Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: FIFA 14

It’s commonly believed that racing and first-person shooter (FPS) videogames are the dominating genres when it comes to the wider market, but it’s easy to underestimate the power of football. FIFA 14 has been a commanding title in the next-generation launch line-up despite the fact […]
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageIt’s commonly believed that racing and first-person shooter (FPS) videogames are the dominating genres when it comes to the wider market, but it’s easy to underestimate the power of football. FIFA 14 has been a commanding title in the next-generation launch line-up despite the fact that it’s already been available for months on existing hardware, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be relegated from the premier league any time soon.

The launch of the Xbox One saw FIFA debut in a half-baked fashion, delivering just enough to perform in FIFA: Road to the World Cup. This time around EA SPORTS is thankfully giving early adopters a much better presentation, offering a port of FIFA 14 for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, however this is the uppermost limit: a port. FIFA 14 has clearly Electronic Theatre Imagenot been designed to take advantage of the new hardware, and aside from a slight touch-up of the visual quality this is the same videogame experience we were met with back in September offered with a higher recommended retail price. It’s hardly fair business practice, but the fact that it won’t prevent FIFA 14 from gracing the top of the charts on new consoles is more telling than any justification the publisher could offer.

The virtual football experience presented by FIFA 14 is fast and fluid, a high quality design built on years of experimentation and contribution to a positive outcome. It’s formulaic and far from surprising, but this plays well for the launch alongside new hardware: any FIFA fans looking to pick-up FIFA 14 for their Xbox One or PlayStation 4 at launch will know exactly where they stand.

There’s been a degree of looseness added to the ball control since last year’s outing however, and this impacts the matches on two ways. Firstly, it makes tackling a much more predictable experience, based on virtual footballer skill as opposed to angle of Electronic Theatre Imageattack and timing alone, and secondly it sees you often running short when you have the ball; there are times when it can slip from your player’s feet without notification, and once it’s out of the hidden catchment area there’s no connection whatsoever, leaving you to begin your sprint while the ball simply rests on the spot you started your run at. It’s an issue that’s easily overcome with practice, but arguably one which shouldn’t exist in the first place.

FIFA 14 is stocked with a full contingent of gameplay modes and options, including the return of Manager mode for the first time in years. Far more detailed than ever before but still paling compared to management specialist videogames, here in FIFA 14 it’s an enjoyably light-hearted affair perfect for dabbling with thirty-minutes-or-so at a time. Of course, the big selling Electronic Theatre Imagepoint of FIFA 14 on Xbox formats this year is the exclusive FIFA 14 Ultimate Team additions in the form of the Legends content, and while many may celebrate it to others it’ll simply be an optional batch of content for an already packed videogame.

The technical quality of FIFA 14 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is hardly worth getting excited about. Footballer models do look slightly better than their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts, but not enough to define a quantum leap in graphics processing power. Indeed, FIFA 14 sits light years behind 2K Games’ NBA 2K14, despite both titles behind ports of existing content. The audio is also lacking in FIFA 14, with some of the worst virtual commentary ever produced in a videogame, Patchy and frequently delayed from the fast-paced action, there’s very little opportunity to excuse such a poor performance.

While FIFA 14 will not be the defining football experience on this new generation of consoles, for many it will be the first. That’s a shame, for while there’s little wrong with the experience it’s about as far as you can get from a ‘next-generation’ videogame. It’s an enjoyable rendition of a familiar friend and for that it earns its stripes, but anyone expecting to be blown away by this brand new FIFA experience will be left sorely disappointed.

Electronic Theatre Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In-depth Reviews Score Interpretation

-END-

Related Posts: