Kicking it off with physics!
Now that EA has begun their kickoff to their 2013 sports season, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 already released, it is time to get the party started. With every turn of a calendar year, gaming studios begin ushering in renewals of some of our favorite titles, from RPG genres such as Final Fantasy, on down to renditions of classics like Sonic the Hedgehog. But of course we’re here talking about EA Sports. And what are they best known for? You guessed it. First-person shoot... I mean sports... I knew that.
And first up to bat—well, foot—is none other than football! Though, not the football you may be thinking of, but "international football" or what we United Statians like to call "soccer." This year FIFA 14 is hoping to bring a fresh feel to a game the world loves. Last year, many complained FIFA 13 was too fast. So for 14, those complaints were heard and applied to better the experience.
Slowing down a game that is played with speed may sound contradicting, but in fact, this will allow players to have a smoother transition from offense to defense and vice versa. Specifically, ball control seems to have benefited from the change in the hands-off presentation shown to us in a recent event at EA Redwood Shores. A slight tweak has been thrown in to compliment the movement: the addition of shielding. Holding L2 (PS3) or left trigger (Xbox 360) allows a player to box out an opponent attempting to gain control of the ball. Positioning is key to the success of soccer, so it’s no surprise dynamic awareness has been upgraded.
Following the theme of awareness, defensive recognition has been amped up. In the past, we would see a lot of defenders fade away from the man they were following, in order to chase down another attacker completely away from the play. This can be especially frustrating when it’s your own teammate aimlessly wandering off. Seemingly, this has been corrected with new multi-frame capabilities and makes way for a much better player-tracking system. A.I. defenders will be able to understand importance of one-on-one match ups and stick with their opponents in a more proper and effective way.
FIFA 14 is still in early stages and there are plenty of areas to improve upon, but so far the new enhancements are well-documented and will please fans. Little tidbits that have been underrated such as skills games are back with a vengeance. Plenty of fun is to be had when this year’s installment is dropped, some time after summer.