Apart from the ground breaking impact engine, this was one of the boldest changes to the FIFA series in a long time.
It’s been welcomed and scorned in pretty much equal measure and it’s the most talked about feature on FIFA.
Everyone’s got an opinion about Contain Defending!
The decision to overhaul FIFA’s defensive controls last year was a huge and incredibly contentious decision by EA. People don’t respond well to change.
But it was a decision that had to be made for a couple of important reasons.
Firstly, to create a balance between attacking and defending. Pre FIFA 12, gameplay was all about attacking.
When you had the ball the game involved strategy, skill and tactics. Defending was just that pain in the arse thing that you had to do between attacking.
Secondly, EA needed to create space and time on the pitch in order to introduce some of the other improvements they had in store.
So how will FIFA 13 contain defending help achieve this? First let’s take a look at how it works now.
What Was Meant To Happen?
Contain was meant to bring skill back to defending. Rather than be a necessary chore, defending should now be a challenging and rewarding part of the game.
The space opened up by the lack of charging defenders would allow more time and freedom to create more strategic, well thought out and rewarding attacks.
Attacking and defending would work in antagonistic harmony and the balance of the footballing universe would be restored.
What Actually Happens?
Your opponent gets 10 men back behind the ball and then holds A (or X) until the AI sweat you into submission and you give him the ball back.
(then invariably he lob through balls down the line to Agbonlahor but that’s a different story…)
Cue a barrage of comments like,
“If I’d wanted to play against the AI I’d have played offline”
“AAAaaaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh, NNNNnnnnnngggggg, s$%t c^&t”
What is being done in FIFA 13?
Complete Dribbling in FIFA 13 looks like it could be one step towards combating contain abusers.
Anyone that’s familiar with Skilled Dribbling (LT and RT dribbling) will already know that this is the most effective way to take on opponents that continuously hold contain.
The footage we saw of Complete Dribbling looks (in it’s very simplest form) to have made skilled dribbling contextual.
What this means is that your attacker will automatically face up to defenders and animations based on your proximity to the defender and movement should make it possible to skip past them with quick changes of direction and bursts of speed.
In FIFA 13 you have control of lateral movement as well as the ability to close or widen the gap between you and the ball.
This will enable move your defender from side to side letting you cut out passing channels and force your opponent to play one way or another away from danger.
What!?! They’re making contain defending even more sweaty!?!! :shockface:
Well………… Yes and no…….
How many people have you seen that effectively use proximity in contain defending?
My guess is not many…
Call me crazy but I’m going to throw it out there and say that not many people are going to come to grips with lateral movement in contain defending either.
Contain defending is effective and overused right now because there’s nothing that can really go wrong doing it.
Throw lateral movement into the mix and you’re adding room for error. People will make mistakes and leave space to exploit.
What Can Be Improved For FIFA 13 Contain Defending?
If I move left the defender moves left, If I move right the defender moves right – it’s immediate, it’s precise and it’s predictable!
Whilst my opponent holds A (or X) I effectively control his defender.
There’s no momentum, no inertia and zero reaction times. No error. Even when sprinting!
In FIFA 13 contain defending needs attribution based reaction times. In real football a defender doesn’t mimic my every move. He’s constantly reacting and adjusting.
Some do it better than others but in all cases it takes time to react.
Momentum and inertia need to play a bigger part too. If I jink one way and then another the defender’s momentum should affect his ability to turn and track my movement.
Players with lower balance and agility attributes could be caught off balance allowing opportunities for attackers.
Fatigue and concentration play a big part in a real defender’s ability to jockey. As does the speed of which the players are moving. All these factors would contribute to the realism that EA has achieved so successfully in other areas of the game.
There needs to be clearer decisions to make as to when containing’s effective and when it’s not.
Contain Defending Summary
This is by no means a Contain Defending witch hunt. Contain defending is a large and necessary step forward in FIFA evolution.
But like all giant leaps in innovation after the dust settles it needs revisiting and refining.
Contain defending is not unplayable. It makes you adapt your play and takes real patience to break down. It can however become monotonous and mundane – less of a battle of wits and more of a battle of patience and discipline.
Containing makes defenders lazy, it’s too easy to rely on the AI to do your dirty work for you.
Let’s make defenders work for that ball back, let’s give them some decisions to make and put some real skill into defending.
What’s your view on Contain Defending? Have you got any suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments below!
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