Are you ready?
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, FIFA 14 will officially be released for PlayStation 4 consoles—Xbox One versions will release a week later—in anticipation of the PS4 launch at midnight on Friday, Nov. 15. And boy oh boy, does this game look gorgeous.
Below, you'll find all the information on release dates, new features and several different videos—including IGN's official review of the PS4 version—that you'll need for the first ever next-gen FIFA.
PlayStation 4 Release Date: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013
Xbox One Release Date: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
Official Gameplay Trailer
IGN Review (for PlayStation 4)
As Daniel Krupa of IGN notes in his review, the differences between the next-gen version of FIFA 14 and the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are largely cosmetic. The crowd finally looks realistic and like individual people, the graphics are obviously far superior and there are a ton of new animations that make the movement and physics of the game more realistic than ever.
Krupa does note one major change in the gameplay, however, a feature he praises:
When defending on the 360 and PS3, I normally apply lots of pressure onto the opposing team and use the slide tackle to win back the ball. It's crude and heavy-handed, but it works a lot of the time. In the Xbox One and PS4 version this is a much less viable tactic, since players have more self-awareness. So when you go in for a sliding challenge, it's highly likely the player in possession will hurdle the incoming tackle. It’s far more authentic, and makes defending much more about maintaining your shape, closing down play, and tracking runs—all of which is aided greatly by the players’ improved positional awareness and decision making. It does a better job of approximating the real-life sport, yet importantly doesn’t make it any less fun.
The game features EA's new Ignite Engine, which mostly shows up in player animations. Matt Swider of Tech Radar broke down a few of the ways in which the new engine affected the game:
It's being used to develop FIFA 14 and three other next-gen sports titles to make players "think like real athletes."
This translates to more expressive character models on the field with four times the decision-making ability compared to previous versions of the game.
Topping that four-times multiplier, the Xbox One and PS4 editions have 10 times more animation depth and detail than what you'll see on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Beauty and brains? Oh next-gen FIFA 14, you're such a catch.
Here's more on the Ignite Engine from the EA Sports FIFA YouTube page:
From the sound of it, EA's developers decided to largely play it safe with the next-gen launch, keeping the gameplay similar to the current generation of consoles while flexing the next-gen hardware in more cosmetic ways. That way, fans are ensured to get a game they love but one that looks better, is more responsive and has the most realistic feel to date.
Of course, dismissing these cosmetic changes as irrelevant would be a mistake.
Santiago Jaramillo, FIFA 14's producer, says the leap between current-gen and next-gen is the greatest leap the game has ever made, via Colin Campbell of Polygon:
If you buy FIFA every year, there's never been a leap, even in the last 10-year period, as what you'll see from last year to this year on the new consoles.
I guarantee that if you play FIFA 06 and then FIFA 13, okay, it's better. But that difference, that gap, doesn't even compare to the gap between even 14 on the current generation and 14 on the next generation.
Sure, Jaramillo has incentive to be effusive in his praise for the next-gen versions. But based on the trailers alone, this version of FIFA just feels different.
Oh, and for those of you who are waiting a bit before making the switch to next-gen, don't worry—if you already bought a current-gen FIFA, all of your game progress will transfer to the next-gen version. You'll also be able to trade in your current version of the game for a $60 credit good toward the next version.
Next year, we'll probably see the developers use the new Ignite Engine to take the next big leap in the franchise. For now, we'll just have to do with the smartest version and the best graphics to date.
Sounds pretty good, yeah?