When I think of FIFA games, I usually end up recalling a series that is repeatedly churned out, year on year, without fail. But despite EA being well versed in doing this the outcome isn’t always as good as you would expect, or as good as its predecessor. But with FIFA 14 things are a little different. But that’s a good thing.
Previous FIFA games have always tried to reinvent the wheel. As a result the texture of the players’ skin can change significantly between releases, the movement of each player can also be vastly different as well. And the features will vary just as much from each year. But FIFA 14 seems to be different. Unlike FIFA 13 and those that came before, this years’ football game seems to have taken to improving over what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. But there’s more then just the technical adjustments to admire here. FIFA 14 goes further by pulling everything together into a nice, neat package, complete with far more realistic player dynamics.
For those who look forward to competitive seasons where they fight for survival in the league table, you’re well catered for. FIFA 14 offers plenty of options, from playing online with your favourite team against other similar classed opponents to online and offline league or competition matches using your Ultimate Team of hand picked players. Then you have casual online play and practice matches as well.
Beyond that you have a multitude of competitions you can enter, on or offline, and the practice modes differ significantly, guiding those with less experience than those hardened veterans of football by instructing them, step by step, on each and every move, pass, shot, flick, free kick or penalty. And it also instructs you on the finer points of defending as well. Goal keeping techniques can be repeatedly practised until you’re blue in the face and there’s defending as well. And there’s plenty to edit throughout the game.
Beyond the technical aspects of the game, it’s hard not to be impressed with the way the players move. Using motion capture in games like Call of Duty or Halo is one thing, but FIFA is where it’s most needed. And it shows. Players run and turn and shoot with a natural flair and grace normally reserved for the Premiership. But they also stumble with exceptional realism, which isn’t surprising, considering the amount of motion capture that went into this version of FIFA. All in all, FIFA 14 is the must have football game of the year. And without sounding far too premature I’m already looking forward to what EA can do in next years’ iteration of the series.