Somewhere in Burnaby, British Columbia, at EA’s oldest studio, technicians breathe a sigh of relief. They crack open beers. The ritual is complete. For another year, football is become a video game, and the Ancient Ones beneath the Earth have been placated. Life goes on.
“FIFA 14 will play the way great matches are contested with build up through midfield, tension throughout the match as chances are created, and incredible finishing,” said enthusiastic FIFA 14 exec producer David Rutter. “Opportunities in FIFA 14 will be rewarding and great goals will look stunning.”
The new FIFA brings reworked shooting, more realistic ball physics to better allow for swerving shots, and a welcome focus on improved teammate AI. Here’s the full feature list, courtesy of EA:
- Pure Shot: Shooting has been transformed. Players have the intelligence to adjust their stride and approach angle to find the best position for hitting the back of the net. Well-hit balls feel satisfying and goals are rewarding. As well as quality strikes, players can now shoot while off balance or rushed.
- Real Ball Physics: Strike the ball with more force and finesse. Realistic ball physics now determines the trajectories of balls in game, enabling players to strike the ball with force from distance, drill low rising shots with accuracy, and blast dipping or swerving shots, just like real footballers.
- Protect The Ball: Dominate midfield and dictate the tempo of a match. Fend-off and block defenders from the ball while dribbling at any speed. Protect the ball from opponents to control play through midfield and dictate the pace of the match. Plus, out-muscle opponents for position before receiving the ball, then turn defenders to carve out opportunities.
- Teammate Intelligence: Better decision-making delivers tighter, smarter marking and improved run tracking. Defenders recognize opportunities to provide support and win back possession. Attacking players have new ways to outsmart their opponents and break down tighter, more intelligent defences by creating space for themselves, running along the backline and checking their pace.
- Sprint Dribble Turns: Utilize quick, explosive cuts and turns to beat defenders one-on-one while sprinting with the ball. Players can move in any direction, preserving their natural momentum and maintaining possession of the ball.
- Variable Dribble Touches: The First Touch Control of dribbling varies a player’s touch when dribbling with pace. Skilled players have the touch and control to stand out while less skilled players will experience fewer perfect touches and more uncertainty dribbling, creating opportunities for defenders to win back possession, and placing emphasis on building play through midfield.
- 2nd Chance Tackles: The tackling zone has been extended to enable defenders to combine different types of tackles, recover from missed tackles quickly, and have a second chance to compete for the ball in any tackling situation.
- Curling Lofted Through Balls: Players have the ability to curl the ball around opponents to deliver precision passes to teammates or send the ball into space.
- Skill Games: A competitive practice mode that enable players to learn or master the fundamental skills necessary to compete at FIFA 14. Become a better player, faster, no matter what your skill level, competing against yourself or friends in all-new mini-games.
- Career Mode: Search for talent year-round with the new Global Scouting Network that brings the world of professional scouting to life. Develop and refine your own scouting network. Evaluate footballers to uncover the attributes of players who could bolster your squad during the transfer windows. A new hub delivers easy navigation, fewer interruptions and live scouting reports.
- Complete Authenticity: All the authenticity EA SPORTS is known for with officially licensed clubs, leagues and more than 15,000 players.
FIFA’s not a football sim, really, but a watching-football-on-TV-and-influencing-play-remotely sim. Still, it’s quite good, isn’t it?
The last one I played was FIFA 2011 which, unnervingly, had its servers shut off at the start of this year. Will you be keeping up with the series’ online community, or giving this year’s entry a miss?