FIFA 14 Under the Microscope | Teammate Intelligence

With Teammate Intelligence in FIFA 14, players will have better decision-making and teams will play smarter on both the attack and defence to bring the beauty of the game to life.  We put EA’s latest FIFA 14 announcement under the microscope for you in the first episode of our new FIFA 14 series.

With Teammate Intelligence in FIFA 14, players will have better decision-making and teams will play smarter on both the attack and defense to bring the beauty of the game to life.

FIFA 14 | Teammate Intelligence

Open Up the Pitch

EA states that:

FIFA 14 introduces new run types to make goal-scoring opportunities even more exciting. Players will have the intelligence to break down defences by creating space for themselves and separation from defenders.

Under the Microscope

In FIFA 13 we saw the introduction of attackers holding and bending their runs to save going offside.  Hopefully the new run types will take what FIFA 13 introduced to another level and create more variety when attacking.

You will notice that attacking players will watch the backline to avoid being caught offside before breaking free for a pass or through ball. Attackers will also now perform checked runs to confuse defenders.

Under the Microscope

Sounds like what FIFA 13 introduced but the checked runs will be interesting to try and get defenders out of position before breaking through on goal.

Additionally, the center-forward will back into a defender to hold position and receive the ball, creating space to gain possession. Afterward, he will either release to another player or turn and shoot on goal.

Under the Microscope

As a lifelong centre forward I have always found FIFA frustrating to date as I built my career as an old fashioned centre forward, holding the ball up against defenders and then bringing in my team mates as they make forward runs.  This new refinement in FIFA 14 sounds like it will put a smile on my face as I can at last play as a striker in FIFA as I did in real life.

Closing the Gap

EA states that:

In FIFA 14, defenders will be better at tracking runs without over-committing. They will recognize opportunities to support and apply pressure from anywhere on the pitch. Rather than always covering the player closest to them, AI defenders will better position themselves to reduce the chance of someone being left wide-open.

Under the Microscope

This sounds like a brilliant improvement to FIFA 14 if it plays out as described.  Rather than in FIFA to date the defenders respond to the nearest player to them immediately, this sounds like they will now assess what is going on around them and make intelligent decisions to react appropriately. Getting the defence to work as a team would also be brilliant.  I spent an hour with Aaron McHardy out in Vancouver a few years ago discussing the logic of players responding to situations and how team leaders in each area of the pitch could control the whole defence  midfield and strikers so they react as a group rather than individuals,  This new feature sounds like FIFA 14 could be expanding on this feature and getting teammates working together as a unit.

Defensive decision-making will be based on multiple frames enabling defenders to continually analyze the play to search for the most dangerous player. This will improve run tracking and man marking. Smarter, tighter marking will change the way games unfold as more action is driven to the middle of the field, leading to tighter passes and a greater emphasis on strategy.

Under the Microscope

As described above, getting defenders to assess a situation before reacting and getting them to work together with their teammates will be a massive step forwards in defending in FIFA.

Also introduced this year is defensive pressure—teammates will recognize good opportunities to win back possession and support with tighter marking and more pressure. Previously, once a team had a lead late into a match, they would begin to slow the pace to run down the clock. Now, Defenders will recognize this and press the attacking players in an attempt to win back possession.

Under the Microscope

This sounds like another feature introduced to assist defending in FIFA and take away the time attackers have on the ball or reduce the space attackers have to play in. In my personal opinion, anything introduced to make defending more effective in FIFA will be appreciated.

In Summary

EA states that:

When combined with Protect the Ball, Teammate Intelligence opens up the entire field. Plays will form organically as smarter decisions are made, meaning a more realistic football experience.

Under the Microscope

Let’s hope that when we see the final result of Teammate Intelligence  that it does provide the promised benefits and not just another feature that sounds great in isolation but then becomes ineffective when blended together in the mix.

So let’s hope with Teammate Intelligence in FIFA 14, players will have better decision-making and teams will play smarter on both the attack and defence to bring the beauty of the game to life.  What do you think?

FIFA 14

For additional gameplay details, check out our previous FIFA 14 feature on Pure Shot, Real Physics and Career Mode plus check out all the images released so far in our FIFA 14 Gallery.

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