FIFA 14 – Review
Follow Genre: Sport, football
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Android, iOS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PSP, PS Vita, Wii, 3DS, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

FIFA 14 – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Changes to Ultimate Team, various gameplay improvements
Bad: Limited innovation
User Score
8.5
(8 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (8 votes cast)

Year after year, EA strives to give us the most realistic football experience possible. FIFA 14 is their  twenty-first stab at it. Have they finally made the game indistinguishable from the real sport?

fifa 14 logo

Story

Unsurprisingly, FIFA 14 is a game in which you kick a ball around. Story wise not much more can be said, however we can still take advantage of the story section to list the biggest improvements over last year’s version:

Pure Shot: puts the emphasis on the moment your player’s foot makes contact with the ball. You can now now adjust your approach angle when a shot is started, so you can choose a suitable angle for hitting the ball.

Real Ball Physics: an attempt to make the trajectory of your shots more realistic depending on what  way your striker hits the ball. The position of the ball is now calculated using a new formula that will take into account power, distance, spin on the ball, …

Protect the Ball : an intuitive new mechanic that allows players to fend off and block opponents from the ball while running at any speed. When you press LT as you turn, your player will put his body between the ball and the opponent, creating space if you time it right.

Teammate Intelligence: improves the decision-making  by the team in both attack and defense.

Global Scouting Network: in Career mode it is now possible to develop a scouting network to improve your ability to look for new players. Scouts will reveal stats of players unknown to you so you can determine that the player would fit in with your playing style for example.

Interestingly, the game is released for a very large amount of consoles. Releases have been confirmed for Android, iOS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PSP, PS Vita, Wii, 3DS, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The Wii U missing as EA has stated that “EA will not be supporting Wii U because it’s an offline experience”.

Also, for as far as my knowledge goes, it appears to be the first game to be released for three different console generations: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

FIFA-14-Menu

Graphics

Although the game doesn’t look too different from last year, it still looks great. One starts to wonder whether the current generation of consoles haven’t reached their peak. Already EA has shown their new sport games running on the Ignite engine on the next-gent consoles. So it’s on the PS4 an Xbox One where the improvements are likely to be found.

The animations don’t appear to have changed much from FIFA 13. However, EA claims that the PS4 and Xbox One will have “roughly ten times” the amount of animations the version for the current gen consoles have.

FIFA-14-Stadium

Sound

FIFA has always had a reputation of making great choices when it comes to the tunes to listen to when you’re navigating the menus. This year, the songs aren’t as well know as they sometimes were in the past.  This isn’t an issue though, as they’re still great and I’m sure a few will find their way to your MP3 player.

The in game sound is great too. The commentary  has been expanded, so expect several new sentences and remarks the commentators make. The stadiums feel alive and vibrant. The ambiance feels right.

FIFA-14-HUD

Gameplay

As we previously mentioned in the Story section, the changes to the gameplay are mainly focused towards adding more realism. But the changes aren’t limited to the pitch as several gameplay modes were given overhauls as well.

The most important change is to the Ultimate Team mode. Players gained from a booster pack are now immediately loyal to your team, boosting the morale immediately. More importantly, Formation Cards have been abolished. If you have a great midfielder, it doesn’t matter whether you play him in 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

FIFA 14 also introduces Chemistry Styles cards to Ultimate Team. You are now free the choose which attributes will are affected by chemistry. Chemistry is an essential tool when building your Ultimate Team. The higher your Chemistry rating, the better your team performs during matches. A team with high Chemistry plays better together and thus has a bigger change to win a match.

The online mode feels great as well with its short loading times and smooth gameplay. A long awaited feature was finally included this year, namely the ability to play  seasons in 2 on 2 co-op.

FIFA-14-challenges

Conclusion

EA did what was needed but nothing more.  If you’re planning on playing on the current gen systems, don’t expect  any big improvements in the graphics department. FIFA 14 feels sufficiently different from its predecessors, so even the seasoned players must be prepared to take on a learning curve. FIFA is still the best football franchise out there. If you’re tired of FIFA 13 and you’re in for a gameplay improvement, give this one a buy. It should still be mentioned however, that no game has ever been able to truly capture football in a video game. FIFA 14 is certainly a step in the right direction, but EA’s quest still isn’t complete.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (8 votes cast)
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FIFA 14 – Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – Review
    October 11, 2013, 7:14 pm

    […] Last week we told you how FIFA 14 is a game where you kick a ball around and this week we’ll be telling you about how PES 2014 is a game where you kick a ball around in a different manner. […]

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