Gameplay: 8 / 10
Graphics: 8 / 10
Replay Value: 10 / 10
Sound and Music: 8 / 10
There are only three guarantees in life; death, taxes and a new release of FIFA each year. Despite their considerable efforts, EA can’t guarantee that each FIFA release actually makes significant changes to the game though. For the most part, the FIFA series only seems to make a giant leap forward every two years. Despite the fact that most of the updates could probably have been improved with a simple DLC, the gaming world is still abuzz with excitement for the release of the world’s best soccer game. But is it worth the hefty R700 price tag?
Soccer is arguably the most popular sport in the world today. With millions upon millions of fans passionate and dedicated to a specific team, it’s no wonder that they feel the same way about the videogame counterparts. Despite negative reviews, minimal changes and clear flaws in the gameplay, gamers continue to flock to stores for the latest release. Like FIFA 13, 14 leaves the impression that the game has been at a standstill, waiting for the next-gen before progressing any further. And really who can blame them? Perhaps FIFA 14 is the pinnacle of soccer on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
FIFA 14 doesn’t really have a big marquee feature. There is a strange sense of dejavu as players rush the field. While there are a few visual improvements, most of the new advances can be found in the movement, thanks to the newly touted “Ignite Engine”. Although the game feels much slower, there are a number of tweaks under the hood of the game engine to improve passes, dribbling, ball physics and player dynamics (with players now able to muscle through defenders much easier). However, this also results in matches being dominated by lengthy midfield battles rather than goals being scored. The new Pure Shot mechanic works in tandem with Precision Movement meaning that players are required to correct their stride in order to take a good shot. This results in a more natural strike and of course, all this adds to the realism of the game.
FIFA still holds its pick up and play ability. If you’ve played any of the previous games in the series you’ll feel right at home here. It’s still polished, slick and smooth, and remains the number one football game in the world. But with such little progression between titles, Pro Evolution Soccer is bound to catch up sooner or later. Most of FIFA 14’s innovations appear superficial, but at its core it still has the great elements of last year’s version – great menus, commentary, gaming modes, etc. With its demanding release schedule and pressure from fans EA is left little room for experimentation. FIFA 14 is like the iPhone 5s of the gaming world – the same but different.