Now we're allowed to talk about all of the new things EA Canada are planning for FIFA 13! Woooo! Football fans will be pleased to know that a swathe of new buzzword-heavy gameplay features are being planned to try and improve upon last year's defensive upgrades with Attacking Intelligence, Tactical Free Kicks, First Touch Control, and Complete Dribbling all in the mix.
Attacking Intelligence will see AI players "think two plays ahead", according to EA Canada's Aaron McHardy, allowing for a greater flow of attacking play, with players responding to the positioning of others on the field in conjunction with the current ball position to determine attacking intent.
Additionally, First Touch Control should bring far greater focus on players' abilities to control passes. "The skill stats and attributes will factor in to a greater extent this time around," McHardy told us. "Incredibly skilful players might be able to control a long-range, over-the-shoulder pass with no problem on occasion, but more often than not the ball will run on, opening up the possibility of interception." Furthermore, this should see matches between high and low-level teams play out differently. As much as I'd love Yeovil Town to be the athletic perfectionists they were in FIFA 12, that's just not terribly realistic.
Complete Dribbling is the new term for the improved possession control system, which takes a number of cues from FIFA Street, bringing improved 360 degree control, the ability to "explode past defenders" with a pacey winger, and close-control skill moves accessible via the left stick.
Finally, Tactical Free Kicks are touted to give players more freedom over the ball, with the Attacking Intelligence hopefully opening up more options ahead of the set play, you'll be able to position three players over the wall, trigger dummy runs, lay-offs, and extra passing options, with defensive capabilities ramped up too.
FIFA 13 is already confirmed for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, with new packshots suggesting Vita, Wii, 3DS, PSP, and PS2 versions are on their way too. There's been no word on the release date yet, but expect it to land in the late-September/early-October patch it usually inhabits.
We'll have in-depth previews of the main new features coming over the next few days, starting tonight with the Impact Engine tweaks.