FIFA 15 PS4 preview E3 2014 – all the feels, Poznan’ing City fans and the best looking pitches ever

FIFA 15 on PS4 and the beautiful game (minus Jay Spearing, naturally) can put you through all the feels. The unabashed delirium of a late comeback winner. Shrieks of terror at seeing your keeper hare 40 yards off his line – what are you doing Fabianski?! Or the rampant delight at witnessing certain players, for argument’s sake, lets call our hypothetical star Stephan Gercard, fall face flat after miscontrolling a four-yard pass. That’s EA Canada’s primary brief this year: it wants you to ‘feel the game’.

FIFA 14 PS4 hands-on

Like having Sheikh Mansour’s piggy bank backing your transfer market forays, FIFA 15 is building from a position of considerable strength. Last year’s new-gen debut was a fantastic start, adding considerable sheen to the presentation of an already class-leading sports spectacle. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that our first hands-on with this season’s latest entry on PS4 isn’t exactly a game-changer.

At first glance, you’re once again dealing with a superb simulation of football erected on impeccable passing, well judged physics and killer delivery in the final third. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll actually find FIFA has had somewhat of a radical personality transplant.

Emotion and intensity: that’s how FIFA 15 hopes to distinguish itself from its chart-conquering predecessors. “You want added value,” producer Sebastian Enrique admits. “And that added value in football is not just about the game; it’s also about the atmosphere, the passion.” On the virtual turf, that latter quality takes the form of teams and a crowd that fully understand the context and consequences of the ball-hoofing exploits like never before. I’ve cried in stadiums,” admits Enrique. “It’s not just about watching Cristiano Ronaldo doing a nice trick. It’s about the people who go to the stadium.”

And that’s where the game’s much more convincing attempts at creating emotion come into play. Your team is now governed by a mood system, a parameter which starts out at a neutral state, but can quickly tank to nervy, depressed levels if your keeper makes a mega gaffe. Equally, if you score a screamer to equalise in a crucial derby, your men become extra motivated and play that much harder.

In past games, playing a friendly against Macclesfield Town carried the same sense of big match day nerves as an El Classico clash. That’s to say, there was zero differentiation between small meaningless matches and table-topping, league-deciding encounters. With the tweaks made to both the crowd and teams’ emotional states, EA at long last looks to accurately recreate that gut-churning sensation of a crunch match.

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