies onto the lawn or the commentator speaks of a goal as a “close chance. Even in career mode, the journalists ask after a 5-game winning streak whether the championship is still a realistic goal.
A few bugs were fixed after the first update, but Electronic Arts shouldn't claim to deliver such a game anyway.
FIFA 23: Surprisingly many new functions
Basically, FIFA 23 does some things right, which really made me happy and positively surprised me. The career mode in particular has been noticeably improved and in a positive way. I can finally create my own team and customize it down to the last detail. Be it one of many individual goal music or fan chants, or your own coat of arms and new players. "Playing only the highlights" is also a welcome feature, eliminating the need for hours of gameplay in the career. The chemistry between players has also developed positively, although the system takes a bit of getting used to. At least on Series X, the Hypermotion 2 technology brings significantly more animations, beautiful 4K graphics and a fast 60 FPS.
The “strong shots” have also been revised a little. While these were way too strong in FIFA 21 and 22, they have to be used much more tactically in FIFA 23 as they are more difficult to execute. I also really liked the "Moments" system, because they offer interesting game moments to replay.
FIFA 23: Still with pay to win mechanics
The big elephant in the room continues to be the pay to win factor of the game. Because the Ultimate Team mode is still the big gold mine of the group and in the long run nothing will change without official intervention. It's also supported by a large part of the gaming community, but that doesn't make the mechanics any better in my opinion. Furthermore, a currency can be purchased for real money, with which the loot boxes for player cards can be opened. Of course, good players don't guarantee wins, but they do give the player a massive advantage in the game, which I think is just plain unfair. It's a double-edged sword, as many people enjoy Ultimate Team mode, but it can get frustrating.
FIFA 23: Conclusion
Fifa 23 is a lot of fun because Electronic Arts once again delivers their best football simulation. But it could be significantly better in some places if the focus is shifted away from Ultimate Team as a gold mine to the other modes. From a business point of view, however, this will not happen without official measures, which is why you simply have to accept this as a player. Many screws were screwed in much better this year than in the years before (especially in terms of realism and the career mode), but bugs and half-heartedness in old-gen versions still slow down the fun for many players. The same applies to me this year: If you want to play Ultimate Team, you’ve already bought the game. If you are thinking about getting the new part because of the other modes, you can safely wait for a sale.