If you're a fan of the FIFA franchise then you've no doubt seen, or at least read about, all of the new features in FIFA 14, so we won't bore you with a rehash.
EA Sports held a preview event in midtown Manhattan earlier this week to show off the progress they've made in the current gen version of the game since unveiling it at E3 (Although FIFA 14 has been slated as a next gen launch title there were no announcements about it).The build shown at the EA Sports Showcase was far more polished than the one we played at E3, particularly in regards to graphics and player physics.
Both hardcore and casual FIFA players will notice that the game is not nearly as fast as past iterations. Player momentum plays a bigger role into maneuvering the pitch and since several shot animations have been added to the game. Ball placement, shot angle, and strength of shot all factor into the making or missing a shot.
We had the opportunity to speak with FIFA 14 producer Santiago Jaramillo who shared his take on the FIFA community, Messi, new FIFA features and more.
The FIFA community is very passionate about the game but when new features are announced there seems to be as much excitement as there is apprehension. How do you handle that?
I guess it’s the same thing every year. You have fans that are skeptical but they're so passionate about the game that they buy it every year and they realize this is the best game. The reality is, when you make the game every year, its never going to be completely perfect. Because then I'd be out of a job (laughs).
Now that we share with the community what it takes to make a video game and that if there is a bug here or there, an improvement here or there or a feature that didn't get done that people wanted, its not because its a bad idea or we didn't want to do it or we don't care about the community. It's because of priorities. Anything that we fix in the game is at the expense of something else. As people learn more about what it takes to make a video game they'll become less pessimistic and actually appreciate that when you compare FIFA to any other iterative sports title we are the gold standard.
As a fan of FIFA as well as a producer, what have the developers not gotten around to putting in the game that you'd like to see in it?
I'm a huge soccer fan and I feel very lucky to live in a time where Lionel Messi plays. When I see someone so small, yet so incredibly balanced be tackled by so many people twice his size and he never falls. He stumbles a little bit but keeps control of the ball. That ability to almost be like rubber and bounce off tackles is something that our physics and dribbling system still don't handle very well. I'd love to one year be very true to Messi. Especially now that he's our cover athlete. Its one thing to see a trailer of gameplay features but its another to experience it.
What will FIFA fans take notice of when they get to play this fall?
Everything about gameplay changes; the defending, positioning and passing all go through improvements. Even if we don't sell those features. Secondly, it’s not just about gameplay. The career mode has the new Global Transfer Network that is a game changing. We'll be talking about new improvements in the online gaming soon.
One of the exciting things about FIFA is the introduction of new teams and leagues. How many can we expect this year?
We'll be announcing soon but I can say that there will be some that we're very excited about.
(Later that night EA Sports announced that 19 officially licensed Brazilian clubs will be available in FIFA 14 and more would be announced before launch).
The crowd experience is a huge part of any live soccer match. At E3, EA announced that that feature would be enhanced exponentially for next gen FIFA 14; will we see any aspects of that in current gen?
No, unfortunately when it comes to the rendering power of the current generation consoles, we're kind of at our peak. All the really visible improvements we're doing to the crowd are for next generation consoles.
FIFA 14 hits stores on September 24th for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.