As per every year, the latest FIFA offers a number of improvements and changes based on a core focus.
Last year, it was First Touch Control, and the year before that, it was the introduction of the physics-based Impact Engine. For FIFA 14, however, there's no single feature that quickly defines this new instalment.
Broadly, the development team at EA Canada are looking to revamp "build-up play", from the skirmish in midfield through to the satisfaction of planting the ball in the net.
"I think some of the feedback we had was the game, at times, felt backwards and forwards," producer Nick Channon explained to Digital Spy.
"One of the reasons for that is when you have loose marking, you've got time to turn and you can run at defenders, and make that a quick backwards and forwards game. I think it's something that we felt, now is a good opportunity to look at that."
More specifically, the look and feel of shooting at goal is revamped, ball physics are more realistic, marking is tweaked to be smarter and more pressured, and players can now slow the pace of the game with a single button press.
While no single feature screams out at you, instead there looks to be a number of smart changes that could seriously change the way users approach their shooting and sprinting opportunities, while goal scoring looks to be more realistic - and satisfying - as ever before.
More realistic goals with 'Pure Shot'
Headlining the feature list is Pure Shot, a revamp to how visually the ball is approached when shooting.
In previous FIFA games, players would often hold their on-screen animation – or legs would erratically snap back when connecting from awkward positions - to ensure they could hit the ball cleanly.
In FIFA 14, players will automatically adjust their stride - or even create an arc when running up to the ball - before taking the shot, in a bid to deliver more satisfying looking goals.
While the mechanics of shooting will remain unchanged, Pure Shot is also designed to act as a form of feedback.
Instead of underpowered or wide shots resulting in the same familiar shooting animations, players will stumble over from an awkward blast of the ball or lunge out at a desperate toe poke, teaching the user to reconsider whether they should rush their shot next time.
"I really think what might happen is that because you see a rushed shot, you'll start to understand, 'That was rushed, maybe the next time something like that happens, do I do something else?'" said Channon.
"Do I take another option, do I pass, do I hold up the ball? I think that's potentially what's going to happen as people play with it, as while the mechanics won't have massively changed, we might start to think about things in a different way."
Revamped Real Ball Physics
Continuing the theme of more realistic-looking goals is completely revamped ball physics.
The way FIFA up until now simulated drag and acceleration was much more linear. Now, both shots and crosses will take new flight paths, from low rising pokes to drips and swerves.
It's also uncertain whether outside influences such as rain and wind will have an impact on ball trajectory.
While the way the new physics have been implemented will mean users will be able to thump the ball harder, like Pure Shot, the mechanics of shooting and crossing remain unchanged.
"Ultimately, it's the way you kick the ball which will determine in a very realistic way how it will react," explained Channon.
"Beyond that, that's where you are – you kick, you shoot and then there's this feel and look that's amazing. Naturally it will feel just way more rewarding."
'Protect The Ball' with the press of a trigger
The biggest change coming to controls in FIFA 14 is the ability for users to hold up the ball in a variety of situations with renewed ease.
As usual, the right trigger will sprint players, while the left trigger will now make players shield the ball. Channon described the control scheme being similar to a driving game; thinking of the triggers as accelerating and braking.
Experienced players will recall that protecting the ball has appeared in previous instalments, and they'd be right. But the desire here is to bring it the forefront with a single pull of the trigger, as opposed to a few obscure button presses.
"Ultimately, it was just something that was there [in previous FIFA games], and it hadn't been a focus for us," explained Channon.
"Again, some of these things come down to timing, and this felt like the right time to give the user the control and the ability."
More importantly, protecting the ball can happen at any time. Where before, it was restricted to when players stood still, it can now be deployed even when running, shielding possession away from sprinting defenders.
Both attackers and defenders on and off the ball can use this feature, helping players dictate the tempo of the match.
Improved team-mate intelligence
In line with the focus on build-up play this year is improved intelligence which, again, makes the game more realistic but also aims to fix some of the erratic behaviour of previous FIFA games.
Marking sees the most improvements. Defenders will now add more pressure to off-ball players, which should force players to seek out new opportunities and pass quicker, and will create more midfield battles.
In offence, team members will now fake runs, back into defenders and run along the back line to look for new opportunities.
Elsewhere, a common frustration from before was that marking players would often drop away, particularly when the opposition ran into space.
This was often because the game would make a snap judgement, believing the next closest player would run in to intercept, but ultimately wouldn't.
Now, the game will wait longer before making such decisions, meaning players assigned to a particular mark should stick to them for longer and won't erratically stop short.
Two directly mechanical changes are also coming to dribbling. Players can now turn on a sprint in any direction, instead of on a wide, slow-turning arc, but is counter-balanced by players having to shift their momentum, possibly leaving the ball out in the open.
Dribbling at speed also has a more direct effect on the distance of the ball away from the player; sprinting too fast will cause the ball to be nudged too far ahead, ripe for the picking by the opposition.
Different players will have better control over the ball than others at speed, making player picks more important than ever.
So what will these changes to sprinting and marking mean to the flow of the game? EA are keen to stress that closer marking won't mean matches will become "harder", but they might become slower.
"What we were finding is a lot of people would have the time and space to sprint, whereas this with it being slightly tighter, will naturally slow the game down a little bit," Channon explained.
"We're not changing the game speed, it's naturally a tighter game, tighter marking will slow things down a little bit.
"To stress, it won't make the game harder, it will slow [things] down, make the ball move more around. You can bypass the midfield if you choose, but in this sense it's about working your opportunities."
A revamped Career hub and all-new Skill Games
Specifics on what's new in Career Mode were few and far between, but EA were keen to reveal a revamped hub – which reminded us of the Xbox 360 dashboard's panels - for improved usability.
Player scouting, meanwhile, will see a revamp. Now available at any point in the calendar, users will scout for new potential players by traits such as height, position and skills rather than the stats, months before the transfer period.
Established players will be omitted from the findings, making the system designed to find "rising stars", as Channon puts it, that will help you "long term".
Finally, expect a number of new Skill Game types, as well as refreshes of those introduced in FIFA 13.
A few we witnessed include multiple balls behind lined up for shots on goal, and a series of close-quarter, one-touch passes against an opposition of four.
FIFA 14 will be coming to Xbox 360, PS3, PC and other unconfirmed platforms later this year.