First look: FIFA 2004

EA releases the first gameplay information on the next installment in its long-running series of soccer games. First PS2 screens inside.

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Electronic Arts has today released the first information on FIFA 2004, which is currently in development at EA Canada. Unsurprisingly, FIFA 2004 will feature updated information and statistics for all of the 350 teams and 10,000 players included in the game, taken from no fewer than 16 leagues from around the world including the North American Major League.

EA is promising that while FIFA 2004 will be easier to pick up and play than ever before, the game will also offer extra depth for players looking for a lasting challenge. The game's new career mode should go a long way to achieving this, as it will challenge players to take a team from a lower division all the way to the top over a number of seasons, with players required to concern themselves with their club's financial status off the pitch as well as how the team performs on it. Other improvements to the game will include a dynamic weather system, although it's not yet clear if this means that weather conditions could actually change during the course of a match.

It's also been announced today that both the PlayStation 2 and PC versions of FIFA 2004 will support online play via EA Sports Online. Players will not only be able to enjoy matches and tournaments with others from all over the country, but will also have access to an online lobby area and exclusive downloadable content.

The PS2, PC, GameCube, and GBA versions of FIFA 2004 are all scheduled for release this fall, although an Xbox version of the game has yet to be confirmed. We'll bring you more information on FIFA 2004 as soon as it becomes available.

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