Sebastian Enrique, producer at FIFA 14 spoke to Japes during the FIFA 14 First Look event recently.
After some introductions, Enrique talked about how sprinting is being changed up in the upcoming game. He said that the average gamer is going to have to adjust their playstyles from previous FIFA games when they get their hands on FIFA 14. Asked how long it would take for a player to get the hang of it, Enrique responded that it would take as much time as it took for players to learn first-touch control in FIFA 13.
"The time it took people to learn first-touch control—it's going to take the same time to learn sprinting," said Enrique.
First touch control was a feature added in FIFA 13, which changed up the ping-pong style gameplay of FIFA 12 to something a lot more skill-oriented.
The developers are taking the same concept from FIFA 13 that they have with first-touch, and in sprinting it's now going to be called variable dribbling touches. According to Enrique, players like Messi and Ronaldo have excellent control while sprinting but not players like Puyol or Rio Ferdinand, so you'll feel that difference in FIFA 14 while you sprint with players, which was never the case in previous FIFA games.
The game now takes into account many different factors for sprinting, most, if not all of which are concealed to the player. The context matters. Essentially, whether you're being pushed or pulled, which player you're using, and so on, is going to have a huge effect on gameplay.
Enrique stated that you'd rather not sprint with your defenders in high-pressure situations or you'll end up losing the ball. He states that the developers do not want to discourage sprinting, but they do want to make the game fair—which sprinting, in its present incarnation, throws out of balance.
FIFA 14 is coming to the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC later this year.