EA has announced several country-specific release dates and revealed the box cover art for FIFA 15.
The latest addition to the long-running football sim franchise will hit UK shelves on 26 September.
That’s a slightly longer wait than the release date for other continents. First to receive the game will be recent soccer advocates the US on 23 September, with Europe receiving the title on 25 September.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the World Cup’s Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi will grace the cover art for the title.
The football icon has had the most appearances on the football franchise’s cover and this is his fourth consecutive appearance on the box art. Messi previously graced the cover of FiFA Street, FIFA 13 and FIFA 14.
However, judging by Argentina’s loss at the World Cup and the controversial decision to name Messi best player of the tournament – it would have arguably been more relevant to include a different player. Perhaps Colombia’s James RodrÃguez (himself a winner of the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup) or Mario GÃ¶tze, scorer of the winning goal in the final?
Alas, it is probably Messi’s worldwide recognition that puts him above those two rising stars of the game.
EA has stated that FIFA 15 will also have regional cover stars, though they have yet to be announced.
The game’s developer also added that those gamers that pre-order the title will be instantly upgraded to the Ultimate Edition and receive all of the digital bonuses that come with it.
EA boasts that this year’s edition of its professional football game offers a “whole new level of visuals” with features like new character models and body rigging, visible breathing and hair movement. Additionally, player kits in FIFA 15 will grow dirtier as the match unfolds and slide tackles will leave marks on the pitch.
EA claims that all this realism is made possible by FIFA 15 running on the EA Sports Ignite engine, the same technology that powered EA Sports UFC – a title praised for its stunning visuals.
Will you be buying a copy of FIFA 15? Who would you like to see on the cover? Let us know via the comments section below.
Update: As mentioned above, the USA whipped up a frenzy back home with its deserved quarter final placing at this year’s World Cup. Therefore, there are bound to be high hopes for the upcoming North American release of FIFA 15.
However, there is already some controversy brewing in regard to the game’s regional cover star and – more specifically – his kit.
Clint Dempsey has rightly been chosen as the face of FIFA 15, alongside Lionel Messi, in North America. As you can see below, the title will be getting slightly different covers for its respective Xbox One and PS4 box arts.
Understandably the problem lies with Sony refusing to display Dempsey in his Xbox-sponsored Seattle Sounders kit, instead opting for his USA colours.
This isn’t the first time an EA Sports title has encountered cover issues. Only last year, the developer was rushing to change its FIFA 14 Gareth Bale cover following the winger’s record move to Real Madrid.
Unless, Dempsey decides to pull off the same during transfer season, these covers should be going ahead as planned.
So what do you reckon? Is Dempsey the face of US soccer or should it have been World Cup hero Tim Howard? As usual, let us know below.
Update: At its press briefing ahead of the Gamescom event in Cologne, Xbox has reiterated that the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Legends mode will be an Xbox exclusive.
Legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, formerly of Manchester United and the Danish national side, spoke of his own picks for the game mode on stage at the event. David Rutter of Microsoft was alongside him to announce that the Ultimate Team Legends mode will include football icons such as Beckenbauer, Moore, Roberto Carlos, Roy Keane, Laurent Blanc, Michael Laudrup and many more players from the past.
Check out an image of the new legends below:
Additional news at the event included the confirmation of an upcoming FIFA 15 Xbox One bundle. Microsoft stated that the bundle will be released in Europe on 25 September and will set punters back £349.99 (Ã¢¬399.99).
Update: The FIFA 15 UK cover star has been unveiled as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The Belgium national will appear alongside the default cover star, Lionel Messi,when the game hits these shores on 26 September.
The news comes in the wake of the alternate FIFA 15 covers for the US (Clint Dempsey), Switzerland (Xherdan Shaqiri), Austria (David Alaba) and Australia (Tim Cahill).
Although Hazard is a recognisable young player in his own right, it is slightly odd that EA didn’t choose a British footballer for the UK version of FIFA 15. Despite England’s poor showing at the World Cup, they were spoilt for choice. Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Rahim Sterling spring to mind as likely candidates.
Previous British players to appear on the cover include Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart.
However, the decision has been made so our speculation is futile.
EA certainly had its reasons, stating: “The 23 year old Belgian had an outstanding season for Chelsea in the 2013/14 campaign with 14 goals, seven assists and 92 chances created from his 35 appearances.”
Nonetheless, why not tell us who you would have chosen for your dream FIFA 15 cover in the comments section below.