FIFA 14 review

FIFA 14 review

T3 4
  • The wait is over - our FIFA 14 review is finally here, but has it hit the target, or turned a bit Torres?

    FIFA 14 review

    Love

    • Scoring barn-storming goals
    • Authentic team songs

    Hate

    • So many bad touches
    • Throw-ins still poor

    The release of a new FIFA is a highlight in the diary of gamers up and down the land, and for the last few years, EA's franchise has dominated. The Old Firm Derby of gaming – FIFA's battle with PES – has waned thanks to the former's realism, detail and gameplay.

    This year PES 2014 is back with a bang, and the renewed rivalry means that eyes have been on EA to see how FIFA 14 will evolve, and there's plenty of changes to talk about.

    FIFA 14: Features

    In terms of features FIFA 14 sees a maturation of the same line-up as FIFA 13. There hasn't been an influx of new game modes, so all the old guard are here: Ultimate Team is back, as is Career mode, multiplayer and the standard quick play.

    Love it or hate it, Ultimate Team is more or less the same. EA says the mode has been a hit, but we found it hard to connect emotionally with your randomly assembled team. For the uninitiated, the aim of Ultimate Team is to pick your team based on chemistry, creating a playing unit based on more than raw ability and stats.

    However, the process of creating chemistry is more about matching nationalities with the adjacent players within your line-up, rather than in-depth abilities or skills. It feels a little empty, and we much preferred the Career Mode, which benefits from several improvements that makes management easy.

    Previous versions of FIFA has made scouting for players a chore, but the updated interface makes sending out your scouts much easier, with more time for playing and less tweaking impenetrable menus.

    You can now play co-op seasons with other pairs over multiplayer now, but most of the changes are in the gameplay themselves. Realism is the name of the game, and added physics and AI in nearly every department, from passing, player movement and the movement of computer controlled players has been given a boost. But more on that later.

    FIFA 14: Teams

    The line-up of teams in FIFA 14 is as exhaustive as ever, and the level of detail even down to the lowest divisions remains the game's greatest strengths.

    EA is also putting more emphasis on classic teams with its Legends feature. However, this is on hold until the next-gen Xbox One and Sony PS4 launch in November, so until then its the standard line-up for players.

    Player likenesses are still somewhat of a mixed bag. Chelsea's Oscar looks scarily realistic, while some other top team's players looked less on the money. Hopefully, these dubious doppelgängers will be updated after the game's official release.

  • FIFA 14 rewards patience, possession and building from midfield to walk away with all three points. T3 went hands-on with the latest installment...

    FIFA 14 review

    Love

    • Scoring barn-storming goals
    • Authentic team songs

    Hate

    • So many bad touches
    • Throw-ins still poor

    Another year, another FIFA trying to find a way to improve on FIFA 13, which has raised the bar so high that Pro Evolution doesn't even make the subs bench these days.

    More than 10 new features of FIFA 14 were announced at the game's reveal earlier this year and while EA's new Ignite engine has been reserved for next-gen consoles - the Sony PS4 and Xbox One - the pre-Alpha Xbox 360 build we got some hands-on time with still proves that there's plenty to look forward to for the current-gen console crowd.

    FIFA 14: Features

    FIFA 14 puts the emphasis on trying to create the scenarios that happen within 90 minutes with a raft of new animations that it hopes presents the unpredictabile nature of the game.

    Once again, it's all about striving for realism so when you want to pull off the new curling lofted through ball, it can only be effectively executed if a defender is out of position and has the left the space in behind.

    Possession is nine tenths of the law for teams like Barcelona and managers like Rafa Benitez so prepare to be more methodical about your football approach as the pace of the game has been dramatically slowed down, rewarding you for intelligently bringing your teammates into play and crafting the kind of sweeping, penetrative passing moves that would make a Camp Nou crowd purr with appreciation.

    It's no use picking teams packed with speed merchants like Ronaldo and Messi thinking you can breeze past teams and easily skip past defenders because new features like Variable Dribble Touch really make you think about how you carry the ball even with the most talented of players.

    FIFA 14: Gameplay

    Whether you're walking, jogging or running, each touch differs from the last. If you're trying a lung-busting run in the 89th minute and your player is struggling for energy, the fatigue will affect your ability to keep control of the ball.

    Shooting in recent FIFA games has often had the same outcome, but the new Pure Shot mechanics adds an authenticity and variety of striking the ball that is a refreshing addition.

    Immediate events occurring around the player like a set of defenders closing you down or matching you for pace can influence the effectiveness of your shot sometimes forcing you to frustratingly rush your strike.

    Players will be able to strike the ball with different areas of the foot like Gareth Bale who uses the outside of his left foot to cross and shoot just as he does in real life. This in tandem with the new ball physics means there are more outcomes when you have an attempt on goal and also means a greater success rate when shooting from long range.

    FIFA 14: Controls

    FIFA 14 really pushes the idea and value of protecting the ball as another way of slowing down play and thinking about how you can bring other teammates into play. It's an element that has been reserved for Didier Drogba-style forwards in previous games but now it's been moved into other areas of the pitch.

    Moved to the shoulder buttons has meant skills moves are now designated to the analogue sticks, but it's still more than manageable to perform a stepover or three without any issues.

    FIFA 14: Teammate AI

    EA has responded to feedback about last year's FIFA, particularly in the area of teammate AI with the computer often letting you down in defensive areas of the pitch so now you can expect to see full backs tracking back more effectively and much tighter marking which is particularly noticeable at set-pieces where at times in FIFA 13 you can feel powerless to ensure everyone is picking up their men.

    FIFA 14: Graphics

     

    From afar there doesn't seem to be a dramatic change in terms of visuals, but up close is where you begin to see some of the more detailed intricacies in the animation and physics engine department that have been added. Players pull more realistically at shirts, jockey and jostle off the ball and now react to situations where they feel they have been fouled or denied a clear opportunity on goal.

    FIFA 14: Verdict

    FIFA 12 introduced more tactical awareness and FIFA 13 saw the push towards much greater realism, and now FIFA 14 has tried to mould itself much closer into a more modern representation of the game putting the emphasis on simulation more than it has ever before.

    The tweaks and improved game engine mechanics feel more substantial and noticeable than they have done in the last few FIFA games and while it should make it a tougher game to master, it should still offer that same satisfying football feeling.

    FIFA 14 release date: 27 September 2013

    FIFA 14 price: 39.99

    Hands-on review by Michael Sawh

    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA-14-lead-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA-14-1-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA-14-2-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA-14-3-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA_14_Bale.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_Precisionmovement_62.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA_14_Bundesliga_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA_14_Milan_Juventus_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_Spurs_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFFA_14_Mandanda_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA_14_MLS_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA_14_Messi_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_SP_low_shot_WM_UP.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_UK_pure_shot_WM_6.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_X360_CareerModeScout.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_CareerMode_Centra.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_DE_protect_the_ba.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_FR_protect_the_ba.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_FR_Pure_shot_WM_6.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_IT_protect_the_ba.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_IT_pure_shot_WM_6.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/fi/xs_FIFA14_NG_SP_pure_shot_WM_6.jpg
  • FIFA 14

    Best deals

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now