While the FIFA Interactive World Cup—a huge tournament contested between players of FIFA and EA's seminal football series—won't begin until October, fans got a glimpse of FIFA 14 in action at the FIFA Interactive World Cup Champions Trophy.
And folks, it looks good.
Check out these highlights from the four-team tournament:
Here's a bit more background, via FIFA.com:
It was the second edition of the FIWC Champions Trophy after the current champion, Bruce Grannec, won the inaugural competition last year. This year’s tournament, played at Gamescom 2013 in Cologne, included past FIWC champions Grannec (2009 and 2013), Portugal’s Francisco Cruz (2011) and Spain’s Alfonso Ramos (2008 and 2012) as well as reigning German champion Kai Wollin representing the host nation. Ramos beat Grannec 3-1 in a comprehensive manner to take the trophy.
The FIWC is the world’s largest online gaming tournament, organised by FIFA in association with Presenting Partners EA SPORTS™ and PlayStation®. The tournament began in 2004 and more than 2.5m players around the world competed in last year’s FIWC which was won by Grannec. This year’s competition begins on October 1st and is expected to have more participants than ever. The Grand Final will take place in June 2014 with a big announcement on the location expected next month. The winner will take home a cool 20,000 USD in prize money and enjoy a trip for two to the FIFA Ballon d’Or, where he will rub shoulders with the biggest stars in world football.
But here's the really good stuff—the full in-game footage from the championship match, which unfortunately can't be shown here since embedding has been disabled.
FIFA is back, folks—it's enough to give you goosebumps.
Though the following trailer actually will give you goosebumps because, you know, Patrick Stewart:
All that promo needed was a stardate at the beginning of it, am I right?
Until you actually get your hands on the game and play it, it's hard to see the full extent of the differences between this year's version and FIFA 13. A few things did stand out, however.
At 5:35 in the full-game footage from the final, you can see Cristiano Ronaldo exhibit several new features. For one, his sharp cut to free himself in space outside of the box wouldn't have been possible in older additions, as the new game allows players a wider range of motion and doesn't restrict the angle of a cut.
Of course, as you try to cut at certain angles and speeds, you may lose control of the ball as you would in real life. But seeing as this is Ronaldo, he manages to maintain control, as he realistically would, and sets himself up for the shot.
As he does, you can see a new feature of this game, what FIFA is calling "pure shot." Alongside of offering new types of shots—curlers, risers, etc.—players will also adjust their strides before going into a shot to avoid hitting the ball off-balance. Here, Ronaldo works into space, adjusts his stride and lets rip.
Finally, there were a few instances during the game where players made the perfect run or doubled back into the right defensive position. While last year's AI was an improvement over years past, it seems this iteration of the game has tightened the tactics department even further.
Yes, watching rather than playing means these features seem rather subtle. Indeed, the game very much resembled last year's version. But more than likely, once players actually play the game for themselves, those features will give the gameplay a much different, more realistic feel.
And with the next-generation consoles on the horizon, it's exciting to see how FIFA 14 behaves on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. The graphics, animations and AI should be pretty fantastic.
So who else has goosebumps?