After a long summer with few big game releases, the fall video game season is now here. As one of the largest publishers in the industry, EA is getting a head start with the release of its big sports titles. Madden NFL 15 made its debut just over one month ago and EA Sports NHL 15 hit stores two weeks ago.
This week the biggest sports video game franchise of them all is being released. FIFA 15 is out today in North America. Europeans can get their hands on the title starting Thursday (Friday for the UK).
The game is being released on all major platforms, including PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. PC gamers will be required to access FIFA 15 through EA’s Origin client. Xbox One gamers who already bought into EA’s new EA Access subscription service have had access to the game since last Thursday.
According to EA over 5.5 million people have already played the FIFA 15 demo since it was released two weeks ago.
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) September 23, 2014
As with other EA sports games, FIFA 15 doesn’t feature huge technical leaps over last year’s version. Instead, smaller features have been tweaked or improved along with the game’s graphics and animations. Improvements to player face graphics in particular have been a focus of this year’s FIFA.
EA has also added more than 600 new player reaction animations to the game. In-game players now have “emotional” feelings (both good and bad) toward other players, which is supposed to enable more realistic in-game reactions.
“We believe we have built a game in FIFA 15 that delivers the most immersive and responsive gameplay experience ever in the FIFA franchise, and we can’t wait for the millions of fans to start their season and experience all of the innovations,” said David Rutter, general manager of EA Sports FIFA.
Another focus of this year’s FIFA improvements has been goalkeepers. FIFA 15 keepers have new animations and improved artificial intelligence, allowing them to react to shots in a more realistic manner.