Yes, it’s that time of year, time for another FIFA. Before EA Sports announced the new features for FIFA 14 I couldn’t help but wonder “what the hell are they going to add that will get me to upgrade from 13?” It’s a good question. In fact it is THE question that we try to answer every year.

I am a huge FIFA fan and am still playing FIFA 13 at the moment as I am sure a lot of you football fans are. The last few editions of FIFA really pushed the envelope in terms of gameplay and the introduction of some really cool features like Matchday. So FIFA 14 has been unveiled, what do you need to know to help you make that decision?

The new innovations for FIFA 14 are set to inspire fans to build play through midfield, dictate the tempo of a match and create rewarding opportunities. Great football matches are achieved through measured build up and incredible finishing. A new feature in FIFA 14 called Pure Shot and a brand-new ball physics system will transform shooting, making every shot attempt feel real, and when players connect with the perfect strike, feel exhilarating.

FIFA 14 will play the way great football matches are contested with build up through midfield, tension throughout the match as chances are created, and incredible finishing,” said David Rutter, Executive Producer for FIFA 14. “Opportunities in FIFA 14 will be rewarding and great goals will look stunning.”

Finishing has been transformed with Pure Shot so players have the intelligence to adjust their stride and approach angle to find the best position for hitting the back of the net. Well-hit balls feel more exhilarating and rewarding.  New shot types include pure strikes, as well as off-balance and rushed shots. Plus, Real Ball Physics now determines the trajectories of balls, enabling players to kick the ball with force from distance, drill low rising shots with accuracy, and blast dipping or turbulent shots, just like real footballers.

FIFA 14 screenshot

Fans will be able to create rewarding build up to opportunities and have the tools to dictate the tempo of a match through four new features. Protect The Ball will enable players to fend-off and block defenders from the ball while dribbling at any speed, or out-muscle opponents for position before receiving the pass, then turn defenders to carve out opportunities. Teammate Intelligence has been improved on both sides of the ball. New decision-making logic delivers tighter, smarter marking and improved run tracking where defenders recognize opportunities to provide support and win back possession, while attacking players have new ways to outsmart their opponents by creating space for themselves, running along the backline and checking their pace. Major changes to ball control add new tools to win the midfield battles.

FIFA 14 new screenshots

Sprint Dribble Turns enable players to turn in every direction at sprint speed while preserving momentum, delivering the control and confidence to take on defenders one-on-one. Variable Dribble Touches introduces variety on touches when sprinting. Skilled players will have better touch and more control when sprinting with the ball.

In addition to innovations to gameplay, FIFA 14 is introducing a brand new way to play Career Mode. The Global Scouting Network brings the world of professional scouting to life. Players now develop and refine a scouting network and search for talent year-round. Scouts can evaluate footballers all over the world to uncover the attributes and traits of every player in the game, in preparation for the transfer windows. Plus, a new hub delivers easy navigation, fewer interruptions and live scouting reports. This is something that really excites me and something that all the career mode junkies will love.

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A couple of extra features that will also be coming as part of FIFA 14:

  • Changes to the wildly popular FIFA Ultimate Team
  • A new online Mode that will encourage social competition
  • Multiple new features and benefits to EA SPORTS Football Club, the live service that is the heartbeat of FIFA
  • Complete authenticity with more than 500 officially licensed clubs.

So as always it’s a big list of new features that continue to improve the realism of gameplay on the pitch with a sprinkling of new updates to the proven features of the game. FIFA 14 has my interest, now lets see the gameplay videos – that will provide a more tangible view as to the value of upgrading.