Precision movement, a greater midfield build-up and team intelligence are among the features EA Sports is introducing to FIFA 14, according to senior gameplay producer Aaron McHardy.
Speaking to Polygon, McHardy said one of the first things fans of the series will notice when they play FIFA 14 is the precision movement, which is a brand new feature that has step-based locomotion. This means that when a player is running and has to suddenly change direction, momentum is preserved, and he can curve his path, run around the ball and find better ways to approach the ball.
"We've been able to change the way the acceleration curves work in the game to be more accurate to the real world and preserve that momentum better," he said. "So that's going to feel fundamentally different when you're running around with any player on the pit."
The midfield build-up will also be different, and McHardy says the pace of the game will be different as a result. The build-up play will feature variable dribble touches, sprint dribble double turns and improved teammate intelligence, which allows for marking and attacking.
"The game is more like a chess match of creating opportunities building up to the midfield than it was in previous years."
According to McHardy, the AI will make more educated decisions and will fend off, push back and block the player from stealing the ball. "The game is more like a chess match of creating opportunities building up to the midfield than it was in previous years, which was more about running down the wing and hoping that someone was open for you to pass the ball to," he said. "Now it's a lot more strategic. We want you to think football a lot more than we did in last year's game."
In addition to teammates being more responsive to the player's actions, FIFA 14 also introduces three new run-types: the check run, backing into defenders and the run along the back line. McHardy said these are visual cues for players to understand what their teammates are doing.
"This way you can find the open players to pass to and create an opportunity to score," he said.
FIFA 14 will launch Sept. 24 in North America on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC.