FIFA 2014 Preview: New Game to Feature Improved Shooting, Enhanced Career Mode
EA Sports have released a veritable goldmine of information about their upcoming title FIFA 14.
The latest in the award-winning franchise is still under production in Canada, but can already promise some eye-popping new features.
The established audience the series has built over the past two decades cranes their necks for information at this time of year, and here Bleacher Report brings you the aspects EA are proud to present.
First and foremost, the shooting game has changed.
Go out into any park and hit a ball in five different ways. It bounces, whips, curls or hurls in a different manner every time, and EA Sports know this has to be replicated in their next installment.
"Pure Shot" is a new method of striking the ball that further varies the shot you produce.
Rather than the choice between just powered and finesse that exists now, FIFA 14 gives you a plethora of shots to execute. This includes the low, rising shot, the rushed shot for when you can see a defender closing in and the off-balance shot to catch your opponent off-guard.
You can also adjust your angle running up the ball to find the best possible approach and adjust your stride for the optimum hit—Loic Remy style!
In FIFA 13, there are a fair few stalemates as defenders easily anticipate the incoming shot from the body language and poise of the attacker. This allows an easy block to be executed and more-or-less guarantees the attacker won't score in certain circumstances.
Being able to take a shot early—like Lionel Messi does so often in real life—could change the very fabric of how players launch a prototypical attack.
You can also hit it with dip, or you can make it bounce just in front of the 'keeper making it almost impossible for him to adjust and save.
Protect the Ball!
The second prime feature new to FIFA 14 is the ability to protect the ball better.
As a high-speed dribbler you can fend off challengers in an enhanced fashion, while some of the more highly rated players can execute a full array of tricks and skills without losing momentum or flow.
You can also jostle for position, whereby you outmuscle your marker for space on the field in advance of receiving the ball, then execute silky turns to leave him for dead.
Teammate intelligence has been vastly improved, and fellow players will recognise good opportunities to win the ball back, then press forward to flood the area with numbers.
Tracking of markers has been improved, making the likes of Mesut Özil's job much harder and the likes of Sven Bender's job more realistic.
Finally, and perhaps most impressive, is the introduction of proper offside awareness.
Strikers will now halt, adjust their pace or bend their run along the defensive line while waiting for the ball to be played, replicating some of the clever play we see from the likes of David Villa in real life.
Stepping away from game adjustments and physics, EA Sports' FIFA 14 Career Mode has been remodeled for an enhanced experience.
The interface has been revamped to look sleek and current, while greater control has been awarded for a more hands-on approach.
Most critically, FIFA 14 gives us a global scouting portal in which you can track talents months in advance of the transfer window and scope their every move.
A new interface and hub has been developed specifically for it, giving you full access to every player attribute and ability.
The immensely popular FIFA Ultimate Team is being improved for the new version, while new online modes will be present too.
All in all, it looks a lot like the next step in the franchise we were hoping for after two solid years of drastic change for the better in this franchise.
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