Electronic Arts on Tuesday kicked off the US launch of its “FIFA 15” video game, hyping the latest installment of its long-running soccer franchise as its most realistic yet.
More than 5.5 million people have taken part in a demo period for the game, which will be released worldwide later this week, according to EA.
“We believe we have built a game in FIFA 15 that delivers the most immersive and responsive game play experience ever in the FIFA franchise,” said EA Sports Vice President David Rutter.
“We can’t wait for the millions of fans to start their season and experience all of the innovations.”
EA is letting virtual soccer stars in “FIFA 15” get psyched, or angry, on field just like their real-world inspirations.
The game infuses on-screen players with “emotional intelligence” designed to let them show how they feel about missed passes, brutal tackles, teammates, opponents and more.
“We want our fans to feel the highs and lows of the drama that is football, and experience the emotional rollercoaster that plays out during a match,” Rutter said during a glimpse at the title earlier this year.
“We’re now able to immerse you in the game and let the story of the match unfold based on new commentary, crowd activity, and the natural reactions of the players, which make every game unique.”
“FIFA 15” on-screen players express ranges of emotions that evolve based on how a game is going, and have attitudes about on-field allies and opponents.
California-based EA said it tapped into the improved power of Xbox One and PS4 to make game play and graphics more realistic.
“Visually, this is the biggest step the FIFA franchise has ever taken,” Rutter said.
“We set out with the goal of creating atmosphere, players, crowds, and pitches that not only look like they do on match day, but also feel like they do when you play or watch football ? it’s a level of immersion we’ve never been able to bring to the game before.”
Versions of the game are also tailored for prior generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles, along with personal computers powered by Windows software.
The new title is priced at $60.
A “FIFA 15 Ultimate Team” version of the game is available for free to play on smartphones or tablets powered by Apple, Android, or Windows software.