Grading Every New Feature in FIFA 23

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In today’s deep dive, I’ll be examining the new gameplay features available in FIFA 23 to give my impressions on which ones have an impact on the game, what kind of impact (negative or positive) they have, and if there’s room for improvement. For the list of new features, we’ll just reference EA’s FIFA 23 site. When grading FIFA 23, we’ll use a simple 1-5 ranking with 5 being a “great addition” and 1 being “why did EA even bother adding this?” If you want to scope out my review of FIFA 23, you can also head here.

Grading FIFA 23

Power Shots

First on the agenda today is the vaunted new Power Shot. This new shot type relies heavily on skill by incorporating a risk/reward situation that lets you unleash powerful shots on your opponent’s goal.

How to perform Power Shots: LB/L1 + RB/R1 + Shoot while manually aiming

When to use Power Shots: due to the animation taking quite some time to play out, power shots should only be used when you have enough time and space to perform the command. Normally, any power shot attempted near the 18-yard box will be blocked if the path isn’t clear as the trajectory typically is more flat when compared to finesse shots.

Final Grade – 4

Kudos to EA for giving us a new shooting command, especially one that incorporates manual aiming. It’s also a good thing you can turn off the corny zoom-in that plays out when the power shot is triggered. Overall, this is a nice addition to shooting.

Redesigned Set Pieces

Set pieces have long become stale in FIFA over the years. While free kicks are still too rare for my liking, when you do get one they are much more dynamic. In addition, penalties have been simplified for the better. Lastly, corners have not only copied the same mechanics as set pieces but also have a nice new camera view.

Penalties

How to perform a penalty:

  1. Watch the composure circle surrounding the ball
  2. Press shoot when the circle is at its smallest for maximum accuracy
  3. Hold down R1/RB or L1/LB at the same time as shoot to execute a finesse or chip shot
  4. Use the left stick to direct the shot before the ball is struck

The size and speed at which the composure circle moves is dependent upon your penalty kick taker’s rating as well as the time and scenario of the spot kick — and kicks toward the end of the match carry an additional amount of pressure.

Set Pieces

How to take a set piece:

  1. Use the left stick to adjust the trajectory line
  2. Choose a shot type and apply spin with the right stick
  3. Hold the shoot button to power up the shot
  4. Press shoot again to activate Timed Finishing for an extra accuracy boost

By judging where on the circle you will make contact, you can control the type of shot and what spin, if any, will be applied. It’s a fairly simple concept but one that is challenging enough to make free kicks/set pieces balanced.

Corner Kicks

How to take a corner kick:

  1. Watch the composure circle surrounding the ball
  2. Press shoot when the circle is at its smallest for maximum accuracy
  3. Hold down R1/RB or L1/LB at the same time as shoot to execute a finesse or chip shot
  4. Use the left stick to direct the shot before the ball is struck

Corner kicks still have the same set plays tied to the D-pad so you can choose from a few in both attacking and defensive scenarios.

Final Grade – 4

Not only have set pieces improved from a mechanics standpoint, they have also visually improved. When combined with strong players and those who are good in the air becoming relevant again, it’s good to see EA improve this area of the game.

New Physics

One of the features I was intrigued about trying out first-hand was the new physics system. With HyperMotion 2 being touted as a way to introduce more realistic physics into the game, I wanted to see if the changes had an actual impact. Well, it’s a mixed bag on this front. On one hand, you can see the new revamped ball physics on display when you switch the play. The ball spins and rotates realistically as you track the ball of the flight.

On the other hand, the things EA highlighted pre-release such as deflections and collision physics look and feel the same as last year. While the weight of the players has increased for the better, players still collide with each other and produce unrealistic collisions, especially considering the tendency to keep that finger hovering over the sprint button. A lot of the new deflections that come via an extended foot or leg can only be seen on replay, and from the some of the replays I’ve seen these shots — especially those of the power variety — would cause some painful injuries. Deflections and 50-50s still favor the AI, especially as you get used to the new body types and what they mean in terms of acceleration.

Final Grade – 2

HyperMotion and realistic physics just don’t work. There’s still too much sliding and unnatural movements that take away from what should be realistic outcomes. Sliders such as OS’ Community Sliders help to slow the game down and make the game more sim, but they can only do so much when it comes to physics.

HyperMotion 2

The majority of the new gameplay features found in FIFA 23 all stem from one thing, HyperMotion 2. HyperMotion is the foundation the game is built on, but it’s not to be confused with the game’s engine. Through 11-on-11 motion capture via Xsens suits, EA was able to capture realistic animations and incorporate them into a system via Machine Learning, which is supposed to be able to create animations on the fly and produce “true-to-life” replications. With regards to FIFA 23, here’s what’s new with HyperMotion 2 and how it stacks up.

Technical Dribbling

For those PES/eFootball players out there who have migrated over to FIFA, welcome. I know it’s been rough waiting for “Friends Mode” so we can at least play our friends, but this is as close to PES dribbling as you’re going to get so enjoy it before the “it’s not responsive crowd” cries and EA starts patching the game. On the ball, I can left-stick my way out of pressure, I can shield off defenders and turn them, and basic areas of dribbling have all improved since last year.

I’m a huge fan of how the game feels when you have the ball. I also need games to replicate the different player characteristics. Tanks like prime Yaya Toure should feel different than a young Neymar. Most players will fall in between as those two examples are the extremes, but a sense of weight with enough strength and control to ride challenges with just a flick of the left stick is why I loved PES and am really enjoying the dribbling in FIFA 23. I’ve never been a skills guy, even in real life I prefer the low center of gravity dribblers like Messi and Hazard as opposed to step-over merchants like Antony and Saint-Maximin. Technical dribbling helps players like me bridge the skill gap online while honing it offline.

Machine Learning Jockey

Fancy name aside, this new jockeying mechanic has made defending more realistic in terms of success but comes with an added caveat that it sacrifices a bit of realism as defenders are able to swivel those hips like a prime Shakira. Jockeying in its current form is now tied to the Defensive Awareness trait with ratings equating to:

  • Your max speed while Sprint Jockeying
  • Transition speed between Jockey and Sprint Jockey
  • How much speed and acceleration are maintained when exiting Jockey into Sprint
  • Acceleration during Jockeying, along with the Acceleration attribute

The higher the Defensive Awareness rating, the faster you will be able to jockey.

Accelerate

One of the bigger changes to FIFA 23 comes via the new Accelerate feature. A lot of the sluggish behavior folks are complaining about are tied to ratings and a lack of understanding of this feature. For reference, here’s a screenshot from a previous EA blog stating the three different player archetypes:

These player archetypes are completely ratings driven, so it’s important to understand your players and how they will move and feel when taking these factors into the equation. For reference, here’s a great Twitter thread that details how this all works and its impact on players:

Final Grade – 4

I’m a big fan of these three additions. On the topic of balance, Accelerate finally gives those lengthy striders like Halaand a useful purpose to counteract the meta that has been short and agile players. My only knock here is on the general point of HyperMotion 2 and how it affects team defending.

Bottom Line

grading fifa 23

Overall, the gameplay additions this year have been implemented well. Any addition that might lean towards being overpowered seems to have a counter balance. While there are still issues with the defensive side of the ball, the improvements made by the team at EA have been more positive this year. Now, it’s up to the community to adjust to these changes instead of whining because the whining will only lead to patches and different gameplay experiences that end up making even more people miserable.

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