You Wish Your Grass Looked As Good As It Does In FIFA 23

FIFA 23 will be the latest iteration in a series that has long been striving to realistically translate the game of soccer to a digital space, and developer EA Vancouver has turned its attention to the pitch itself. As the big picture game mechanics have become increasingly solidified, FIFA has continually refined the smaller details in its deliverance of an authentic experience. FIFA 23 has gone so far as to include physics for individual goalkeeper fingers, each being affected differently by an incoming shot, but a far more noticeable advancement in the soccer simulation is a gorgeous, persistent patch of grass.

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Over the course of its 30-year existence, FIFA has demonstrated itself to be the industry leader in soccer simulation games. While it's certainly not without faults, the gap has only widened since the most recent iteration of FIFA's leading competition, eFootball, was not finished when it released. An argument could be made that extending FIFA's one-year development cycle would result in a more impressive, immersive product, but the incremental changes have served EA well thus far. More realistic grass doesn't sound like a major step forward for FIFA 23, and it's not in terms of the gameplay itself, but the pitch is an integral part of the sport and the uniformly green, untarnished fields of old will soon stand out as odd.

Related: Sam Kerr's FIFA 23 Cover Makes History

Screen Rant had the opportunity to visit the EA Vancouver campus, play an early build of FIFA 23, and get some insight on its development. The developers were eager to discuss the revamped grass, with one even saying, "The grass is profound." And it is profound. Two-dimensional, very low-poly foliage isn't necessarily the norm for video games anymore, but FIFA 23's new power shots and improved passing will take place on an incredibly photorealistic pitch.

FIFA 23's Pitch Won't Stay Immaculate

FIFA 23's reactive grass is persistent between halves.

Premier League sides and other top clubs employ some of the most talented grounds crews in the world, responsible for maintaining an ideal play surface that gets trampled week in and week out. In the past, FIFA has emulated this to an adequate degree, presenting pristine pitches that rarely get scrutinized from the normal, distant viewpoint during gameplay. Aside from more believable grass textures, FIFA 23 has reactive pitches with persistent distressed states. Slide tackles and particularly rough challenges leave divots and scores that reveal the dirt underneath. Such disruptions to the surface become a permanent fixture for the remainder of the match.

This isn't the most revolutionary change, especially when compared to the revamped women's teams courtesy of FIFA 23's HyperMotion2 technology, but it's an interesting development for the series' presentation. Future FIFA releases will almost assuredly build upon this new level of grass detail, furthering how convincing EA Vancouver's digital mimicry of the real sport is. More significant and impactful gameplay changes are sure to rightfully draw the most interest from players, but FIFA 23's profound new grass demonstrates a strive for authenticity that often gets lost among the short, yearly development cycles.

2022-08-06T10:26:42.000Z

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