When a series like Fifa reaches maturity it’s often hard to work out where to go next. The gameplay is balanced, the graphics are gorgeous – what’s missing?
Well, if you’re EA then the answer is apparently’ moody footballers’ with Fifa 15 – launching September 23 for current-gen and last-gen consoles as well as the PC – promising that each of the 22 players on the pitch will have their own emotional states.
Fortunately, most of these affects will be purely visual in nature so that, for example, clashing midfielders will get visibly aggressive with one another or error-prone goalies will be consoled (or not) by their teammates.
EA promise that there are more than 600 reactions like this to entertain gamers and keep matches feeling immersive, but some emotions will also affect teams as a whole.
This means that a computer-controlled squad who are one-nil down with minutes to go will start playing more aggressively – while a team with a comfortable lead will lock down their defence to carry the match through.
“What we are trying to build is a very organic, emergent system where really anything is possible,” producer Aaron McHardy told gaming site Polygon. “Every action will chip away or add to the specific attitudes of players on the field.”
Beyond this EA also say they are finessing numerous mechanics, adjusting how players dribble the ball (taking into account spin and allowing smaller steps to adjust pace) and improving tackling success rate (Fifa 14 had around 50 per cent success, Fifa 15 raises this to 70 to 80 per cent).
Fans of the series will appreciate these tweaks, but all that talk of ‘feeling the game’ might be a little bit redundant. If you love your football, then you feel it already.