FIFA 08 PS3 and Xbox 360 developer blog #03

Another improvement we have made to the gameplay this year is to a player’s momentum. In real life as the body moves it creates momentum. Defenders will position themselves so that their momentum is advantageous to the situation. So a defender, for example, wouldn’t sprint at Cristiano Ronaldo. He knows that Ronaldo can just change direction and then you are beaten. If a player doesn’t manage his momentum well in real life then strikers like Ronaldo will just blow past him.

In FIFA 08 we have worked with this idea of momentum so that users will have to be more aware of the momentum of their players as they are performing actions or they will over commit their defender. We didn’t manage momentum properly in previous FIFA games so we made it a priority to correct this year. So if you were a striker and you were able to dribble past a defender, the defender would turn and catch up to you because he had a limited sense of momentum. Now we have created a more realistic acceleration curve for how players accelerate from start to sprint. What users will now experience is the balance between defending and dribbling is a lot more sophisticated.

We have improved passing by making it more intelligent. Our ethos here is that things that are easy for a professional football player to do should be easy for a user to do. A professional football player would not intentionally try to pass to a teammate through an opponent so we have adjusted our passing to make it more intelligent in this case, assisting the user to be able to create more fluid moves.

Another example of this is in the leading that we apply to the pass. If your player is running when making the pass than the ball will lead the player and if the receiver is running, than it will lead the ball into his path so he doesn’t have to stop. Again, this creates more fluid gameplay and build up to the play. As in FIFA 07, we also have the semi assisted and manual passing and through passing options which gives more experienced users more freedom in their passing options.