Though last year’s FIFA 12 brought with a fantastic new animation and collision engine, dubbed the impact engine, the facial animations for each player still were lacking. For this year’s iteration, however, that is a key focus for EA Sports, one that they have been working on since as early as 2009.
By partnering with Dimensional Imaging, EA Sports hopes that the facial animations, or at least the 3D likenesses, for FIFA 13 will be the best yet. While FIFA‘s traditional camera perspective puts the action a decent distance away, and helps the game avoid treading the uncanny valley territory, the post-goal celebrations or pre-game entrances really highlight the lack of realism in the faces.
Gamers might be able to recognize Landon Donovan or Kaka out on the virtual pitch, but seeing them up close reveals the same problems that any sports game has. Thankfully, EA Sports is well aware of this, and they’ve put plans in place to make FIFA 13 the most realistic.
Talking with CVG, EA’s Mike Harrison says that as computer graphics continue to improve so does the need to better reflect the virtual players’ actual likeness. EA recognized that early on, and sought out the help of Dimensional Imaging, who is now capable of putting rendering a large number of players.
“Working closely with Dimensional Imaging has allowed us to develop a highly accurate 3D facial capture pipeline that is now so efficient that we can apply it to more characters than we ever thought possible.”
Aside from the Move support this is the first we’ve heard about new features for FIFA 13, which should be releasing some time in September, but so far things are looking to be immensely improved. If you read our review you would know that FIFA 12 was a huge leap forward for the franchise both in terms of accurately recreating collisions between players and delivering an AI that doesn’t simply charge the ball.
Still, there was plenty of room for improvement both on and off the ball. Hopefully this dedication to realistic 3D faces is only the first item on this year’s list of improvements.
Was it time for the 3D faces in FIFA to improve? Would you rather see improvements made to other areas before the game started to look more realistic?
FIFA 13 should be on store shelves by the end of September 2012.