Released in the US on September 24th, 2013 and in the UK on September 27th, 2013.
A More In Depth Analysis of Fifa 2014
Forget Christmas. This festive occasion at the tail end of the year basically doesn’t exist for football game fans due to the release of their very favourite goal-scoring title in the closing months of that particular year. It’s October 2013 now, and this of course means that Fifa 14 has been sitting on the shelves for what seems like an age already. Expect some improvements across the board to the AI, the physics, the skills, and the graphics, but don’t come crying to EA if you were expecting anything more drastic since we know that this isn’t how this giant of the games-developing world operates. If slow and steady wins races, then Fifa is the champion of all races, past, present, and future.
So You’ve Decided to FIFA
So you’ve decided to continue your allegiance to EA’s Fifa this year in favour of switching to the complex controls and almost chess-like gameplay of Pro Evolution Soccer. Congratulations. You’ve just signed up for pretty much more of the same but with some respectable improvements that neither revolutionise nor retain the status quo. Fifa fans will know not to expect new modes or the unexpected in their new title, so what can be expected? Some tweaking, some polishing, and some overall refining of the core of the game which otherwise remains untouched and (EA would argue) untarnished. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude of EA is of course in full force here, but just because a game isn’t broken, it doesn’t mean that its fans deserve to be given essentially the same experience with relatively negligible tweaks year after year for the same price tag. Oh well, we might as well focus on what has changed, mightn’t we?
Of the changes that have been implemented in Fifa 2014, the pure shot and real ball gimmicks are probably some the most noticeable. Pure shot is all about allowing you control over the angle of your shot before you take it so that slotting in a screamer is on the cards for players that don’t have 5 years of Fifa experience under their belt. The real ball physics work in a similar vein and allow you to get a more accurate contact with the ball whilst making it behave more realistically than ever before. This is all exciting stuff, believe me; I’m currently on the edge of my seat writing this.
Intelligent Players (An Oxymoron)
Forget the minor burn I just laid on the average football player’s intelligence since I’m sure that EA would like us to focus on the improved AI to justify the game’s release this year. Specifically, teammate intelligence is on the up and up, allowing for more exciting chances to develop around the goal and better performance from defenders as well. More exciting stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.
Protect the ball is yet another feature whose inclusion apparently makes paying full price for this game year after year OK. This feature allows you the opportunity to keep hold of the ball and build a strong attack without immediately losing the ball and having your hopes dashed. Second chance tackles are now also a thing, reducing the frequency of losing the ball from annoying tackles and expanding the tackling area so that you have a chance to redeem yourself if you should slip up. You can really see where your money goes ever year, can’t you?
Ah yes, a Global Scouting Network that does the leg work for you when looking for members for your team with a specific set of skills and traits. This is what I’ve been waiting for all my life, apart from the fact that I haven’t and this feature is just a minor improvement that should have been in the game as standard for years now. Oh well, you can’t win them all.
We’re Onto You, Fifa
Come on, EA, we’re onto you by now: Fifa 2014 is out and yet again we see the same old pattern that recurs as much as the decimal representation of 1/3. Changes have of course been made and we’ve seen a tinkering around the edges, but hopefuls of more far-reaching alterations and even revolutionary transformation (EA’s most dreaded modified noun) will be left hanging with this year’s release. Its consistency should be applauded and it still by far the superior sporting experience, but one struggles to come up with evidence for justification of an entirely separate release given the lack of departure from its predecessor. Does what I say make a difference? Unlikely; you’re just going to go ahead and buy it anyway because you’re blinded by the bright FIFA lights, Ultimate Team (which is sublime, to be fair) and the official licenses, but Fifa cannot carry on like this, and EA cannot possibly justify this barely-changed game’s release on the next-gen of consoles, so if you’ve bought a PS4 or Xbox One expecting an experience departed substantially from Fifa 13, you’re gunna have a bad time.