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EA FC 24 Producer Shares The Holy Trinity In the Development of The Game
“It’s the same as last year’s game” is something one would normally hear when people comment on EA Sports’ latest football game. Another oft-used quote would be “It’s just a roster update”, alluding that very little change has been made to EA Sports’ legacy franchise which received a rebrand following the dissolution of their long-standing with the world’s football governing body, FIFA.
But is the newly-minted EA FC 24 more than just a name change and roster update? Well, having laid our hands on the pre-beta build of EA FC 24 and later, the closed beta build of the same game, it is. Thanks to the good folks at EA Sports, we were recently in Sydney for the franchise’s special showcase which allowed us access to EA FC 24 and FC Mobile producers.
If you’ve seen many of EAFC’s promotional materials, you would instantly realize the theme of triangles. According to EAFC24 Senior Producer Samuel Rivera, the three key elements which separate EA FC 24 from its predecessors are the Volumetric Capture, Opta Analytics which influences individual players’ playstyle and the enhanced Frostbite Engine.
Enough with the big words. What do these bombastic terms mean for players, then?
As a package, each of these elements work together to present a distinct EA FC 24 experience for those who have grown accustomed to FIFA23. In EA FC 24, each of the eleven players under your control feels unique from one another which will drastically change how you approach the game. Sure, in the past some superstar players feel a little overpowered but now with a wider variety when it comes to the in-game player’s traits, 1v1s on the field feel less lopsided compared to the past.
“We started testing this (Volumetric Capture) in 2018 but the technology, console and of course artificial intelligence weren’t ready,” said Rivera.
Those coming straight from FIFA23 would instantly feel the game pace in EA FC 24 to be slightly slower and more methodical than the game it is replacing. While it isn’t intentional according to Rivera, he suggests that the game now feels more authentic as each player’s characteristics reflect real life.
Based on the closed event as well as the Closed Beta build which we have gotten our hands-on, the varying styles of player gait make a whole lot of difference when executed properly. For example with Liverpool, Luis Diaz’s smaller strides make him brilliant in changing directions on the fly in the wing while with Cody Gakpo, you can easily leave the defenders in the dust with a quick change of pace.
Opta Anaytics now plays a larger role too on how certain players can impact the game on the fly. With player traits based on their real-life statistics from the most recently completed season, one can expect to make a defence-splitting through ball with Kevin de Bruyne which is otherwise impossible to pull off with Fred, for example.
With sliding tackles, defenders now have a higher chance of retaining the ball instead of seeing it roll away as frequently experienced in FIFA23. As a result, the controversial auto-tackling feature has somewhat benefited from the Volumetric Capture too. Larger but slower defenders now have a fighting chance against smaller yet nimbler wingers who have always tormented them in previous games. Dribbling past defenders now require a more precise run and one of the most effective approaches to capitalize on these new mechanics introduced in EA FC 24 would be to bait defenders into making the first tackle.
We also spoke to Producer on FC Mobile, Timo Mueller who promised a new approach in shooting the ball when using touchscreen controls. By quickly flicking their finger across the screen, players are able to execute the Power Shot feature which is synonymous with the console and PC versions. A risk vs reward feature, all the benefits and setbacks from trying to pull off the Power Shot are also brought to mobile giving players a closer playing experience to that of their console peers.
Clearly aware of the unique nature of mobile gaming where players have differing device specs, Mueller said “We are pushing the visuals in the gameplay to higher heights than ever before but at the same time we have to make sure it applies to any user regardless if they have the iPhone 14 Pro Max or a lower-spec Android phone. We always think about how we can optimize the features in FC Mobile no matter what device the player is using”.
“We actually made specific changes for FC Mobile to actually raise the lower graphic quality to (allow them) to enjoy these new features” he added.
One major feature which will totally set apart the EA FC brand from the FIFA franchise it is replacing would be the inclusion of female professional players in the Football Ultimate Team (FUT) mode. Having tried it via the closed beta build, female players tend to be zippier on the field but can be neutralized by overtly physical counterplays. Imagine how you would neutralize the opponent’s Raheem Sterling and you should have a rough picture of how female pros such as Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler handle in-game.
Another interesting feature would be “Player Evolutions” which allow FUT players to give players in their squad unique stats growth characteristics. That way, even though you and I have identical teams with identical players, our squads’ actual qualities differ due to differing principles in how we “grow” and nurture players in our respective squads.
However, we definitely require more hands-on time with these new modes and changes so we can’t reveal much about EA FC 24 until we’ve had a thorough experience with the final build. But from our initial experience, EA FC 24 feels distinct from FIFA23 on gameplay and in-game experience.
There’s definitely a lot to unpack as we move closer to the game’s release but what we can say for now, is that EA FC 24 is much, much more than merely a rebrand or a roster update. EA FC 24 will be out for consoles and PC on 29 September.
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