FIFA 14 review
- Scoring barn-storming goals
- Authentic team songs
- 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.