With FIFA 15 just a month away, EA Sports has issued a rather stern warning to people giving thought to cheating in FIFA Ultimate Team. The publisher said it will be "more proactive in taking action" against bots, coin sellers, match cheats and other exploits, and players caught cheating could find themselves permanently banned from the game.
We've covered FIFA 15's wobbly nets, muddy pitches and scary ability to steal human faces - what news from Gamescom?
Biggest of all for FIFA 15's first new-gen, Ignite-engine-powered PC showing are the additions to Ultimate Team. Now players can challenge a friend's Ultimate Team over five games through the new Friendly Seasons mode. There's also the ability to create 'concept squads' by experimenting with players you don't own, and purchase loan players from EA Sports' Football Club catalogue.
This might be the first trailer to make me give a football game a curious glance since the days of the Mega Drive, and it's all thanks to EA's current obsession with emotions. Not content with turning The Sims into an emotional melting pot, they're giving each player in the noble game of football their own "emotional intelligence", which will visibly change over time depending on how the match is progressing. While players won't sit cross-legged in a huff after someone misses a goal, their reaction animations will alter in both positive and negative ways to proceedings, according to this latest trailer. See what this entails after the break.
Take a look at the image above. That's what Chelsea striker and Belgium international Eden Hazard looks like in real life. Now here's what he looks like in Fifa 15.
World Cup fever can manifest in a variety of ways. Usually it involves a great deal of shouting and drinking, but scammers are also having a field day doing what they do best: scamming. One such scam is playing out on Instagram at present, where a fake EA Sports account is promising new and exclusive playable characters, including Neymar. Problem is, if you follow the link provided and enter your Origin password, you’ll fall victim to a phishing scam.
No one is surprised that FIFA 15 exists. What is surprising, is that it will be the first installment using EA Sports' fancy new Ignite Engine. Last year's FIFA installment utilised Ignite on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the PC still operated on the ye olde Impact Engine. Oh, the indignity!
Last month, EA Sports announced their new Ignite engine. They showed demos, revealed features, and generally explained how it would improve on their previous tech. Then they admitted that Ignite was only heading to consoles, and that the PC version of FIFA 14 would use the same engine that powers its predecessors. Now, EA Sports head Andrew Wilson has explained the reasoning behind this decision.
As part of last night's Xbox One reveal, EA introduced Ignite, the shiny new engine that'll power their next-gen sporting titles - including the upcoming FIFA 14. EA say Ignite will allow them to deliver better physics, AI and animation to the pitch. And after year upon year of minor iterations, a dramatic overhaul to the underlying EA Sports tech sounds rather exciting. Which makes it all the more annoying that the engine won't be coming to PC.
Sure, you can roll your eyes at unfailing annualisation of sports games. But just look at real football - they make a new version of that every year too, and it hasn't changed for decades. Maybe they've spruced up the hair tech since the 80s, but other than that it's exactly the same game. So at least EA Sports are putting the effort in with some new features and upgrades for the now confirmed FIFA 14.
The PC version of EA Sport's FIFA 13 has been lauded for its accessibility by AbleGamers, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping gamers with disabilities. The game received their Accessible Mainstream Game of 2012 honour for its adherence to the guidelines laid out in AG's Includification scheme.
Sometimes you have to get rid of the old to make way for the new. In a new service update posted on its website, EA has announced that it will be discontinuing online services for several games, including The Sims 2, FIFA Soccer 11, and FIFA Manager 11. If you'd like to have one last online fling with one of these venerable titles, don't delay -- the shutdowns will go into effect over the next two weeks.
AJ Dembroski, a former developer for EA's Madden series of American Football (or Crap Rugby) games, has spoken out against the publisher in a lengthy Twitter rant made over the weekend. The majority of the tweets have now disappeared, as is tradition for unexpected Twitter outbursts, but not before they were rounded up in full by a member of the Operation Sports community.
Dembroski is quick to stress that he has no issue with many of the people he worked with and that, overall, he was happy with the way the company treats their employees. "EA treats their people well. They really do. The EA Wife letter... I dunno, I didn't experience that. Good people there." But he also had a lot to say about EA's "corporate culture," saying "any corporate involvement in a creative business is doomed to fail."
The problem with reviewing a game like FIFA 13 is that you end up writing notes like ‘the physicality is less predictable’ which, when you take a step away from the context of an iterative virtual sports title, make a kind of negative sense that could potentially be weaponised and deployed as part of a disruptive first strike invasion scenario.
600 million minutes of Fifa 13 have been played online since launch last week. Imagine what we could've achieved if we'd piled the collective effort of those 600 million minutes into one project. We could have amassed enough money to quash every superinjunction in the land, delivering a payload of footbally gossip to snigger at/moralise over for months, perhaps years. We could have surreptitiously replaced Spurs players with identical android versions one by one, renamed the club Robottenham Botspur and ruled the league as kings. We could have built a giant golden statue of Balotelli, mid-hulkout, squatting over the London Gherkin as though he's laid an enormous glass egg.
But NO. We decided to stay indoors and play a quality game instead.
Not knowing anything at all about the football, I'll simply copy and paste what EA thinks you should know about Fifa 13 - that this version has "1st Touch Control, complete dribbling, and EASFC Match Day". So, if you want to control what you touch, dribble and... whatever that last bit means, hurrah!
I am however pretty confident I understand the part about a demo being available, and that you'll unsurprisingly need to go through Origin to get your hands on it. I'm also at least 90% certain that you'll find the trailer embedded below, even if the players do all seem to have forgotten their bats.
While I'm not even going to pretend I know much about the foot-to-ball, I am led to understand that EA's FIFA series is "really quite popular" - indeed, that its fans like to FIFA in the morning, and FIFA all through the night, and when treating themselves to a present, will indeed give themselves FIFA.
Here's a trailer for this year's model, due out next month, which does indeed look very much like the Sport. Behold its beauty and majesty. It lands on the 25th September in North America, and on the 28th in Europe. Wherever you are though, a playable demo is due for release on the 11th.
I don't know much about football, but I do know that kicking one makes a 'bhuwhack' noise. I don't know much about running, but I can tell you that it makes a kind of 'thub thub thub thub wheeze' sound. I happen to know a lot about falling over, so I can definitely tell you that it sounds like 'erp-topple-crunch.'
According to the E3 trailer for Fifa 13, however, all of these actions make this noise: 'boooowoosh'. It's like every action made by a footballer is accompanied by a tiny spaceship leaving hyperspace. Oh my. I think I might have just become interested in football.
On show are the new ball control and tactical free kick mechanics that Tom talked about in his preview. The updated impact engine is also looking very nice, and will reportedly result in less unsolicited goal-line cuddling. See below for eleven new screenshots.
In most co-operative games, players don’t work together so much as work beside one another. The closest you’ll get to real teamwork is pulling the trigger at the same time. Portal 2 doesn’t work that way. Its co-op problems are impossible without a friend, and each reality-twisting solution forces you to share a brain.