Just when you thought you’d got out, EA Sports Canada announce FIFA 14 and pull you back in. To be honest it was always going to happen. A new FIFA game is a football inevitability in line with a late season Tottenham Hotspur collapse/ Wigan surge up the table now. Nevertheless, here’s what we know about the new feature of FIFA 14
Finishing And Ball Physics Have Been Reworked.
Recently, my friends and I have come to describe certain impressive footballing phenomena as “fake”. Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse’s outside of the boot stunner against Chelsea last season? Photoshop. As one person put it, “If someone scored a goal like that against you in a game of FIFA, you’d throw the pad away and say the game was broken.” As much a compliment to Cisse’s ridiculous footballing ability as it is an indictment of the set number of ways you can score in FIFA 13.
EA Canada look set to remedy that with a reworked ball physics and finishing system. Gone are the canned passing and shooting player animations for a more fluid system where players kick and receive the ball more contextually based on where there are on the pitch, to what foot they are using and under what pressure they are under.
The new finishing system which they dub “Pure Shot” looks to be a reworked version of the RB/R1 finesse shot system, so skilled strikers can make more instinctual finishes. From what I understand, top class finishers should be able to slot one-on-ones away Thierry Henry style.
Improved Computer Intelligence.
It’s always been a fine balancing act between defense and attack in FIFA games. In FIFA 10 it was far too hard to score headed goals – FIFA 11 made it too easy and they’ve been see-sawing ever since. Ever since the change to tactical defending in FIFA 12, it’s always been a case of always being one missed tackle away from conceding. (I never start Mertesacker when I use Arsenal in FIFA – his slow turning circle and lack of pace mean he’s an accident waiting to happen)
In FIFA 14 defenders mark their men at lot tighter and track runs a lot more intelligently - this could be the end for those FIFA players who favour the chipped through ball over the top.
Strikers too will be making more intelligent runs off the ball. Off the shoulder strikers a la Van Persie will be constantly roaming and annoying the back four so it’ll be up for you to deliver the service he needs and to beat the offside trap.
Dribbling Has Received An Overhaul.
FIFA 10 made the first big leap in player movement in football games by allowing for 360 degree dribbling. Now FIFA 14 seeks to improve that by allowing for a greater range of motion when players are sprinting. Velcro footed dribblers like Lionel Messi will now be able to change direction at full tilt more easily and in greater directions, while kick and rush style runners may need a few extra touches. A quick touch of L2/LT whilst sprinting also allows for a player to shield the ball while going full pelt, with strength factoring into how effective they can hold off opposing defenders. So while Any Carroll may not be able to waltz his way through an opposition penalty box as easy as Messi, if the opposition full back gets too amorous, he’ll be able to hold him off that little bit more.
Career Mode FINALLY Looks Like It’s Got A Shot In The Arm
Single player FIFA is a slog. Career Mode has been a dull “Advance –play game- tweak squad- advance” rinse repeat system for years where the only challenge was building an attack force from Roman Abramovich’s wet dreams. Luckily, EA seem to have finally listened to fan concerns and given career mode a stark overhaul. Gone are the drab menus, replaced with something a lot more Sky Sports like.
As the large panel in that screenshot will testify, there will be an increased focus on scouting in this year’s career mode. Not longer can you punch in “Find wingers with crossing 80+” and get a comprehensive list, now, Football Manager style, you’ll be tasked to send scouts out, add them to your shortlist and then decide whether or not to stick or twist in regards to signing your target.
From the initial screens and announcements, FIFA 14 certainly looks promising. Expect more information as they materialise ahead of the games Autumn 2014 release on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Wii U and Playstation Vita.
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And if you fancy taking the FIFA fight to him on FIFA 13, find him on Xbox Live at gamertag Bubblegum616