EA Sports announced that Clint Dempsey and Lionel Messi will be the cover athletes for FIFA 15. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the 27-year-old Messi will grace the cover for the franchise since he was named EA Sports Football Ambassador in 2011. He previously appeared on FIFA 13 and FIFA 14, and on 2012's FIFA Street.
Demspey, from the U.S. Men's National Team, will join the Argentine superstar on the cover of the North American version of the game. Dempsey, who plays for the Seattle Sounders FC, captained the American team through the "Group of Death" and into the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
It's not hard to understand Messi's selection. He has won four FIFA Ballon d'Or awards, set the record for most goals in a year (91) and won four Man of the Match awards during this year's World Cup. Also, despite Argentina falling short and losing to Germany in the final, Messi was recognized as the best player in the tournament and given the Golden Ball.
FIFA 15 will feature several updates, including the addition of 600 emotional reactions to add authenticity to the game. Players will respond to big moments, bad tackles and missed chances, and will show emotion when they interact with teammates and opponents.
A new rendering lighting system will bring "the most realistic players ever created in a FIFA title" by adding a new level of detail to players' faces. Players' hair will move realistically, and kits will get dirty based on the environment as the game progresses.
FIFA 15 will launch Sept. 23 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. Pre-ordering the game will net you 15 gold packs. An Ultimate Team Edition, also available, includes 40 gold packs, access to Lionel Messi in Ultimate Team for five games, and three goal celebrations.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock