FIFA 14's release is on September 24 in North America and September 27 in Europe, but several notable new features and the recently released trailer continue to heighten the buzz around the latest entry in this Electronic Arts video game franchise.
Annual enhancements make FIFA gameplay seem more realistic each and every year, and the upcoming version is no exception.
Physics seem to be a point of emphasis for EA in all their games, and it is the driving force in improving the realism of this specific game. The concept is useful in a sport with such a massive amount of movement, especially in the subtle but swift, short-area quickness involved in world-class ball handling.
The combination of new features called "Pure Shot" and "Real Ball Physics" are the most noteworthy adjustments made for the better.
Shots no longer decelerate in a linear fashion, as producer Nick Channon explains below. Rather, every subtlety in a specific type of shot is captured—whether it's a knuckle shot, a rising shot or a bender.
Pure Shot allows the user to have unprecedented control over the player as he prepares to strike toward the net, with the ability to adjust and even fire shots without being completely set. That should allow the biggest stars in world football to have an even bigger impact in the video game.
Protecting the ball from pesky defenders allows the user to ward off the opposition moving at any speed and control the flow of the match. It's a feature that provides authenticity in individual battles for possession, and makes the transition into the attack feel more rewarding.
"Teammate Intelligence" is another big boost to the gameplay.
Ever been frustrated by a CPU player on your own club making a boneheaded play and allowing a player to streak wide open for a golden scoring chance? That's less likely to happen, thanks to the perpetual improvements of the EA designers and programmers.
AI defenders will be less likely to simply cover the man closest to them, and instead shade over to avoid blown defensive tactics.
On the attack, CPU offense has taken a significant step up too. Now those the user isn't controlling will guard against running offside, then join the prospective scoring surge.
For fans of the online gaming experience, the Global Transfer Network presents a whole new world in terms of evaluating talent, and adding to the immersion in the drama that accompanies football's transfer windows.
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Scouting players from all over the world in Career Mode is different, as the user interacts with the club's scouts and articulates which type of player the team is in the market for. The scout then takes that information and seeks the best assets the world has to offer.
The evaluation of talent is also not limited to only the transfer window—it's a year-long ordeal, which makes preparation for the transfer windows more adequate.
It's hard to fathom what the FIFA creators will dream up for next year's version, but when this game drops in roughly three and a half months, it has all the makings of being among the most phenomenal, engaging sports video games ever made.
Note: Information about new features was obtained from EA.com.