fifa 14 financial take over in lower league

Press Report

Catalogue of news sources updated continuously

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+

Ads

Dementia: ways to lower the risk

14 July 2014 14:00:14 UK headlines

Scientists now say an hour of exercise a week can halve our risk of dementia, but what other ways can we avoid it and Alzheimer's disease, according to studies over the years?

Vice All News Time14 July 2014 14:00:14


Ads

Brazilian clubs left without home stadiums as FIFA take over ahead of the World Cup

23 May 2014 03:52:20 Sport | Mail Online

Brazilian clubs are scrambling to find places to host their Brazilian league matches because FIFA has taken over many of the country's stadiums and training centers for the World Cup.

Vice Sport Time23 May 2014 03:52:20


Britain's top heart doctor says everyone over-40 should take cholesterol-lowering statins daily

18 May 2014 04:23:03 News | Mail Online

Sir Magdi Yacoub has called for the cholesterol-lowering drug to be sold over the counter, saying that not taking them is a ‘disaster’, after an interview with BBC Radio 4.

Vice All News Time18 May 2014 04:23:03


Daniel Sturridge tops Premier League's goalscoring charts... in EA Sports FIFA 14

30 April 2014 21:52:02 Football | Mail Online

Daniel Sturridge may trail behind Luis Suarez in the goalscoring stakes this season but the Reds striker has beaten his Liverpool strike partner to the virtual golden boot in EA Sports FIFA 14.

Vice Football Time30 April 2014 21:52:02


Daniel Sturridge tops Premier League's goalscoring charts... in EA Sports FIFA 14

30 April 2014 21:27:17 Sport | Mail Online

Daniel Sturridge may trail behind Luis Suarez in the goalscoring stakes this season but the Reds striker has beaten his Liverpool strike partner to the virtual golden boot in EA Sports FIFA 14.

Vice Sport Time30 April 2014 21:27:17


Fifa imposes Barcelona transfer ban

02 April 2014 16:59:14 UK Homepage

Football’s governing body has imposed a 14-month transfer embargo on Spanish league champions for breaking rules over purchase of under-18 players

Vice All News Time02 April 2014 16:59:14


Manchester United fans invited to trade their season ticket for a copy of FIFA 14 at GAME

26 March 2014 14:32:37 mirror - Sport

End the misery of this season by taking your season ticket into GAME in Old Trafford and exchanging it for FIFA 14 or Football Manager

Vice Sport Time26 March 2014 14:32:37


Brazil stars fight hotel room boredom with FIFA 14 tournament as Neymar takes the spoils and David Luiz fails to score

05 March 2014 14:03:33 Sport | Mail Online

Hotel rooms must get pretty boring for footballers and it would seem this is no different for members of the Brazil squad as the likes of Neymar, David Luiz and Oscar took part in a FIFA 14 tournament to fight the boredom on Tuesday night.

Vice Sport Time05 March 2014 14:03:33


Brazil stars fight hotel room boredom with FIFA 14 tournament as Neymar takes the spoils and David Luiz fails to score

05 March 2014 13:16:53 Football | Mail Online

Hotel rooms must get pretty boring for footballers and it would seem this is no different for members of the Brazil squad as the likes of Neymar, David Luiz and Oscar took part in a FIFA 14 tournament to fight the boredom on Tuesday night.

Vice Football Time05 March 2014 13:16:53


Romelu Lukaku smashes up PlayStation controller after losing on FIFA 14 to Kevin Mirallas

26 October 2013 01:54:26 Sport | Mail Online

In preparation for taking out his anger on Aston Villa's defence on Saturday, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku decided to smash up a Playstation controller after losing to his team-mate at FIFA 14.

Vice Sport Time26 October 2013 01:54:26


Fifa 14 banned by league leaders as footballers use it to research opponents

09 October 2013 12:42:51 mirror - Sport

Players are banned from playing Fifa before matches after playing as themselves against their league opponents

Vice Sport Time09 October 2013 12:42:51


FIFA 14: Amazing video shows how FIFA video games have developed over 21 years

27 September 2013 13:49:17 mirror - News

FIFA 14 is merely the next in a long line of FIFA games - the franchise is now in it's 21st year - how has it changed over time?

Vice All News Time27 September 2013 13:49:17


FIFA 14: Amazing video shows how FIFA video games have developed over 21 years

27 September 2013 13:41:35 mirror - Sport

FIFA 14 is merely the next in a long line of FIFA games - the franchise is now in it's 21st year - how has it changed over time?

Vice Sport Time27 September 2013 13:41:35


FIFA 14: Mark Noble plays MailOnline

27 September 2013 02:20:16 Sport | Mail Online

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The wait is over. FIFA 14 hit the shelves at midnight and thousands spent the night queuing outside shops just to be the first to get their hands on it. But they're not the only ones to get excited by the new EA Sports release. Sportsmail challenged West Ham midfielder Mark Noble to a match.

Vice Sport Time27 September 2013 02:20:16


FIFA 14: Mark Noble plays MailOnline

27 September 2013 02:12:26 Football | Mail Online

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The wait is over. FIFA 14 hit the shelves at midnight and thousands spent the night queuing outside shops just to be the first to get their hands on it. But they're not the only ones to get excited by the new EA Sports release. Sportsmail challenged West Ham midfielder Mark Noble to a match.

Vice Football Time27 September 2013 02:12:26


Fifa 14 soundtrack announced: Featuring Miles Kane, Bloc Party and Vampire Weekend

10 September 2013 20:06:18 mirror - Sport

The Fifa soundtrack has had some memorable hits over the years, will Fifa 14 come up with the goods this year?

Vice Sport Time10 September 2013 20:06:18


Financial worries lower thinking ability

30 August 2013 03:33:37 UK headlines

Financial worries can reduce your ability to think about other things and effectively reduce your IQ by 13 points, according to a new study.        

Vice All News Time30 August 2013 03:33:37


China takes step to financial reform

19 July 2013 20:00:49 Financials

In a move towards liberalisation, the central bank has scrapped the lower limit on commercial interest rates and eliminated controls on discount bills

Vice Finance Time19 July 2013 20:00:49


Which Premier League star will join Lionel Messi on the cover of FIFA 14? Watch the teaser trailer

12 July 2013 17:28:38 mirror - Sport

Who will follow in the footsteps of FIFA 13's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Hart?

Vice Sport Time12 July 2013 17:28:38


Sky Sports take tough stance with BT Sport over opening rounds of 2013-14 Premier League fixtures

11 July 2013 01:16:34 Football - Fixtures, results, news, match reports, comment

Sky Sports has blocked BT Sport from broadcasting Manchester United's biggest Premier League games at the start of??next season.        

Vice Football Time11 July 2013 01:16:34


Sky Sports take tough stance with BT Sport over opening rounds of 2013-14 Premier League fixtures

11 July 2013 01:12:52 Sport

Sky Sports has blocked BT Sport from broadcasting Manchester United's biggest Premier League games at the start of??next season.        

Vice Sport Time11 July 2013 01:12:52


Hearts head for administration over financial woes

18 June 2013 01:37:16 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

• Club faced with winding-up order last week over tax bill • SPL imposes transfer embargo after players not paid Hearts are to go into administration, the Scottish Premier League club has confirmed, and they are understood to have approached the accountancy firm KPMG to act as their administrators. A club spokesman said: "We are not in administration yet but we have served our intention to appoint administrators." A number of the club's creditors have been informed of the latest developments and sources close to Hearts expect a hearing to take place within the "next couple of days". Hearts were faced with a winding-up order last week after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs threatened action over an unpaid £100,000 tax bill, although the majority of that sum has since been paid. The Tynecastle club were then hit with an immediate transfer embargo by the Scottish Premier League on Friday after admitting they could not afford to pay their players. The club were already under a temporary signing ban after the league was informed of their tax row. The SPL took action 24 hours after the club's board said they had entered a "critical" stage in their battle to pay off debts of £25m. The entire squad was put up for sale in a desperate bid to raise the reported £500,000 needed to see the club through to the start of the new season. The situation at the two Lithuanian companies which hold large stakes in the club has also increased fears for the future of the Edinburgh club. The majority shareholder UBIG – which owns a 50% stake in the club – and 29.9% shareholder Ukio Bankas were once controlled by Vladimir Romanov but are now in the throes of being declared insolvent by Kaunas-based authorities. The club are likely to face a 15-point penalty when the new SPL season kicks off in August. Top-flight rules state any club suffering an insolvency event will be stripped of 10 points or a third of their previous season's tally, whichever is the greater. Hearts finished the 2012-13 campaign in 10th place with 45 points. Hearts Finances Business Scottish Premier League guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice Bussines Time18 June 2013 01:37:16


Hearts head for administration over financial woes

18 June 2013 01:27:28 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Club faced with winding-up order last week over tax bill • SPL imposes transfer embargo after players not paid Hearts are to go into administration, the Scottish Premier League club has confirmed, and they are understood to have approached the accountancy firm KPMG to act as their administrators. A club spokesman said: "We are not in administration yet but we have served our intention to appoint administrators." A number of the club's creditors have been informed of the latest developments and sources close to Hearts expect a hearing to take place within the "next couple of days". Hearts were faced with a winding-up order last week after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs threatened action over an unpaid £100,000 tax bill, although the majority of that sum has since been paid. The Tynecastle club were then hit with an immediate transfer embargo by the Scottish Premier League on Friday after admitting they could not afford to pay their players. The club were already under a temporary signing ban after the league was informed of their tax row. The SPL took action 24 hours after the club's board said they had entered a "critical" stage in their battle to pay off debts of £25m. The entire squad was put up for sale in a desperate bid to raise the reported £500,000 needed to see the club through to the start of the new season. The situation at the two Lithuanian companies which hold large stakes in the club has also increased fears for the future of the Edinburgh club. The majority shareholder UBIG – which owns a 50% stake in the club – and 29.9% shareholder Ukio Bankas were once controlled by Vladimir Romanov but are now in the throes of being declared insolvent by Kaunas-based authorities. The club are likely to face a 15-point penalty when the new SPL season kicks off in August. Top-flight rules state any club suffering an insolvency event will be stripped of 10 points or a third of their previous season's tally, whichever is the greater. Hearts finished the 2012-13 campaign in 10th place with 45 points. Hearts Finances Business Scottish Premier League guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice Bussines Time18 June 2013 01:27:28


How the Premier League and Football League fixtures are compiled

15 June 2013 13:53:38 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

The football fixtures will be announced on Wednesday and the story behind the process is a laborious and complicated one When the Premier League and Football League fixtures for 2013-14 are announced on Wednesday, spare a thought for the individuals involved in compiling the season's schedule. "I don't think people realise what goes into it," says the Football League fixtures officer, Paul Snellgrove. "They think names go into a hat and it's almost like a draw. Because it's so difficult to explain it's hard to keep people's attention." A laborious process that begins four years ahead of each season, when Fifa and Uefa set out their international schedules, goes through a raft of complex stages before the final fixture list is signed off. Presumably those trusted with deciding when supporters must travel the length of the country on a cold midweek night, or with a blasting hangover on New Year's Day, then go and shelter in a dark room for a long, long time. Glenn Thompson of the IT company Atos Origin is the man responsible for inputting all the data into the famed "fixtures computer", but before he does so the Football League, Premier League, Football Association and the Football Supporters' Federation undergo a series of discussions alongside the clubs, starting when a draft schedule is first proposed in November of the previous year. Most fans understand that each club is paired with another and their fixtures will usually correspond. For example, when Manchester United play a home match, Manchester City play away. The same rules apply for Everton and Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham and other neighbouring teams. It is easier to pair clubs if they are in the same division, with Swansea City and Cardiff City reunited in that respect next season, and the fixture organisers work closely with police forces across England and Wales to ensure matchdays do not stretch resources too thin. There are fixture compilation rules, such as that over a course of five matches a club must have no more than three home or away games. If a team plays at home on Boxing Day it must travel on New Year's Day and vice versa. Organisers try to schedule midweek matches in "good weather periods" and attempt to give clubs a home match either before of after an FA Cup tie, so as to avoid three successive away games and tricky financial situations for lower-league sides. However, things can easily become complicated and changing one fixture has a series of knock-on effects to other games on the calendar. Policing, transport and requests from clubs make scheduling an incredibly detailed and tedious task. For example, Greater Manchester police has to consider eight clubs on their patch each weekend. Four must play home and four away, yet there is also the fact that Bury request that they play home games when Manchester United are not in action so as to boost their attendance. GMP also has to avoid potentially fiery fixtures when events such as the Conservative Party conference and Gay Pride weekend are in town. The Premier League and Football League also try to avoid big games on the opening day of the season and on occasions such as Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The draft schedule is tweaked and sent out to all clubs in March, with a form asking them to respond with any specific requests. "It's very rare that we get a blank form back," admits Snellgrove, but not all can be accommodated - Birmingham City asked if they could have a home game next season on 19 April to celebrate Trevor Francis's birthday but the League could sadly not oblige, although the schedule does take into consideration the Nottingham Goose Fair and the Shrewsbury Flower Show. "Glenn does a lot of prep work manually and will feed it into the computer," says Snellgrove. "Each club gets a space on a grid which dictates their home and away sequence. He splits the season into sections, mini-leagues, the season is basically a set of 10 mini-leagues and they will reverse out at some stage. Each club within that mini league gets either a positive or negative polarity and that will dictate their order of home and away games. "There are clash dates, which is where in order to re-mix the home and away clubs, to make sure everyone plays each other, Glenn has to make them clash. Sometimes they'll both be away which is fine, sometimes they'll both be at home and we recognise this can be a problem so we make early contact with the clubs. Nine times out of 10 the police will move one to a Sunday or a Friday night, now and again they'll do them on the same day." The process will be completed over the weekend when Thompson, Snellgrove and others involved put the finishing touches to the schedule. Soon, though, it will be time to start on next season. Premier League Football League James Riach guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time15 June 2013 13:53:38


How the Premier League and Football League fixtures are compiled

15 June 2013 13:52:52 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

The football fixtures will be announced on Wednesday and the story behind the process is a laborious and complicated one When the Premier League and Football League fixtures for 2013-14 are announced at 9am on Wednesday, spare a thought for the individuals involved in compiling the season's schedule. "I don't think people realise what goes into it," says the Football League fixtures officer, Paul Snellgrove. "They think names go into a hat and it's almost like a draw. Because it's so difficult to explain it's hard to keep people's attention." A laborious process that begins four years ahead of each season, when Fifa and Uefa set out their international schedules, goes through a raft of complex stages before the final fixture list is signed off. Presumably those trusted with deciding when supporters must travel the length of the country on a cold midweek night, or with a blasting hangover on New Year's Day, then go and shelter in a dark room for a long, long time. Glenn Thompson of the IT company Atos Origin is the man responsible for inputting all the data into the famed "fixtures computer", but before he does so the Football League, Premier League, Football Association and the Football Supporters' Federation undergo a series of discussions alongside the clubs, starting when a draft schedule is first proposed in November of the previous year. Most fans understand that each club is paired with another and their fixtures will usually correspond. For example, when Manchester United play a home match, Manchester City play away. The same rules apply for Everton and Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham and other neighbouring teams. It is easier to pair clubs if they are in the same division, with Swansea City and Cardiff City reunited in that respect next season, and the fixture organisers work closely with police forces across England and Wales to ensure matchdays do not stretch resources too thin. There are fixture compilation rules, such as that over a course of five matches a club must have no more than three home or away games. If a team plays at home on Boxing Day it must travel on New Year's Day and vice versa. Organisers try to schedule midweek matches in "good weather periods" and attempt to give clubs a home match either before of after an FA Cup tie, so as to avoid three successive away games and tricky financial situations for lower-league sides. However, things can easily become complicated and changing one fixture has a series of knock-on effects to other games on the calendar. Policing, transport and requests from clubs make scheduling an incredibly detailed and tedious task. For example, Greater Manchester police has to consider eight clubs on their patch each weekend. Four must play home and four away, yet there is also the fact that Bury request that they play home games when Manchester United are not in action so as to boost their attendance. GMP also has to avoid potentially fiery fixtures when events such as the Conservative Party conference and Gay Pride weekend are in town. The Premier League and Football League also try to avoid big games on the opening day of the season and on occasions such as Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The draft schedule is tweaked and sent out to all clubs in March, with a form asking them to respond with any specific requests. "It's very rare that we get a blank form back," admits Snellgrove, but not all can be accommodated - Birmingham City asked if they could have a home game next season on 19 April to celebrate Trevor Francis's birthday but the League could sadly not oblige, although the schedule does take into consideration the Nottingham Goose Fair and the Shrewsbury Flower Show. "Glenn does a lot of prep work manually and will feed it into the computer," says Snellgrove. "Each club gets a space on a grid which dictates their home and away sequence. He splits the season into sections, mini-leagues, the season is basically a set of 10 mini-leagues and they will reverse out at some stage. Each club within that mini league gets either a positive or negative polarity and that will dictate their order of home and away games. "There are clash dates, which is where in order to re-mix the home and away clubs, to make sure everyone plays each other, Glenn has to make them clash. Sometimes they'll both be away which is fine, sometimes they'll both be at home and we recognise this can be a problem so we make early contact with the clubs. Nine times out of 10 the police will move one to a Sunday or a Friday night, now and again they'll do them on the same day." The process will be completed over the weekend when Thompson, Snellgrove and others involved put the finishing touches to the schedule. Soon, though, it will be time to start on next season. Premier League Football League James Riach guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time15 June 2013 13:52:52


Fifa 14 preview: skill games, career mode and more

18 April 2013 23:53:34 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

In our second look at the latest Fifa, here's a glance at some of the other new features we can expect to see in the update Free kick. Penalty. In the real game these words are likely to be greeted with expectant joy from supporters and players on the right side of the decision. In the Fifa series, though, they often invoke indifference or even dread. That's because, for many, scoring from a set-piece in Fifa is a sort of halcyon moment, as rare, magical and incomprehensible as falling in love at first sight, or viewing a meteor shower. My free kick attempts will tend to go anywhere – row Z, out for a throw in, into another game – rather than the goal. Most of the time, I just opt for a short pass. And penalties? The controls seemed so sensitive I always ended up tapping most of mine limply down the middle, like Gareth Southgate at Euro 96 – over and over again. Last year, however, the Fifa development team at EA Sports finally realised something had to be done, so they introduced Skill Games, a selection of mini-challenges designed to teach you how to use various in-game moves and systems. The shooting and crossing ones were useful, but the set-piece tutorials were a bloody revelation, finally letting average gamers into an arcane world of penalty-taking confidence. Now, at least 68% of my kicks go into one of the corners of the net, rather than into the fuzzy face of a simply animated spectator. And it's great because it doesn't feel like a tutorial mode: in each challenge you can continually improve on your performance so it's like a series of mini-games rather than going to football school and being told you're an idiot. It's little wonder then that this new feature has been a success. According to EA, 2.29bn skill games have been played since the launch of Fifa 13 last autumn. And so for Fifa 14, the mode is to be extended – familiar challenges are going to be tweaked, and new tasks are being added. During a recent demo session, producer Nick Channon showed off a selection of the newcomers. One is a distance shooting exercise with a line of balls just outside the 18-yard area – the player has to run along and belt all of these into the goal. More interesting though are the team mate exercises. In one, your player has to run the length of the pitch making one-two passes with other players en route, before finally shooting. Better still, there's a little group task, where seven players in a small box must one-touch pass the ball between them for as long as possible as defenders run about trying to intercept. This one will be familiar to anyone who's actually played for a team, and brings more of a sense of actual football practise to the mode. Elsewhere, the studio is making some key changes to the Career Mode, which lets you compete as a manager or player over a number of seasons. The user interface is being completely overhauled to make it easier to navigate and more logical – the squad screen, for example, has a nice graphic of your first eleven, with each icon showing a range of stats so you get a visual representation rather than having to drill down into multiple screens. From the brief glimpse I got, there's a slight look of Windows 8 about it all – it has that clean, box-based feel. Apparently, email notifications can also be tailored so you're not constantly interrupted by irrelevant spam as you advance though the season - now, only really important messages will be mandatory reads. Fifa 14 is also adding a new global scouting network, which will allow managers to set up searches for fresh talent based on player traits and tendencies rather than stats. For Channon, this is about creating a much more authentic system. "A manager doesn't go in saying I want a 75 rated player," he says. "Instead, with the new scouting system you say, I want a pacy winger, I want a good holding midfielder, I want a big striker I can play the ball up to. You can then go and scout those players. Clearly if you're after a Messi or an Ibrahimovic, you're not going to have to scout them, but what about a longer term player who's cheaper but has the potential to grow? Instead of searching all the ratings, you can think about the types of players you want and scout based on that." So in Fifa 14, you get a series of putdown menus providing specific wish lists to your scout. You can define that you'd like, say, a tall centre back from South America with good dribbling skills; your scout then packs his sun tan lotion and he's off. Apparently, the longer you leave him out there, the more accurate his report becomes, so there's a long term challenge here, stretching out the transfer system so that it takes in the whole season. "We have a dedicated database team working on all this, which is now quite big thanks to the Match Day feature, says Channon. "They have processes in place for managing player stats and traits. But the game still has to be fun. We have to maintain the entertainment factor." Talking about all the changes, Channon says that part of the challenge is learning from feedback, but not reacting immediately. "We look at what the team thinks, what we've learned, things we couldn't get to - then as soon as the demo hits, we get customer feedback. And then when the game is released we get a massive amount more. But we can't just react to the first couple of days. Look at tactical defending: when we first released the demo, the reaction was 'oh my goodness, this is really different', but actually that quickly went away because everyone got used to it. We know that when we make big changes like first touch control, people initially react negatively, but often they'll say, this makes sense, I can't go back." So. just a few extra snippets from Fifa 14 there, and EA will no doubt be revealing more about multiplayer aspects as we head into summer. And while the release date is likely to be the end of September, the big question is over what formats the game will appear on. At the start of our press demo last week, EA made it clear that they wold only be discussing the PS3, Xbox and PC versions of the game – which of course, pretty much confirmed that next-gen versions will be announced. It's likely we'll get Fifa 14 for current platforms in September, then updated special editions for the new PlayStation and Xbox platforms later. One thing's for sure, we can expect ever closer integration with the real sport and an increasingly pervasive feel to the series. Last year's Match Day feature ripped information and stories from the actual season and put them into the commentary and player form stats. Meanwhile, the EA Sports Football Club smartphone app also allowed Ultimate Team fans to play around with their squads while on the move. EA Sports is keen on expanding these elements – it wants us to be constantly in touch with the game; on phones, tablets and consoles, wherever we are, checking team info, tweaking formations, comparing real-world news to in-game seasons. Of course, some people hate all of this, but it's increasingly where big gaming franchises are going – and it will get much more interesting with the next-gen machines. EA just doesn't want to talk about it. Yet. • You can read our main preview of Fifa 14 here .

Vice All News Time18 April 2013 23:53:34


Fifa 14 – preview

17 April 2013 14:14:56 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

Overhauled ball physics, smarter defending and new sprinting controls are key additions to the latest footie sim from EA In modern football, it is the playmakers we idolise; the magicians who can orchestrate attacks as well as score. Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Andrea Pirlo, Lionel Messi … mostly, they are deep-lying forwards or creative midfielders; they don't get in on the end of long, lofted passes, they sculpt goals. This is where Fifa 14 wants to go. Every year, when the latest Fifa is shipped, the team gets together, sifts through feedback, from within the studio and from customers, and works out where to go next. This time there was a rather weighty conclusion: Fifa is too fast. There is something about the system, the physics, the controls, whatever that leads toward end-to-end gameplay. All the action is happening around the 18-yard area. Everything is compressed. "That's not as realistic as we'd like," says series producer Nick Channon as he introduces a roomful of journalists to the latest instalment. "When you look at the modern game, it's much more about building up through the midfield. The best teams move the ball around, switch sides, attack on the wings, they attack from everywhere – that's something we want to bring into Fifa. The exhilaration of scoring great goals isn't just about the shot, it's about how you get there." So for Fifa 14, the big emphasis is on build-up play, on anticipation and on off-the-ball movement; it's about driving through the midfield, rather than lofting balls over it. For a start, the team has completely re-worked how dribbling at speed works. It turns out that in most football simulations, when the gamer hits the sprint button, the onscreen player is limited to a turning circle of just 22.5 degrees – which means you get these long, wide turning arcs. Fifa 14 has done away with that; you'll now be able to turn at any angle while sprinting, leading defenders up the pitch before darting back, or winding through opponents. To ensure this isn't over-powered, however, the movement physics is getting a new addition: momentum. Now, if your player quickly changes direction, or turns completely, you'll get a brief pause as they transfer weight from one foot to the other. Channon runs through early footage of a sharp about turn on screen, and the effect looks immediately more authentic. Beyond that, we didn't get any hands-on time so I've no idea how losing this historic 22.5-degree turning circle is going to affect things, but it should make for much less predictability in the midfield. Which is the whole point, of course. On that note, Fifa 14 is also set to build on last year's first-touch control system, which varies how effectively a player receives the ball depending on his skill, position and the speed and angle of delivery. This time, EA Sports is introducing variable dribble touches, so sprinting players will push the ball forward at differing distances, again based on their skills; a stylish midfielder will keep the ball close to them, but a hulking defender may well push it out further, giving opposing players the chance to steal possession. Whatever, the days of having the ball stick to the runner's feet are over. "It will transform how you think about spiriting," says Channon. What we're getting so far is a shift in balance toward defenders, and that continues into the demo. The next big change is in marking, which Channon feels tended to be loose enough in Fifa 13 for players to turn defenders reasonably easily. Now it's being tightened up, thanks to a change to the AI. Apparently, in previous iterations of the game, computer-controlled players would make their defensive decisions in a single frame of animation, often breaking away from attackers if another forward player was spotted in a threatening position. Now they assess situations over multiple frames which means they're less likely to act on split-second decisions, instead staying focused to track the player on the ball. As a consequence, one cheap route to goal has been closed up. Channon talks about how, in the past, if a ball was cleared from the box, it would almost always fall to an attacking player, allowing the ball to be recycled. Now, however, those players are likely to have tight defensive markers. "It's not about making the game more difficult," insists Channon. "It's about making it more fun." By taking away some of game's repetitive tics, the idea is that the action will feel more authentic, and more representative of the real sport. And to balance things up, there are additions to the attacking intelligence of AI players. They can now make three different types of forward move: spinning out and running in behind defenders; running along the back line to stay onside, and backing in to defenders to create space. Each one is a visual cue to gamers, and as with the variable ball control while sprinting, it adds more personality to individual players – powerful centre forwards will have much more success backing into and tussling with defenders than lighter strikers. "The new runs make a huge difference," says Channon later. "The big one is the backing in to defenders, being able to play the ball in to the feet of a striker is important, you see it a lot in the real game. And being able to turn the defender gives you other opportunities. It's all about balance – with the tightening up of marking, it means the game will be less backwards and forwards. We're not changing the actual game speed at all, but it will slow down naturally, you'll be able to look at different options and vary your game. It won't be about getting cheap goals." Adding to the sense of physicality is a new "protect the ball" move, accessible by pressing the left trigger. Hitting this slows the player down, but allows them to shield the ball while dribbling, sticking out an arm or angling their body to see off opposing players. Gameplay producer Aaron McHardy likens the new control system to a racing sim, with sprint on the right trigger acting as accelerate, and "protect the ball" on the left as brake. The idea is that players can now battle through midfield, dictating and varying pace, while probing for decent passes. Players can also use left trigger to jostle for a loose ball, or to counteract a defender using the B button to pull at his opponent. The most intriguing update, though, is to scoring. In the past, player animations didn't tell the full story about a shooting chance. If you hit the shoot button during an animation sequence, the player would be snapped into the correct position – a slightly awkward process. Now, strikers will adjust their stride and angle realistically and this will signal how truly prepared they are. Channon talks about how EA would get feedback from gamers mystified why a certain shot flew well wide or dribbled pathetically into the keeper's arms – now, a new set of animations will provide visual tells: you'll know if the ball is too close to the attacker's feet, if they're going to have to attempt a rushed shot; and by watching closely, there will be a chance to pull out of a strike and instead pass the ball or feint and set up for a better chance. Defenders will get their own version of this. When going in for a tackle in Fifa 13, the defender is essentially committed for the duration of the fixed animation cycle – time it slightly wrong and your man is left floundering. In Fifa 14, however, the more phased appro

Vice All News Time17 April 2013 14:14:56


Scotland's debt 'could be lower'

14 April 2013 10:22:28 BBC News - UK

The Scottish government is proposing an independent Scotland could take on a public sector debt burden at just over half of the rate faced by the whole UK.

Vice All News Time14 April 2013 10:22:28