FIFA 14 Review – skop die bal! 
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Gavin Mannion
October 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

We’ve already reviewed one of the two football titles this year with PES 2014 and now it’s FIFA’s turn to go under the microscope to see what EA Sports has to bring us this year.

Immediately I have some problems; you see, normally with a sports game the main things we review are gameplay, graphics, modes, realism, online and longevity. But with FIFA 14, while the game modes make quite an impressive list, we’ve seen it all before.

Flick Shot

Sports titles are the very definition of ‘cut and paste’ games. It’s the nature of the genre really – every year the teams change shirts, shift around some players and a few teams move up and down the leagues, which means a new game gets released. The general rule of thumb for your average sports fan is to grab every second year of your favourite title so as to get the best value for money. Is 2013 the year you should be refreshing your FIFA?

What’s changed since last year? Well, according to EA Sports, FIFA 14 has a brand new engine powering it called the Ignite Engine. However, that’s only for the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. The Xbox 360, PC and PS3 versions are still using the older Impact engine which should immediately be setting off alarm bells.

Despite using last year’s engine I found the gameplay mechanics to be a vastly improved experience. The ability to run with the ball, dribble, shoot and tackle all felt remarkably improved. I’m particularly glad sliding tackle no longer results in a red card every time you miss it but at the same time has been toned down so that it’s not your ‘go to’ tackle.

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL

Shooting feels nicely refined and I felt like I had a lot more control over my shots rather than just giving the game an idea of where I wanted them to place the ball. I’m still pretty useless at dribbling, but the difference between attempting a dribble with Suarez compared to Gerrard compared to Henderson is obvious with each player having their own unique style that replicates what we see on TV every week. All in all I’d say the gameplay is a massive improvement over last year with your range of passing and shooting appearing far more dynamic and fluid.

Outside the football gameplay, the transfer system has been beefed up with more in depth scouting that now uses descriptive words like pacy and prolific to describe players, while doing away with an overall total so you can focus more on their individual stats. The ability to assign specific scouts to certain areas to look for players is also enhanced, but to be totally honest I simply received too much feedback from the scouts to really pay attention to what they were saying. This part of the game is definitely for the connoisseurs, while the average Joe will be happy with simply playing through the standard career mode.

My ball

If you are online fan, you’ll be happy to know the extremely popular seasons mode is back. Here, you are matched up against other players across the world who are of a similar ability to yourself. As you move up through the leagues you will face stiffer and stiffer competition; you’ll never be left in a league where you are being thrashed while the game will still always be a challenge.

The way FIFA handles online leagues is very clever – you play against teams the same level as yourself, and you are required to win a set amount of games in the league to be promoted. If you don’t manage to score enough points in a set amount of games you get relegated. It feels natural and you quite quickly progress to your acceptable league, after which point progress becomes far more difficult and you will really need to put in the effort to improve your game.

Ultimate Team is back and the addicts are already hard at work putting together their dream teams to take over the world. Honestly, I’m not interested in Ultimate Team, so I am not the best placed to tell you whether this is an improvement over previous versions.

The graphics have also been given an overhaul and it is now easier than ever to not only spot the face, but also the general movement of your favourite players, as well as enjoy the thrill of playing in all the replica stadiums of the top teams in the world.

In the end the game is a good improvement over what we received with FIFA 13. If, like me, you are a fan of the beautiful game, you are going to want to pick this one up. That is unless you are planning on getting a next gen console this year. If so, then wait. You would rather play it with the new engine and better graphical experience.

I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer
  • Admiral Chief Ninja

    O_O

    GAV CAN SPEAK THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TONGUE???

    *Impressed*

    • Otto_ki

      you mean “bull” tongue….

      badumm tissh….

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        Those who support “that” team, are foolish and unwise

        • Otto_ki

          Was going for “biltong”, XD i suck at english jokes :P

  • Vampyre Squirrel

    Nice review Gav, but in all honesty, I have Fifa 11 and I won’t be renewing it any time soon.

    Fifa’s a cool game to mess around on, and it’s an awesome party game, but I haven’t had it in my console for at least 4 months, so I (personally) don’t see the point of updating it if it’s just a couple of changes that won’t affect me too much.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      I know what you mean, I sometimes revisit Fifa 2010, kick the ball around and play a few modes, but since I’m not a footie fanatic, the annual updates never really appealed to me.

    • http://www.lazygamer.co Gavin Mannion

      It’s a huge difference from FIFA 11 though.. vastly improved movements

      • TiMsTeR1033

        If I had the game, would be a blast to challenge you!

      • Anon A Mouse

        It’s good to read this. I also have FIFA 11 and thought about updating it. Maybe this is the year to do it.

    • TiMsTeR1033

      Hell Fifa 12 was way better than 11 alone..

      • Vampyre Squirrel

        I realize that, but I hardly ever play the game… so no point in buying the updated one :P

  • DieJason

    Not interested in FUT? NOT INTERESTED???? It’s the best mode in the game!

    • http://www.lazygamer.co Gavin Mannion

      Yeah I know it has a huge following…

      • DieJason

        It’s great building up your team from scratch, getting the chemistry right between players from the same league / nationality / team.

        And they give you the option to manage your team from basically anywhere – PC, phone or tablet (which can become a problem….).

        • Anon A Mouse

          I just feel having to buy packs for your contracts and fitness and what not is crap. This is the only reason why I will not play Ultimate Team. I am playing it on my tablet but it is getting old very quickly.

          • DieJason

            That was my issue when I originally started FUT too, HATED it, but a buddy persuaded me to persist with it, now I’m loving it.

            You can sort out the fitness issue by getting a more complete squad, I have two players for every position, and just swap out tired players for a game or two so they can regain fitness. For contracts, I get packs with a few contracts when I win tournaments or seasons, or I just buy single contracts on the cheap at the auction house.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    The last Fifa game I bought was FIFA 2010, so here’s the question, should I get FIFA 2013 or FIFA 14, or should I rather just get PES 2014?

  • SaintsRowNigri

    LAADUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jonah Cash

    I don’t know @lazygamers:disqus , I am on the fence with this years game…. The passing over the top of the defence ruined the first two months for me, all of a sudden your back 4 was being caught square all the time while forwards were running in behind with way too much ease. All the idiots in the seasons mode did was play a long ball at my back 4 and they couldn’t handle the runs or even intercept any of the balls. This has been patched since last Friday on PS3 luckily. So at least it is playable now.
    Now for my gripe with the PS3: The turning circle of the players are terrible, if you have only played it on PS3 it would be fine. Coming over from Xbox 360 it feels like the players are tanks!!! Then there is the problem that they went and took out the 5 minute quit rule for games where the other guys’ connection is no good or where both teams have similar colour kits… I get the reason behind it to stop the quitters if you scored an early goal, but now I am stuck in games where the other guys connection is super laggy or in a game where we both wear white and I can’t see who the hell is in my team and who not!!
    I don’t know…. I might take it back and wait for the PS4 version, but with Watch Dogs my only reason to own a PS4 so far I might just have to stick it out till next year…. Not happy with it so far!!! Played more than 1500 games live on Fifa 13, don’t think this will see me for 500….
    On a better note, I bought Infamous for R69 at BT Games…. How did I miss this game?!? It is awesome!!!

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