FIFA 14 review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hands-on review by Michael Sawh
FIFA 14 review
FIFA 14 reviewT3
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
- 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.
FIFA 14 rewards patience, possession and building from midfield to walk away with all three points. T3 went hands-on with the latest installment...
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