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FIFA 14 Demo Impressions 
Posted on September 10, 2013 at 07:22 PM.
I always liked the FIFA series, been playing it since the mid 1990s. This year I was kind of skeptical of ball physics and their improvements to AI. To me I was thinking this is just another year of EA Sports marketing hype that they fail to deliver on. Having NCAA 14 and Madden 25, whom both games said they also had improved and much better AI, this made me even more skeptical of FIFA 14 claim of better AI.

I was VERY surprised with FIFA 14. First thing I noticed was just how damn good the AI was. The days of dribbling from end to end with one player is over. The AI does a much better job engaging you and trying to take the ball from you. I am also really impressed with FIFA's infinity engine. It is much more refined then NCAA and Madden's engine. You can simply knock people off the ball just by bumping into them. You don't even have to tackle.

Physics is done really well, I like it. Just coming in contact with another player you will see stumbles, trips, falls and a whole lot of jostling going on between players as they fight for the ball and fight to keep their balance at the same time. One of these years HOPEFULLY Madden and NCAA series will get jostling and the same type of physics FIFA series has. On one occasion was bumping the ball handler too much, caused him to fall and got a yellow card for it. This made me happy, because in FIFA 13 I felt as though you had to murder somebody to draw a card.

Moving on to the AI. They play much more human controlled like. You will see a lot of give and go passes, more thru balls into space, etc. If you leave a hole in your defense, they will look to exploit it. Needless to say my first game, they exploited it for 4 goals.

Controls are slightly different as well, this caused me to mess up quite a bit in my first game. But after a game, you will get use to it. Ball physics is legit. Ball has a much heavier fill to it and the ball is quite lively as well. On lob passes you will see the ball bounce off a player's chest quite far, instead of like last year the ball just stuck to the player's chest and dropped right there at his feet.

I had one long goal attempt bounce off the cross bar in a realistic fashion. Also noticed the ball isn't attached to the dribbler's feet either. Try to do too much you can very easily loose the ball on your own. Where as in FIFA 13 it seemed the ball was always stuck to your feet no matter what you did. Now the ball is free.

The header cheese has been fixed. Last year you could just cross it into the box and score with a header 98% of the time. In FIFA 14 because the ball is heavier and has it's own physics now, timing in EVERYTHING you do matters. Miss time the jump and the ball will sail right passed the player's head. So to me that is a good thing that it isn't so automatic anymore.

Finally let me talk about player momentum in FIFA 14. It is FREAKING AWESOME !!! Now when you change direction, there is a subtle pause to it, like the players actually have weight to their bodies. You can no longer turn on a dime. And if you do it with a less agile player, you will fall flat on your face. It looks pretty damn good to cross a defender over and watch him fall. I wish NCAA and Madden had this. It is beautiful to see and feel.



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