Come Sept. 24, world football fans in North America will have the chance to grab the newest version of the most popular video game simulation of their sport. FIFA 14 releases in stores then and on EA Season Ticket on Sept. 20.
With the demo and a plethora of information at my disposal, I’ve constructed a preview of this mammoth release for Xbox 360 and PS3. Here’s a look at the newest features, gameplay and other important information about FIFA 14.
More Response and a Slower Pace
If you’ve played FIFA 13, the first thing you notice with FIFA 14 could be the slower pace to the action. This is something that is a welcome addition as it makes the gameplay a bit more realistic. Every match isn’t a shootout played at a breakneck pace. I’ve found it easier and more satisfying on both offense and defense.
To that end, players seem more responsive to first touch with the ball and computer-controlled teammates react with more intelligence than they have in the past. There are fewer frustrating moments based purely on the fact that a teammate didn’t take a smart position on the pitch. Here is a look at some gameplay from the demo.
The most popular mode in the FIFA series is Ultimate Team. In FIFA 14, chemistry is the operative term in the mode. Players aren’t just tasked with grabbing as many highly rated players as possible. They must also take into account the player's home country and real-life club. Matching players with common ground will augment the entire team’s play.
There are also a few new ways to acquire players. EA Sports introduced the Auction House to the Ultimate Team concept. Gamers can buy or sell players using this method, which is even accessible via PC, Mac or mobile device.
The lifeblood of a sports video game should always be its career mode. EA Sports seemingly buys into that concept this year. The Global Transfer Network has upped the ante on scouting when playing a career mode as a manager.
Each club will have a designated number of scouts based on their economic power. You can build a club up to hold as many as six. All scouts are graded, and their grades dictate how much you can trust their information.
You can disperse these scouts to track talent anywhere in the world. There is even a timetable that determines how long information for scouts will be relevant.
With detailed player progression and aging, player ratings will change through the season.
Designed to take online play to the next level, gamers can team up with a friend to play two-on-two cooperative seasons against other gaming duos.
The objective is to ascend through Division 1 while grabbing trophies for your virtual cabinet. Each friend you play with will have their own season. This way, you’re not held up by a friend who doesn’t play as often as you.
A more grandiose version of the co-op season is called Pro Clubs. In this mode, you can play 11-on-11 online. Gamers will be competing in 10-game seasons with the objective of promotion through league divisions.
Poor play can get your pro demoted to a lower division. Think of this as a virtual pick-up game of world football with your individual pro gaining and losing abilities based on his performance.
FIFA has always had some of the more appealing mini-games in the genre, and they are back in FIFA 14.
What makes them so fun? They’re innovative and actually help you hone the skills needed in the more traditional modes of play. There doesn’t appear to be any new mini-games added, but it is good to see the option return.
EA Sports Football Club
EASFC is like Facebook within the FIFA community so to speak. This option allows you to keep track of friends in the FIFA community. You can see how well your accomplishments measure up to your peers, gift unlocked items and even send messages.
Look out for the Review
Stay tuned for the full review of FIFA 14. This is a large game, but I’ll turn it every way to deliver a complete and comprehensive account of the year’s biggest world football video game release.
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