FIFA 13 or Pro Evo 2013: A Test of Faith

A list of mainpoints should appeal you in a football game and which bests which in that particular department in an attempt to help make my decision a little easier.

By fishdalf, Posted 21 Aug 2012

I have been an avid Pro Evolution Soccer player since the early days, way back before it ever had numbers after its title. It was a time when all the Inter Milan players were more than a little overrated, and when Totti was simply untouchable on the field of play. I’d spend consecutive all-nighters playing with friends, keeping a paper-based record of how many games we had won and lost, who was the top scorer of all time, and who had the worst disciplinary record, etc. They were fond memories in my gaming career so to speak, and ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

FIFA has had a more sordid past for me, and I stopped playing it back in 2002 when I played it on the GameCube and thought to myself ‘this is on rails’. It felt more like the game was playing me than I was playing it and I started to get tired of scoring the same goal over and over again. However, since that time things have changed and whether EA like to admit it they borrowed a few ideas from their rivals and became far better for it. The problem is when they started to build momentum and became a force to be reckoned with once again the scales had already tipped heavily to one side.

FIFA 13, Pro Evo 2013, , Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

It’s followed this trend for years now, where I’ll play the FIFA demo because it generally comes out earlier, and then I’ll convince myself Pro Evo is the one for me and that even considering any other option isn’t being loyal to the cause. Lately though I’m having a test of faith, a test of faith that a lot of hardcore fans had a few years back and then quickly jumped ship. It’s been a longer and more arduous inner conflict for me though, and I’ve gone back and forth on what I’ll get the most enjoyment out of over a 12 month period. I could buy both, but I’m the type of gamer who likes to stick and invest my time in one title as oppose to having my fingers in many pies.

At the moment I’m currently undecided on which I’ll choose and here is a list of mainpoints that personally appeal to me in a football game and which bests which in that particular department in an attempt to help make my decision a little easier.


Part of the reason I throw some thousand-plus hours in Pro Evolution Soccer each year is because I like my game to be as realistic as possible. Some don’t mind a hit in this department as long as the gameplay is solid, but it’s a huge selling point for me. I want a players’ appearance to look right, down to the colour of their boots, and the stadium I’m supposedly playing in to look right, especially Anfield being a die-hard and lifelong Liverpool supporter. I want to be able to pause the game and point to my favourite section of the ground, or appreciate the detailing in the scoreboard and with Pro Evolution Soccer I’m not getting that. I’ve tried on countless occasions to recreate the stadium myself, and I’ve lost count of how many varying option files I’ve installed, but I’m not getting that satisfaction and level of overall realism I crave.

FIFA 13, Pro Evo 2013, , Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

With FIFA it all comes ready in the box for me to enjoy on day one and with EA being able to shorten the time from completing the game to getting it on the shelves the squad rosters are a lot more up to date, meaning I don’t have to sit there tinkering around with too many player transfers. I can also play as an English Championship side if I want, or even a League One side if that’s what really floats my boat and compete in true David and Goliath matches. I can play the FA cup the way it was meant to be played and when playing as a random English team against friend I can grimace as I get given Huddersfield Town and then rejoice as I overcome high-spending City and their team of superstars, and then hear my fans roar and chant songs that actually have some connection to what they sing at real matches.

The player likenesses on both games are pretty even at this point with Konami recreating some astonishing player models that look horrendous on EA’s counterpart, but for every great player there is one default appearance that lets the whole thing down. In the case of FIFA though they have a bit more of an excuse because they have so many more players to make and to give them their due it’s something they’ve focused more heavily on in recent years, not just settling for the perfect look, but also their individual celebrations, movements and mannerisms. All these subtleties are part of what makes up a good game for me and I’ve missed it, and that’s why when comparing and contrasting in this department it’s a no-brainer.

FIFA 1-0 Pro Evo


This has probably been the most contested area over recent years with each bringing out new and revolutionary enhancements to both the football and sporting genres respectively. At the moment I’d say FIFA’s impact engine seems the much better of the two, with player collisions and interactions feeling far more precise and where no two challenges feel quite the same. This is something Konami need to work on, along with some of their animations to get the game looking as seamless as possible. The whole passage of play between open play and set pieces in FIFA also seems far more immersive and goal celebrations feel like part of the action as oppose to something tacked on when the ball goes into the back of the net.

FIFA 13, Pro Evo 2013, , Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Where Pro Evolution Soccer has shined of late is in their fantastic off-the-ball intelligence where players make timed runs down the wing, jostle for space and position and you really feel like the team is constantly working together to plug gaps in the defence to make it hard for the opposition. FIFA has attempted to emulate this and didn’t do the greatest of jobs first time around, but this year they’ve had more time to perfect the entire system and only time will tell whether they can pull it off. They certainly did so with their free passing that Konami first implemented a couple of years back and now both games excel in this department. Neither are as perfect as I’d personally like, as I want to literally be able to pass the ball to any blade of grass I choose and without the aid of buttons to help me, but I’m sure one day they’ll get there.

In terms of scoring I still believe Pro Evo just edges it, although not as much as they have in previous iterations. FIFA always lacked the emotion of scoring that truly great goal from distance, or bursting free from the defence and tidily curling it around the keeper, but now it’s far more pleasing when you pull-off the spectacular. Thankfully the goals in FIFA are now also a lot more varied, especially so with the new dribbling system they have implemented giving your far greater freedom on what your player is doing on the ball, right down to intricate little movements. Naturally, Konami have countered this with their own variation and with it the constant cycle of attempting to gain that competitive edge continues, and for that reason it’s impossible to split the two.

FIFA 2-1 Pro Evo

SinglePlayer Experience

Whilst the multiplayer experience is ultimately what I look for in a game such as this, the single player has to match up because that is the bread and butter of where I’ll improve my game in order to best any potential challengers. Both have pretty decent career modes now, although not quite at the level of realism I’m sure we all crave at this point. From my experience of extensively playing Master League it has the right level of immersion with players coming to you to voice their concerns and other small additions that really go the extra mile, but the transfer system is seriously flawed and from what I’ve heard of FIFA’s Career Mode this isn’t really a problem, with realistic targets going to realistic clubs for realistic prices.

Something that has caught my attention over the past two years and I’d like to try my hand at is FIFA Ultimate Team where players and the like are traded online in the form of cards you get in packs and from this you build a winning team made up of bronze, silver and gold standard players. I can already envision myself spending many a late night searching for those last few missing players from my collection and being caught up in the whole addictive nature of the process. Pro Evo doesn’t really have anything comparable at this point in time, with their best online mode being Master League Online, which I had a fair go at but it just didn’t appeal to me. It wasn’t the step forward in the series I first thought it might be and after a while it was more tedious than it was fun.

In terms of playing that single match on my own what I’m looking for again is the realism factor so that I can create that ideal scenario I desire in my head. For example, if Liverpool are playing Manchester United away in the coming days what I’ll be looking to do is play that match at Old Trafford and hear a lively atmosphere, and when I eventually score a last minute winner in ‘Fergie-time’ I’ll begin to hear the Kopites belt out a heart-wrenching rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone. These moments while amazing, don’t play such a major role in the multiplayer, acting more as nice touches to a heated affair, but in my single player experience they’re a necessity and an something I’m far more likely to encounter on FIFA than on its counterpart.

FIFA 3-1 Pro Evo

While this list is certainly not definitive and not having played both for an equal amount of time my opinions may be a little deluded, but this is where I’m currently at and I’ll be sure to keep anyone updated whose interested on the decision I finally do make come September. But for ease of use, heightened realism, gameplay that can now match its rival and a tidy-looking online mode I may finally be jumping shipand setting sail on a different course, for a year at least.

Craig Bryan, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita
Publisher(s): EA Sports
Developer(s): Electronic Arts
Genres: Sports
Themes: Soccer Sim
Release Date: 2012-10-25

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