FIFA 14 is the highly anticipated next installment in the football title from EA Sports. The long running franchise is back to captivate football fans around the world and once again, make them obsess over securing the biggest names and best players for their squads over various game modes. As the next generation of consoles is just around the corner, EA have to pull out all the stops to make gamers pay for the current generation versions. Have they done enough?
Let’s find out and kick off the HOTs and NOTs
Despite not yet being a next gen title, FIFA 14 has once again managed to improve on the presentation side of the game. The new in-game menu keeps the user interface clean and simple whilst offering more information about players’ fitness from only a quick glance. Players look more lifelike with visuals and animations to give unique styles to individuals when running, shooting and celebrating. This is an upgrade from previous installments as new animations have been added resulting in more footballers acting as they do in real life.
FIFA titles have always had an interesting and rather unique music score to go alongside the menus and loading screens and FIFA 14 is no different. The tracks are upbeat and are well picked to suit the ‘please everyone’ category. None offer anything that can be classed as painful for your ears and some would argue occasionally they blend into the background but certainly a few are enjoyable to listen to and I’m sure many will be singing along in good time.
The commentary team has yet to make some of the annoying
blunders they have in FIFA 13; such as strikers being referred to as defenders when clearing a ball from near the half way line. While I won’t rule out such errors as they usually only surface with time, there are some decent stories and titbits between the regular commentaries to keep things interesting. All in all, an impressive job has been done providing a flowing ongoing conversation between commentators to complete the watching football on TV styled presentation.
This has slightly divided FIFA players but I am firmly on the positive side of the fence. With faster gameplay, counterattacks are more deadly than ever as within seconds, and a few perfectly placed passes, you can get the ball from your penalty area to a goal scoring opportunity just like in real life. As controlling the ball, especially when turning, is slightly harder in FIFA 14 it gives players that split second to poach the ball. This creates a match with a higher tempo and provides plenty more edge-of-the-seat action than ever before. Just like in real football matches, a 1-0 lead is never safe as one godly move can see an opponent getting that all important equalizer.
Improvement of First Touch
Initially, last year it seemed that the newly added feature First Touch Control would drastically change the way teams had to be created. However, it hardly effected the best teams to an extent it wasn’t overly noticeable. With the loose control players have this year, footballers such as Messi come into their own. Unlike many, the ball sticks to his feet enabling players to make distinctive darting runs through the center of defenses. When the ball is passed to someone of lesser quality, the ball bounces away from his feet when receiving the ball and then whilst running with it. This time around it feels correct and lifelike, presenting what should have been included when the touch control feature was originally added.