FIFA 14 Review

The long wait is finally over for football fans. FIFA 14 has been released and already I have colleagues telling me about how they are forming their dream team in career mode to win the league title. Even if it’s virtual reality, you gotta admit the effect it has on the real world is pretty intense.

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Features

The game features a new interface that’s refreshing and easier on the eyes. It’s less text and more graphics so to speak but in principle the workings are more or less the same. After all why fix it if it ain’t broken. Not a lot of new game modes but Ultimate Team is back, as is Career mode, multi-player and the standard quick play.

The biggest draw of this new version of FIFA has to be the scouting network that you set up. Previous versions of FIFA has made scouting for players a bit of chore, but the updated interface makes sending out your scouts much easier. You also already start off with about 3 or 4 scouts so you don’t need to wait and see if there are good scouts to hire.

The scouts also go to the various countries you assign them to and they don’t just bring back unknown players but players who are on the rise or performing well as well. If there isn’t a lot of info available on the player, you’d have to request the scout further scout the player and he will return with more stats for you to make your decision.

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Gameplay

Now on to gameplay, which is probably the most important part. Well FIFA have talked about 3 main changes to expect.

Firstly, your players movement and balance is much more sensitive and it has dramatic effects on their ability on the ball. You can see players adjusting their step.

The first change is actually a bit annoying because the pace of the game is highly affected by this. Because your player is adjusting his position, you lose time and eventually lose the ball. This does make the game much more difficult to play.

Weight is crucial also; smaller players can no longer have similar physical mass as the giants of the game, and you can shield the ball so players can’t simply grab possession by pushing against an opponent. This is a good thing because if you are a stronger player,  you stay on the ball but if you are a lightweight, good luck! Perhaps something to keep in mind when you are creating your own player.

The ball physics have also changed. Shooting is highly dependent on your position and balance. I’ve actually scored some stunning goals in the run up and position from the left wing…..and sad to say, I’ve missed some real sitters too. Rhythm is key to mastering this change in gameplay. Unlike previous versions of FIFA, I found it really hard to dribble the full width of the pitch to score. You just can’t tear up and down like you used to. What you need to do is go for momentum and rhythm, timing your runs correctly.

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The verdict

I hear it gets even more fun when you play online. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to get to that but you can look forward to things like ultimate team or even classic / legends feature after the launch of XBOX One andPS4. Like all other previous challengers, gamers will overcome these and get used to the updated realistic FIFA.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Lots of bad touches, poor throw ins and just down right unpredictable….yup, sounds like football to me!

By: Elliott Danker

FIFA 14 is now out in stores

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