FIFA 14 Xbox One Review

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by MunkyMagikUK, May 9, 2014.

  1. MunkyMagikUK

    MunkyMagikUK Digiex Blogger

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    FIFA 14 Xbox One Review


    Ahh FIFA. Over the past few years FIFA has become the dominant football game in the gaming world. I was always a PES man, and swore I would never sway in my allegiances. However when the switch to the current generation of consoles came around, PES simply didn’t keep up and EA ruled with their smooth gameplay and official licenses.

    Nowadays, the gap still remains. FIFA has become a virtual footballing juggernaut that will not easily be knocked off the ball. FIFA 14 on the ‘current gen’ (Xbox 360/ PS3) marked an evolution in the series, rather than a revolution. Much like the FIFA games of the past couple of years, it’s been about refining the gameplay rather than overhauling it. As the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

    The gameplay is slower, and focuses more on the build up play and midfield battle, rather than an all out right trigger smashing pace fest that was FIFA 13. When you boot up FIFA 14 and play your first match, there will be a ‘Holy shit what have they done’ moment as it takes you an eternity to get the ball from your centre half to your striker. After those initial first few stray passes and monstrous touches, you’ll settle into a more realistic way of playing the game as you look to build up the play from the back, Swansea style.

    Now, I’m all for realism and making a game more true to life, but simply not when it comes at the expense of fun. After all, we play these games to enjoy them, and do what we can’t in real life. FIFA 14 on Xbox 360 is plagued with flaws, but it wasn’t until I’d played in online that I realised just how many it had, and how utterly angry they would make me.

    On to the Xbox One version of the worlds bestselling football however, and to see if they have ironed out the kinks that made the current gen version so utterly infuriating.

    Ignite The Fire


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    EA have introduced the Ignite Engine to the FIFA series, thanks to the power of next gen machines. Most noticeably the new engine gives the game a graphical overhaul. As you load up a match, you’ll be greeted b y either an ariel view of the stadium, showing traffic moving around it, or a view of the brilliantly rendered 3D crowds that now sing and dance as if England have managed to win the World Cup.

    On the pitch grass flies up from the surface, boots look particularly shiny and shirts jiggle up and down like a perky left boob thats being gently fondled. It seems to me they haven’t quite got the whole kit animation right as of yet as it jerks almost uncontrollably at the slightest movement, but we have to remember these are very early days and it was always unlikely they would have it down to a tee at the first attempt.

    When we get stuck into the action we’re greeted by some lovely new animations which make the action feel more realistic. Long balls feel as it they’re being struck from the right peg of Steven Gerrard, and there are some frankly stunning turn animations for those more skilfully adept players.

    In terms of gameplay, the engine helps – but doesn’t eradicate – some of the defensive issues from the Xbox 360 version. On the 360, when the ball used to come over the top of your defence (which happened often because lofted through balls were, and still are, too effective) they would simply stand there and stare at the opposition’s attacker as he ghosted in and shafted you for the mistakes of your incompetent players. This was especially annoying when you tried to change to a player who was tracking said attacker, only for that defender to just stop running as you switched to him. Thankfully the Xbox One version doesn’t seem to do it as much, which has saved me throwing my new console out of the window and smashing it to pieces with my cricket bat.

    Of course I’d give you a better indication of much it has been fixed, but I haven’t actually been able to play one lag free game online as of yet. Not sure if this is an issue with EA, but as I had no problem on the 360 I would imagine it’s not me.

    The second major difference is in the ariel challenges and collisions. Thanks to the Ignite Engine more than two players can now challenge for a ball in the air, which not only makes heading much harder and more realistic, but it makes scoring with your noggin’ a much more rewarding achievement. I’ve not experienced the likes of David Silva out jumping Peter Crouch as of yet, although I have heard reports of it. How that could happen when Crouch is about 15ft tall I’ve no idea, but it’s something to look out for.

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    Go With The Flow

    Match flow means that the game never really stops. Where before you would have cut scenes and have to wait for some free kicks and throw-ins to load up, now all of them have a smooth animation meaning that the balls enters the field of play much quicker. Watch as the ball boy throws you a ball from the touchline (and because it’s a multi-ball system, when there are two balls on the pitch you have to wait for a team mate to kick the other fucking one off the field) or your subs start to jog off the pitch from their position. It’s a nice touch that again adds to the SkySports style presentation.
    Ultimate Legends

    Strangely, some game modes didn’t make the jump across to the next gen versions of the game. Be a Pro mode, tournaments, FIFA Interactive World Cup, head-to-head, and Creation Centre are all omitted from the Xbox One and PS4 versions. EA have said this is based on usage stats, and that it allowed them to concentrate more on Career and FUT. Whilst I personally didn’t use those modes, I know it’ll leave a lot of people with a bitter taste in their mouth.

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    Of the modes they did include, career and Ultimate Team have largely stayed the same. Career lets you play as a player or a manager, aiming to get your team to the pinnacle of their league and, if you play as a player, cement your spot as the club and national captain. They offer the same level of detail as the Xbox 360 version, however it really pisses me off that you now have to scout almost every player in bloody game. This is especially annoying when in the lower leagues as you look to secure some slightly better than average talent, but of course you have no idea who that is. Once again, whilst it makes it a more true to life experience, it also makes career mode needlessly time consuming and frustrating, when all you want to do is sign some players and get on with it.

    Ultimate Team again has largely stayed the same, and thankfully you can bring your Xbox 360 Ultimate Team across to the next gen version, the same applies to PS3 to PS4. It was almost a necessity as you can imagine the shit would have severely hit the fan if people weren’t able to bring across their teams they’d worked so hard to build up, not to mention the money they’d spent on micro transactions.

    With a shift in gameplay style, there has also been a shift in dynamic in terms of which players are most valuable in FUT. Gone are the days when a player who had 92 pace but couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo was worth 17,000 coins. Now players who are good dribblers, above average pace with good heading are most valuable, which is no surprise when you want to take advantage of the defensive frailties of the game. Want Marco Reus? Think again, he’ll set you back a cool 80,000 coins.

    Of course you could get lucky and pluck a gem in a pack, but given my recent abysmal pack history it’s unlikely. Of course this year sees the addition of some extra, very well known players to the Xbox FUT experience. For the first time, EA have introduced Legends into the Ultimate Team packs, allowing you to find stars of years gone by such as Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola, Luis Figo and Pavel Nedved. This is a nice touch, and although it’ll be nigh on impossible for me to find one, I’m sure those who receive will enjoy playing with them. Lucky bastards.

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    What’s The Verdict?


    FIFA 14 is a tough one to call. Whilst I loved FIFA 13, I got frustrated with how over powered pace was, but at least my defenders did what I asked them to. FIFA 14 feels like a more realistic game when going forward. The midfield battle is tougher than ever, but more rewarding when you finally break down an opposition and slip in that perfect through ball, and finish with a deft lob.

    However, for all that is good about the game, there are equal parts bad. The defensive frailties are frankly unacceptable, especially when they weren’t present in FIFA 13. No matter how good you are going forward, there is simply nothing you can do when Thiago Silva stands and watches as Akinfenwa breeze past him with his 40 pace (or whatever it is, it’s nonetheless shit) and smashes one into the top corner. In real life a defender wouldn’t just stand there as the ball comes over the top, they’d track their runner.

    I can’t help but be disappointed with FIFA 14, because it promises so much and yet falls so frustratingly short. At it’s best, FIFA 14 is by far and away top of the pile when it comes to FIFA titles. At it’s worst it does nothing but frustrate you and leave you feeling cheated, used and utterly useless. If they’d have sorted out the defensive issues I’d have gone as far as to say it would be the best football game ever made. Unfortunately it creates such an issue that I have to say that I preferred FIFA 13.

    For now though, FIFA 14 is the best (and only) football game on the next gen consoles.

    7/10
     
    Trebor, Rick and InsaneNutter like this.
  2. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I must be honest and say this is probably the first review of any Fifa game i've ever read. From the point of view of someone who has no interest in football i'll admit that I did find the review a good read.

    The insight in to the changes from Fifa 13, along with the good and bad was something I liked. I wasn't really sure what could possibly change from year to year in a game like Fifa so feel i've learned a little after reading the review.

    I'll certainly look forward to reading any others you post (Y)
     

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