BioWare's using the power of Xbox One and PS4 to render up extraordinarily lifelike blind burrowing creatures. EA Sports, meanwhile, is using that power to make players run into each other more believably. Speaking to Eurogamer, FIFA 14 lead producer David Rutter has discussed some of the benefits purchasers of the next generation version can expect over their lowly Xbox 360 or PS3-preferring compatriots.
"There were two things we did straight away," Rutter told the site. "One was bump it up to 1080p and see if it made a difference, because 1080p's expensive. It's a lot of graphics. We were sceptical going into it, but came out being glad we did it, because it makes a significant difference. That was the most performance expensive thing we did initially."
Animation has also been polished up. "We've always been, probably, at the forefront of animation technology in a videogame. We've got roughly ten times the animation on Xbox One and PS4 than on current gen consoles. We wanted to improve the behaviours of the players and the AI. A lot of that is around physics and decision making and the way they move, and we've got roughly four times the processing of decisions."
"Processing of decisions" equates to a feature called "Pro Instincts", which is exclusive to the new hardware. "It's based around the processing power of the new consoles," Rutter went on, "allowing us to have players almost predict the future. The player on the pitch is running along and a tackle comes in ahead of him. Currently two things happen - he either hits the leg or he doesn't hit the leg. This new generation of consoles we have every nuance of possible collision, and trying to position himself not to collide."
Last and probably least, you can expect some seriously reactive crowds. "When you're looking up into the stands and it goes absolutely nuts - even for us in the team when you see those shots it's absolutely amazing. It's got no effect on gameplay, but what it does is reinforce the emotion when you're playing, which is quite a deep thing."
I want streakers and fistfights in the stands, Rutter. Make it so. For more on FIFA 14 Xbox One, check out this piece on the new Ignite Engine and what it bodes for EA Sports at large. The game will be given away free with Xbox One pre-orders in Europe, and the Xbox One version also packs an exclusive FIFA Ultimate Team Legends mode.