In a recent pre-season friendly between defense Italian champions AC Milan and the German team (and lovers attending GamesCom) FC Köln, the presenters tried something I never remember seeing on a football field before: they attached cameras to some of the players so anyone watching from home could get as close to the action as possible. .
Here’s what it looks like in action. There are first-person parts throughout this highlight clip, from the pre-match handshakes to the match itself, but I had the autoplay set to poor timing Cologne defender Timo Hübers got stuck before getting a view from the front seat to a delicate little ending by Olivier Giroud:
Maybe I simply played too much FIFAbut everything about that – especially the pump arms – made me thought, hey, this is definitely something we’ll see one day FIFAeven if it’s only in single player mode.
It won’t be a radical departure for the series; The game’s ‘Pro’ camera setting has been around for years and was created to provide a more ‘real’ experience. You can see below and compare with the scene above (especially when players sprint, close-up camera angle)but note that control the whole group use ‘Pro’ camera like this is madness, and it’s most useful when you’re only controlling a single player at a time:
You may be thinking, How can you hope to play a sports game in first person mode? Sure can’t play video games on 2D screen recreating the experience of playing a sport making the most of your 360-degree peripheral vision and hearing? And will it really make the gameplay that much more difficult?
To that I would say, you’re right! You’d need all kinds of complex indicators to indicate passes and crosses, and football has so much running and looking away from the ball that it would make positioning a nightmare. I would also say that I don’t care, because NFL 2K did it and as hard (and even broken in parts!) as it was, it also a huge amount of fun, and one of the features fans remember most fondly about the series, even after all these years:
Sure, a first-person mode would make runs and a lot of defending almost impossible, and even make me slightly sick with all that head wobble and pumping arms, but if a FIFA game can ever add a first-person mode like that—dragging us away from its usual TV-presenter viewpoint and into the field itself—it would still rule, if only for the spectacle.