FIFA 14 sets itself for some amazing shots at goal

Big changes afoot from EA Sports' blockbuster

"It makes you think a little bit more about your football - and it's a more satisfying experience."

Career mode changes are on the way too

FIFA 14 - career mode changes are on the way too

Backing into players and strength brings us neatly back to the shielding mechanism. Shielding the ball was included in FIFA 13, but the producers themselves confessed that it was clumsy and, therefore, largely unused by players.

Not so in FIFA 14, shielding will be on a single trigger button, and will become a fundamental part of the game - tussles with defenders will bring the shielding into play with little taps to protect the ball, backing into players will become more significant when you can shield and, again, being strong will allow you to create both opportunity and space - both going forward and defending.

"The game [FIFA 13] felt a bit one paced at times," says Channon. "This give you the opportunity to slow down and protect the ball.

"For example if I realise my winger doesn't have the pace to get away from a defender, I can slow down a little, come off the sprint button and hold it up. You can use this mechanism both on and off the ball."

You ll be using a single button press to shield at any angle or speed

FIFA 14 - you'll be using a single button press to shield - at any angle or speed

Shielding is, as Channon admits, a "big part of football" and making it accessible within FIFA14 was key for EA Sports' devs.

"It very much changes the feeling of the game," he asserts. "[Shielding] is a big one, it really is. It allows you to maintain possession at any speed or when the ball comes into your feet. You can even fight for position before receiving the ball."

All of this build up play is enough to whet the appetite, but what about the glorious feeling of smashing a ball home? Shooting is another area that has been changed - replacing a workable, if flawed, visual process in FIFA 13 that really didn't tell you why your star man managed to skew a seemingly simple finish over the bar from eight yards.

Shooting will give visual clues as to the quality of the shot

FIFA 14 - shooting will give visual clues as to the quality of the shot

"When they are finishing, players [in FIFA 14] will adjust their stride and the angle of approach. If you look at a good player he adjusts his feet to [address] the ball. We haven't done that until now and what we want to do is have the player kicking with in phase, i.e. getting their feet set. They will also adjust the angle of approach."

In visual terms FIFA 13's strike animation often left you scratching your head, but its successor will bring in animations that show that, for example, he is struggling to dig the ball out from between his feet or that he is rushed when the ball comes to him. The principle is sound - although without playing the game ourselves the actual way this manifests is still to be seen.

"Now when you know [from the animation] being rushed makes finishing harder you start to think 'maybe I'll hold it up or pass it' - not just replicate the mistake.

"That visual indication makes a big difference. The most important thing is that when you have time to hit it properly it's a great thing. It's going to feel amazing."

Shooting will look and feel more satisfying says EA Sports

FIFA 14 -shooting will look and feel more satisfying, says EA Sports

Another key factor in shooting is the new ball physics something that Channon readily admits were lacking in previous versions.

"We spent time determining how balls move," he says. "And what we found was that the drag coefficient was linear, giving us linear deceleration.

"[The way a football moves] is very different from ball to ball. There are a lot of one piece balls now and what we [are doing in FIFA 14] is a much more realistic ball movement. So in flight it will speed up, slow, flatten out, maybe speed up a bit again.


Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.