Online play is one of the greatest things that ever happened to sports video games and the entire gaming community, but career/franchise modes are still the option that make or break a sports game for me. When both concepts are blended it is really the best of both sports gaming worlds.
FIFA’s career modes have steadily evolved into that nearly utopian reality. In FIFA 14, there are a few notable enhancements, per EA Sports, that could make this year’s career mode the best in the series’ history.
When playing a game mode designed to take a gamer through multiple seasons, the scouting system is very important. The manner by which you acquire and assess talent abroad is especially important in the simulation of a global sport like world football.
Here is some of what EA Sports had to say about the improved Global Transfer Network:
Clubs will start out with between one to four scouts on staff. Larger clubs will start with a number of scouts, while smaller sides may only have one available. All clubs can eventually hire up to six scouts to evaluate talent, and scouts themselves are rated from one to five stars depending on their influence and ability.
It was smart and realistic to appoint a different amount of scouts to each club based on their size and prominence. Success in world football is largely about the most affluent clubs. The Manchester Uniteds and Real Madrids of the world have an advantage because of their economic standing. This is just one way to reflect that reality in the game.
To further establish a level of realism, the game consistently progresses or declines player ratings. This can cause scouting reports to become outdated. Per EA Sports, the onus is on the gamer to make sure they are keeping abreast of potentially old and irrelevant scouting data.
Managers don’t have to immediately make decisions based on scouting reports; information is always accessible but does become outdated over time. If an entire season goes by, the information that was once collected may not be valid, so it’s best to keep tabs on targeted and viable players for your team.
Player Progression and Age
Along the same lines of player progress is the factor of age. This isn’t only reflected in the rising, peaking and declining trend of a player’s ratings throughout his career. There also specific rules that affect player’s transfer abilities based on their age. Here’s a quote from the article that offers one example of that
Eligible players can now be signed on a pre-contract agreement in FIFA 14. If a player is over the age of 23 and has less than six months remaining on their contract, they will be free to search for a new club on their own. Notifications will be made if and when a player is approaching this period of their contract.
A detail like this forces cyber managers to alter their approach to scouting young players, as well as acquiring or retaining their services in FIFA 14.
I’m a sucker for current and relevant commentary that actually adds to the experience of a career mode. FIFA 13 did a great job employing real-life events into the commentary. Per EA Sports, FIFA 14 aims to pick up where its predecessor left off.
FIFA 13 included commentary which made light of current transfer rumors, player performances and other on-field instances. Commentary in FIFA 14, takes the immersion even further with mentions of recent suspensions, potential player retirements, injury updates, and will discuss previous match results with greater detail.
FIFA 14 on the current-generation consoles is seemingly set to tighten up all the small things that could make this final current-gen version amazing.
Stay tuned for my full preview tomorrow morning and a review after the game releases via EA Season Ticket.
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