FIFA Soccer 2005 E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

EA Sports' next soccer game will be on hand at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The next game in EA Sports' popular FIFA series will be on hand at E3 2004. FIFA Soccer 2005 will include numerous improvements to the game, including a more-realistic control scheme, new crowd chants, and a new create-a-player option.

Last year's FIFA soccer game improved the series' level of realism by "detaching" the ball from the player (that is, in previous games, the ball would magically stick to whichever player was controlling it until that player passed the ball or was tackled). The new game will add even more realism to this control setup by featuring individual collision zones on each player's body to account for headers, knee kicks, and chest balls. In addition, FIFA 2005 will feature an all-new "one-touch" system that will let your players quickly take control of the ball by keeping it in motion along the field with only a single stroke (in this case a header or a kick). This is a prized skill in real-life soccer that lets the best players keep the ball moving without having to slow down. Aside from letting players control the ball without breaking stride, the new game will also feature a formation editor that will help ensure that players have teammates who are open when making plays for the goal.

The FIFA team will also be adding what is described as a "broadcast-style" presentation. At several points in a match--especially during the opening minutes--the game will show TV-style camera angles that swoop across the crowds and show close-ups of the players as they jog out to their positions on the field. The game's instant replay mode will show a close-up view (which you can rotate freely as you watch), and FIFA 2005 will even have enhanced weather effects, like better sunlight particle effects and rain that will directly affect the consistency of the pitch and the pacing of the match. Another aspect of the game's enhanced presentation will be its improved commentary and improved crowd chants, both of which have been recorded from scratch. The new crowd chants will rise and fall in volume over the course of a game, just like they do in real-life matches.

FIFA 2005's third-most-prominent new feature will be its create-a-player mode, which has drawn some inspiration from the create-a-player mode from last year's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 golf game. This mode will give you a huge number of options for customizing your player's appearance (including facial features, hairstyles, tattoos, and physical stature).

FIFA 2005 will attempt to improve upon the already evolved FIFA 2004 with enhancements that the development team hopes will prove appealing to experts and newcomers alike. If the team can accomplish its goals of improved controls, better presentation, and player customization, FIFA 2005 might be the best soccer game yet. The game is scheduled for release later this year.

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