The Best FIFA Game Ever! Again!
“…a more realistic simulation of football and a more immersive gaming experience which truly puts you in control.”
So about a year ago I reviewed FIFA 13, which boasted that it was the best FIFA game yet. Now however there is a new best FIFA game yet, until at least next year, in the form of FIFA 14! All mockery aside though, FIFA 14 shows genuine improvements upon its predecessors, and playing the game actually made me feel as though EA had really put some effort into making their sometimes “easy” looking title into something more beautiful. As we move into a new generation of gaming, a new generation of FIFA appears to have been born to follow it, and I expect gamers in general would probably all agree that it is time that FIFA actually became a new, better and more fruitful title given its incredible popularity in the industry. So shall we go ahead and take a look at just what has changed and how? Ok, let’s get to it!
When FIFA 14 arrived, my housemate became incredibly overexcited and so it didn’t take long for us to sit down and have a game to see whether it was simply the number on the box which had changed, or if we genuinely had something new and fun to have a play with. Thankfully, I am pleased to say, it was the latter, and I very much appreciate what the developers have done with things! Notoriously with FIFA, playing the game has always been, to an extent, easy. Past titles have often done an awful lot of the play for you, taking over say a quarter or so of the actual control you had by making players move to do things on their own, or automatically run onto and perfectly receive the ball in a long play. The most noticeable difference in FIFA 14’s gameplay is the fact that you now have to try. That’s right, you actually have to put in the effort to do some things yourself. That quarter of play that you could happily rely on the computer to do for you is now along the lines of a more reasonable ten percent or so, and this change makes a hell of a difference to how the game plays!
The first time you really recognise the new responsibilities which you have in terms of controlling the players is when you make a long pass. Previously, the recipient of the pass would pretty much position themselves to receive and use the ball, but the job of doing this is now in the gamer’s hands. From the perspective of those who like realistic play in games such as this, the change is absolutely fantastic and well overdue. I think that most gamers like the feeling of being in control, and so the fact that this is now the case will probably delight many. My housemate seemed to struggle with the idea of actually having to do things in FIFA, however I was loving it, and the pure level of control you gain from such a simple change is incredible too. Its not only passing which has changed though, but a number of other aspects have too, each adding to the fruitfulness of gameplay as a whole.
Moving is something else which has very noticeably changed. For one, you no longer have the turning circle of a bus, but rather you can move like, and you may want to sit down for this, a human being. I know, crazy right? But its true! Or at the very least even the poorer players on the game can turn something like a horse, but in either case you can actually move around now. This means if you are making a run and get tackled you can actually turn and chase your opponent down again as opposed to watching him race into the distance. Equally, if someone escapes past you with some fancy footwork, you can still catch up to the chase and beat them. To cut a long story short you can basically actually play football now. Its a novel idea and only time will tell if it will take off or not, but playing football in FIFA is a dream which has finally been realised and fans everywhere should be thrilled. Perhaps I may be coming across overly-critical here. I have always enjoyed playing FIFA as a game, but it has really stepped up in the quality of its gameplay to a point where it feels like you are playing football now, rather than just “playing FIFA”.
Thanks to FIFA 14’s new Pure Shot and Real Ball Physics systems the shooting in the game is the best it has ever been. That’s not an advertising slogan for EA or anything, that’s quite honestly the truth of the matter! Shooting feels more realistic, far smoother and much less random than it has in previous games. Now you really REALLY have to be bad at the game to randomly smash the ball out for a throw in when you are trying to score a goal! Well you had to be pretty bad anyway, but lets be honest we all know how much of a pain it was to line up a straight shot without pressing about six buttons at once in some of this game’s predecessors. Now however shooting feels very nice indeed, and you certainly get to appreciate your achievement more with the way the physics look and feel I this release. Scoring a goal has never been so satisfying, and he developers should be very proud of the new systems which they have created to allow this.
It is nice to be able to review a game which has such a history and meets so much criticism from some gamers in such a positive light. I have always enjoyed FIFA games personally for their fun factor with friends. I am not a big football fan; I do not support any specific team or particularly worry about why my home town’s team can’t play for sh… I shouldn’t use that word in a professional review, but of get my point. FIFA can be fun for both fans of football and gamers in general just because of the competitiveness of the game itself. For the first time in a few releases however I feel that a genuine effort has been put in to make the game a more realistic simulation of football and a more immersive gaming experience which truly puts you in control. As opposed to creating sixteen new game modes, EA have actually made improvements upon their old ideas and come out with a very good set of new mechanics and features which stand to be very well appreciated.
The game has very few faults too. The biggest issue I can take with it is sometimes the guys running after the ball to take a “quick throw in” can take longer than the old loading screens even used to. There is also quite a lot of spammy menus to get through before you can actually get into the game which is a bit frustrating, but once you are past them there isn’t much of an issue. Other than that, I am very satisfied with FIFA 14 and the work that EA have put into improving their popular franchise in this latest release. What’s more, I haven’t seen an unrealistic or ridiculous score line yet, which any fans of the franchise will know has been more common in the past than can be appreciated! FIFA has been refreshed, and I for one look forward to playing it until I write almost the same review again next year!
The Good – New in-game mechanics finally make FIFA feel like a more true-to-life simulation of football which requires some genuine skill to play and maximises the overall experience.
The Bad – Quick throw ins aren’t quick. Like, at all. There are still about a solid minute of menus to go through when you turn on the game before you can play.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.