In FIFA 13, a new emphasis on first-touch control changed the way the series played and made games feel more realistic, as players would take big touches in sprints and the technical skill of players became much more important than how fast they could sprint down a flank.
Suddenly, playing as Spain actually felt like playing as Spain, as the team's highly skilled players could whip quick passes around the pitch and control them with deft touch.
In FIFA 14, I believe a new emphasis on shooting animations, mechanics and physics will have the same effect.
EA Sports is making these adjustments by adding "Pure Shot" and "Real Ball Physics" to the game.
"Pure Shot" essentially is a new system that allows players to adjust their angles once a shot is started, looking to find the best body position to score on goal. Your actual positioning and timing will still be important—if you are off-balance or coming from a poor angle, the shot will reflect that—but the system is put in place to ensure a player will realistically approach each shot.
Check it out for yourself.
The new ball physics are really exciting as well. Now, shots will rise, dip or knuckle accurately rather than either curl if you use a finesse shot or travel in a fairly straight, uniform manner like in FIFA 13.
Here's pretty much every goal from distance in last year's game under the standard shooting option:
Sure, that's a realistic and pretty sweet goal—I don't know about you, but I love adding Hulk to my squad in career mode—but there are various types of shots that players will hit from that distance.
In FIFA 14, your various shots will look something like this:
Pretty sweet, right?
It remains to be seen if the game will also include the Gervinho scuffed shot that dribbles wide (Arsenal jokes!) or the classic Fernando Torres shot that is basically just him tripping over the ball before he shoots (whichever-team-he-plays-for-next-year jokes!).
As a FIFA nut, I'm legitimately excited about these new additions. Anything that makes the game more realistic is alright in my book, and the new shooting system looks like it will do just that.