FIFA 14 has introduced new elements that enhance gameplay and add more realism to the best soccer simulator for the PC.
A pure form of realism
The new features in this version are mainly centered around gameplay. EA has introduced a number of features designed to enhance the realism of the game to levels never before seen in a soccer game.
EA has worked hard on the player animations. The new Precision Movement feature means that accelerations, sprints, slowdowns, rotations, and changes in direction are much more fluid and realistic.
This increase in realism means improvements in ball control. You can now use the body as a shield to protect the position and possession of the ball. It's useful for stalling and dictating the pace of the action.
Also new in this version is the approach to shooting and ball physics. With the Pure Shot feature, depending on the context of the action, players can determine the best location and angle for shooting at the goal. The shots can be calibrated to the millimeter and with the new ball physics, you can see the effects of the ball trajectories which are varied and realistic.
Another important improvement is the team intelligence feature. EA has reworked this aspect so that players are now able to interpret situations in a game like a real soccer player. Players can now cannily check their runs, turn defenders, and run along the defensive line. They're all handy visual cues, subtly letting you know what options are available. It not only looks closer to the real game,with lots of incidents happening across the field, it's hoped that it'll also provide a more intuitive way of conveying information to the player, especially those unfamiliar with the series.
The defensive aspect of the game is one of the elements on which EA has worked hard, with the introduction of dynamic pressure where defenders now make decisions based on multiple frames of gameplay, resulting in more reliable, less impulsive decision-making.
It doesn't end here: as in a real game, the team that's ahead tries to run down the clock by disproportionately increasing possession on their half of the field through safe and low-risk passing. This new version lets players of the opposing team guess this strategy and increase the pressure on their midfield rival, just as in a real game. This realism makes for a great game!
In addition to gameplay improvements, EA has added other new features that enhance the experience. In Career mode, for example, you can send your staff observersaround the world in search of young talent. You can specify, in detail, the profile of the player that you're looking for and interact with the talent scout via Career mode's menus.
Regarding online multiplayer games, EA has introduced Co-op Seasons online mode. A long-awaited treat, you can play in pairs with one other friend against 2 online players in ranked matches, starting from the tenth division and try to get to first place to win the league title.
FIFA 14 introduces fun, new skill games (seen for the first time in FIFA 13) designed to train and improve your technical skills. And speaking of technology, the game now includes a useful section that explains in detail how to perform movements, dribbling, advanced moves, and player celebrations.
FIFA 14 finally has a revamped game interface which is more usable and has an attractive new design. In contrast, the menus for training, tactics, and team management weren't included in the redesign.
Controls with a realistic feel
Once down on the pitch, FIFA 14 shows its best side. The controls are the same as in the previous version, but the feeling when maneuvering the players is much improved.
There is greater responsiveness to commands, more fluidity of play and a slower, more reasonable pace of play that promotes teamwork. The improvements in one-on-one plays and player reactiveness, both defensively and during setup of the maneuver, are obvious.
The aforementioned Pure Shot and Precision Movements features, combined with the new ball physics, and exponentially improved gameplay, let you perform complex movements and spectacular volleys with more ease than ever before.
Same graphics engine, but more realism
Unlike the versions for the PS4 and Xbox One next-gen consoles, FIFA 14 for the PC doesn't include the new Ignite graphics engine. The engine for the PC version has, however, been updated since FIFA 13. Graphics performance differs little from the previous version, but the improvements to the animations and physics contribute in a big way to the increase in realism.
It wasn't easy, but Electronic Arts was once again able to improve its game. The new gameplay features are clearly targeted more to the hardcore gamer than the casual player, and EA has brought the realism of the game to levels never seen before.
Despite the strides made by the new PES, FIFA 14 has strengthened and confirmed its leadership as the best soccer game on the market.