Player movement and support going forward (or lack of) has been a gripe of the FIFA community in recent releases. This year the introduction of Attacking Intelligence is set to change all that, looking to create a more dynamic feel when you’re going forward. This is what we know about Attacking Intelligence so far…
In FIFA 12 players only evaluated the endpoint of a run, meaning that as the position of players around them changed, they’d change their mind and end up not making a run that was of any use to you.
In FIFA 13 the entire length of the run is considered by the player when making run choices, meaning they can make their runs with more conviction and make runs that are no longer broken as the play changes around them.
Test bed example shown of a player making a run towards the top left hand side of the box with the ball being brought down the right wing. As the player approaches the area he decides that the front post is the best place for him to be and sharply changes his run, cutting round the defender and meeting the ball at the front post.
Players can now curve their runs around defenders to get themselves into the space behind.
Curving To Stay Onside
FIFA 12 example shown of player making a forward run, turning back to face his team to stay onside then needing to make another 180 turn to continue his run. The whole process was jerky and unintuitive.
Real World example shown of Van Persie against Chelsea curving his run and slowing slightly to stay onside without having to turn around.
FIFA 13 example shown of a player making a similar run to the FIFA 12 example, this time the player slows/stutters his run whilst still facing towards goal, resulting in him being able to take the ball into the path of his run behind the defender.
Players able to curve their runs out and back in to stay onside whilst maintaining forward momentum.
AI Players now have the tools/animations to communicate their intentions to you, so that you can better understand what they’re going to do.
Opening Passing Channels
Real world example shown of Van Persie making a quick change of direction whilst running into the box (off the ball) to lose the defender and open up space to recieve a pass.
FIFA 13 example shown of player being aware that they aren’t in a position to recieve the ball and cutting their run to lose the defender and open up a passing channel.
Second FIFA 13 example shown of a player making a curved run away from a defender to create a wider space between them. This not only allows for them to take the ball in their path but to also lose the defender completely.
Curving To Space Behind
Real world example shown of Park (The good one, not the Arsenal one) laying the ball off to Rooney in the box and curving around the defender in front of him, into the space behind, to recieve the return ball and take a shot.
FIFA 13 example shown of the same scenario. The attacker recognises that he needs to be in the space behind the defender and curves his run out, then back in so that when he collects the ball, he’s facing goal rather than the corner flag.
Second FIFA 13 example shown of play breaking forward, with a player in running slightly ahead of the ball carrier but with a defender in his path. Whereas in FIFA 12 the prescense of the defender would have forced the player to split his run at a roughly 45 degree angle and almost remove himself from play, this year he’s able to maintain the forward path of his run by curving around the defender into the space behind.
2 Plays Ahead
Players now think 2 plays ahead allowing them to position themselves much more effectively on the pitch.
FIFA 13 example shown of the ball being passed along the back line from left to right. As the LCB recieves the ball from the LB you can see the RB start to make a run forward as he’s decided that the RCB is likely to be the next recipient.
Second FIFA 13 example shown of a CM recieving the ball from the left wing. You can see both of his supporting midfielders on the right side start their runs early, meaning that they’re in a much more advanced position when they recieve the ball.
Players will put less emphasis on staying in formation and more on expected outcomes when deciding on where to position themselves.
Players will no longer wait for play to come to them before looking to get involved, meaning you’ll see a lot more off the ball movement.
Awareness of who is expected to recieve the ball next works with the new run types, allowing players to make concise runs into useful areas even if they aren’t directly involved in the play at that moment.
Other Bits And Pieces
Fatigue will be a factor with attacking AI. Particularly short term fatigue.
Attributes will be considered when calculating player movement.
To combat this additional attacking AI, EA have added Lateral Contain to the defensive system. This will allow defenders to not only close down/drop off but also to contain laterally to show an attacker down the line or inside.
Overall Attacking Intelligence as a whole looks like a really good solution to some of the problems you’ll find going forward in FIFA 12. Yes, it’s a pre prepared presenation but none the less we were really impressed with the progress that’s been made so far. Attacking Intelligence should give you the tools to create faster attacks with less waiting around for your team to catch up with your thinking and even allow the AI to direct play in some ways by making the right runs into the right spaces.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.