Surprise! EA is making another FIFA game – and it’s kickier and ballier than ever before. At a top-secret, behind-closed-doors preview at EA HQ, we were shown the main new additions to FIFA 14 that’ll help you to craft goals that Mr Messi himself would be proud of.
With a squeeze of the left trigger the player under your control will now use his body to shield the opposition from the ball. It can be used at any time: to hold off a defender when waiting to receive a pass, to shepherd it out of play or hold it up while waiting for support. That change also means skill moves are now controlled with just the right stick.
EA has had the ol’ pig’s bladder in a digital wind tunnel and completely changed the way drag affects its path through the air – it’ll dip and swerve after its been kicked, and lofted through balls can be curled into the path of an onrushing forward (or agonisingly into the goalkeeper’s arms). Shots will also be affected by whether you’re rushed, off balance or having to dig the ball out from under the player’s feet.
In FIFA 13 a player’s turning angle while sprinting is limited to a maximum of 22.5 degrees, which often leads to wide, arced runs reminiscent of a slow-turning oil tanker. Sprint Dribble Turns ditch the limit but throw in momentum, meaning more agile players can change direction more quickly, while bigger players will take longer to shift their weight.
While defenders in FIFA aren’t exactly lobotomised Neanderthals, they could be a bit smarter. In FIFA 14 they’ll be better at tracking opposition runs and less prone to leaving a man and expecting a teammate to pick him up. They’ll also mark more tightly, which should help to prevent those irritating occasions when a goal-kick or clearance falls straight to a forward in acres of space.
One last chance
Anyone who’s played FIFA 13 will know how frustrating it can be to put a foot in and challenge nothing but thin air while the opposition disappears off down the field. FIFA 14 will introduce 2nd Chance Tackles, which allow players to recover more quickly from attempted challenges and immediately have another go at winning the ball.