With the World Cup about to engulf the globe, now is a good time for EA Sports and developer EA Canada to unveil some of the first details about FIFA 15, out this fall.
We recently saw the game running on the new-gen systems (it will come out on the old systems, but we don't know that feature set yet), and the dev team is starting to capitalize on getting more time with the platforms. A new player emotion system and body model, overhauled lighting system, and improved A.I. are steps forward for a franchise that had a good debut on the new consoles, but which didn't truly wow. Here are the first things we noticed.
- Dribblers favor their dominant foot and use the inside and outside of their feet to address the ball.
- Players take small stutter steps to accommodate the ball for increased visual fidelity.
- More ball momentum and spin enables fluid one-touch passing, deflections, and flick headers.
- Shoulder challenges increase the physicality of ball battles.
- You can now slide tackle and still retain possession vs. the ball usually going back to the other team.
- Players take better angles, including tighter turns to the ball. More agility affords players quick stops and turns.
- Squads have more situational awareness, which leads to strategies like parking the bus, attempting more long balls when behind, and time wasting in the corners when ahead.
- A.I. players take the initiative and attack defenders one-on-one to try and break the defense down.
- More overlapping runs gives you more attack options.
- The new player emotion system syncs players' body language with what's going on in the match. Players are extra jubilant for a late go-ahead goal and deflated when a striker misses a sitter. However, this system is not tied to players' form or morale.
- Opponents interact with each other, sparring after a particularly hard tackle, for instance.
- Your squad physically interacts, diving into a giant pile-up celebration at the corner flag, for instance. Previously, only two players would physically interact for celebrations.
- Team-specific fandom includes Liverpool fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone," Man City fans doing the Poznan, and Borussia Dortmund's Yellow Wall.
- The lighting is brighter with more contrast, producing a more vibrant and realistic look.
- Footsteps and skids mark the pitch, and kits get dirty after slides.
- The half- and full-time highlights include music and commentary.
- The new player model brings a more toned, athletic look with less clipping between body parts.
These are just the first details for the title. Expect much more – including info on the game modes – to follow. Hopefully the series can continue to ascend and use the new-gen systems to separate itself from some of the problems it faced in the last generation.
FIFA 15 comes out this fall for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Other platforms will likely be announced in the future.