FIFA 14 explodes onto the next generation of consoles at launch and with it comes the new FUT Legend Mode, where players can create their ultimate generation-defying dream team. EA delivered the roster in bursts, teasing Van Nistelrooy’s here, alluding to Totti’s there – but they decided to make their latest announcement in style, revealing some of the biggest names yet from their exclusive event in Sydney’s Ivy Penthouse.
Joining the already massive 42 player roster is Portugal’s Luís Figo, the midfielder who holds the title of “most capped player ” with a whopping 127 caps. He’s followed by Paul Nedvěd of Juventus, one of the most successful Czech players to date known simply as ‘The Czech Cannon’. Last but not least is the esteemed Romário de Souza Faria (better known simply as Romário), the Brazilian striker who surpassed 1,000 goals, rendering him one of the most prolific goal scorers in the history of the sport.
Between beers, Rocket Chainsaw were able to get a hands on preview with the Xbox One version of the game and, while FIFA will always be FIFA, there are a few exciting new changes to the mix. Campaign can now be tackled with a partner (it’s always better to FIFA with friends right?) and in a nice merging of titles scouts and managers have now entered the arena.
But what’s the Xbox One offer that the current gen version don’t you say? Well, for starters, each stadium and the streets surrounding have been designed from the ground up. As a result, the camera can now fly in from the outside, adding a stronger atmosphere to each stage by creating a unique environment. EA Producer Peter Trenouth told us that the designers actually visited the Directors’ booths of certain stadiums during games to gain a better understanding of camera operations as well as the exact placement of each rig. What’s more, camera men and ball boys now appear on the sides of the pitch along with other roadies, combining to create a more authentic feel.
The new generation’s Ignite Engine also brings with it a few extras to help help the game run smoothly. ‘Elite Technique’ offers a large array of different ways to receive the ball as well as allowing for more creativity when attacking, while ‘Pro Instincts’ leads to a more aware AI, allowing individual players to read the field in a more organic way. The introduction of these key features opens up the possibilities with an abundance of new tricks. For example, players can now trap at a 180 degree radius, keeping the play fluid as opposed to the awkward touch and turn control. You will also be able to fire instinctive off-balance shots, or fend-off a tackle with a simple elbow or cheeky side step depending on your skill. AI have full access to all these controls aswell however, which means the same trick may not necessarily work twice anymore – requiring a smarter approach to each play.
All these things work together to create a more realistic looking FIFA for the new generation, but at the end of the day what we took from the event is that FIFA is still FIFA. Even with the increased control and the heightened atmosphere, the joy of the game still came from narrowly missing a goal, or yelling at the umpire for giving you a yellow card that you in no way did not (maybe) deserve. It’s the roar of the crowd as you cut through the pitch or the violent curses from your mate as he loses the ball to a well placed tackle. But the subtle additions to FIFA 14 work behind the scenes to help the game run as it should, keeping the swearing aimed at your mates and away from the game itself.