Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Platform: [Reviewed: XBOX 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: E for Everyone
Some of the most watched sports today are football, basketball and football. Yep, soccer! EA Sports is on top of every real life pastime presenting you an experience like none other. And this is the time of the year where soccer is dominated, loved by all! FIFA 14 is here, but how does this year’s installment line up with gaming fanatics?
With this being my first time playing FIFA in years, it was a great experience! The main menu’s interface was quite welcoming after determining my preferred skill level. You’re greeted with the choice of quick matches, ultimate teams, career mode (manager or player) or season mode.
Gameplay is so realistic I remained in awe every single game! It all began with the presentation. It’s a seamless, televised-style transition as the game begins. You see the players scattered around the field performing random animations, which reminded me of PES where everything felt a bit more generic. The crowd volume was balanced and lively as well as the commentators were much more talkative.
The first thing that stood at the very beginning of the match was the difficulty. It wasn’t a welcoming experience for a novice like me. It took me a while just to get the ball on the other half of the field. As I furthered into the game however, I began to appreciate the challenge as the AI adapts to your skills set.
What kept FIFA 14 consistently on the mark was its animations. FIFA 14 is nothing more than a panned out side scroll. It’s when you take away the concept of holding a controller and becoming one with the player is when it’s a whole new game and a much deeper involvement.
The weight movement stood out first to me as it’s the most essential portion of soccer, running back and forth. For most parts of the game, I felt like my players had no true motion to them. It was only on offense when the ball was in motion did you feel like a weight balance kicked in. You couldn’t freely move diagonally up and down with the soccer ball as the player needed to slow down his pace and then move the ball in the new direction.
Another noticeable mention would be the goalie’s number of animations. Their successful catches never had a generic feel to it. One particular example was when I ran in for the goal only to have it blocked. I immediately went for and attempt and the goalie did everything in his power to get his 2nd block off, tripping over himself, falling back to the ground.
As the player making the goal, FIFA allows you to temporarily control your character, allowing you to interact with the fans or even your own team. Having the option to choose is small yet a great mention as you start to see this less and less in the sports lineups. Games like Madden and NCAA used to allow you to score and quickly run up to teammates to only no become cutscenes.
FIFA 14 was genuinely a WOW experience! In the end I began to realize how the competition between FIFA and PES has their advantages. In FIFA, it’s all about the presentation. It drives the game to a new level. Then once each game begins it’s a real nail biter.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5