The FIFA 13 campaign has begun.
Complete Dribbling, Attacking Intelligence and Impact Engine second-gen make up the buzzwords this year, but read our FIFA 13 preview and you'll probably find it difficult to see the new game as much more than a list of improvements.
FIFA veteran and exec producer, David Rutter however insists FIFA 13 is easily the equal of last year's record-breaking instalment, which ushered in brand new systems like Tactical Defending and the original Impact Engine.
"It's not an evolution at all," he claims. "We've completely ripped tonnes of the game out again. We're nuts"
Ahead of the official reveal this week we sat down with Leicester fan Dave to discuss FIFA 13's improvements, the diminishing rivalry with PES, and hear how he gets told off by his bosses for being too negative. The big sulk.
CVG: Is FIFA 13 as big a leap as 12?
David Rutter: Last year there was this trilogy of innovations. You had the Impact Engine for the first time in the game, a new dribbling mechanic and a totally new way to defend in Tactical Defending. Three big changes that totally changed the way that the game played.
This year's game has two pillars; one which is about making a true battle for possession and the other that makes for really nice, fluid, organic freedom in attack. But underneath them are some serious, serious features like the battle for possession.
Most of it revolves around the Impact Engine itself. Last year it made collisions on the ball look nice with lots of really pretty animations, near-limitless variety of outcomes and smoothed the entire gameplay engine so everything felt consistent. There were rare moments where you saw the game and though, 'urgh, that doesn't look right', but there were no true features within the game.
This year we have the ability for defenders to muscle in front of attackers, to put their body in the way and prevent attackers progressing with the ball. There are true push and pull game mechanics; before the attacker has got the ball or when he's got the ball you can put him off.
So there are some pretty chunky features there that actually affect the outcome of the game and what you as a user can do within our game. The other part of it is First Touch Control, which affects how likely you as a gamer are likely to control the ball. Those things are probably as fundamentally game changing as Tactical Defending was last year. It's not really until you play the game that you understand the magnitude of it - and we said the same thing last year with Tactical Defending.
That's two substantial gameplay-changing features covered. The big stuff around creativity and freedom in attack though is a whole new attacking AI system that supports a large variety of new run types for the AI, but also the ability for AI players to spot those runs and support fluidly.