FIFA 14 Review: Arsenal 3-2 Tottenham – A Close NLD But How Did FIFA 14 Shape Up?

By on October 2, 2013

FIFA 14
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Another Premier League season is well under way and you know what that means; another FIFA game has been released.

FIFA 14 hit the shelves last week and has predictably been an instant hit with football loving gamers so I decided to test the game out myself and review EA’s latest creation.

Initial thoughts

After loading up the game and having a quick flick through the menu bars and game-play modes, you instantly feel that very little has changed from FIFA 13. This isn’t so-much a bad thing, as there was very little wrong with last years offering, but it sets the tone for what is more ‘tweaking’ than ‘drastic overhaul’ of the games interface.

Very little has changed with the Ultimate Team feature, in fact it’s almost identical. It’s basically seen a few more legends added to the roster but we’ll have to wait until November for those to be available.

However, for those who love career mode, your in for a treat as one of the main additions to FIFA 14 is the introduction of the new global scouting network feature. The constant email updates may get a little tiring but there is no doubt it’s a fantastic new feature and one that adds realism to career mode.

You also have the option to disable the summer transfer window meaning clubs go into the first season with their original squads – until January at least. This stops those irritating computer player purchases that can sometimes make clubs team-sheets unrecognisable before you even get going.

You also have the option to make in-game purchases for real cash. This isn’t something I delve into as I prefer to earn my way up the ranks, but it’s there is you want to take the ‘Man City’ approach.

Game-play

After checking out any new game mode features, it’s time to test the game-play and what better way to do it than with a North London Derby. I got a friend (Alex) round and after the flip of a coin, I was Arsenal and he was Spurs (neither of us have any close affiliation to the north London clubs).

As Alex and I set about our hotly-contested NLD it soon became apparent this is where EA have been spending their time over the past 12 months. The game play is far more realistic than in previous years. Gone are the times when you would simply give the ball to the fastest player on the pitch and sprint towards goal (unfortunately for me as this made Theo Walcott practically redundant!)

You can no longer slice open a defence with a simple through-ball either. Not exactly what I wanted to hear when I have the likes of Ozil and Cazorla in my team.

The focus in FIFA 14 is far more about timing, control and making the perfectly weighted pass at the right time, making it far more realistic to play. Controlling the likes of Eriksen and Ozil, you now get more of a chance to utilise their abilities rather than simply run with the ball and smash a speculative shot at goal.

Player movements are more refined and smooth, players shift their body-weight and use their arms to counter-balance themselves and protect the ball from an opponent. It is literally like watching a real football match.

Pure shot is also a new feature that sets this game apart from it’s rivals. Players now have the intelligence to adjust their stride and approach angel to find the best position for getting a shot off. Be careful though, if you pull the trigger when your player is off balance you’ll soon find you send the ball embarrassingly into row Z (as Alex found out on more than one occasion!).

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FIFA have also introduced ‘real ball physics’ which determines the trajectory of the ball. This is an excellent feature, particularly at free-kicks (thankfully Bale was no longer in the Tottenham team). Get it right and you can strike the ball with more power from distance giving the keeper no chance. Get it wrong, and again the old lady in row Z is in danger.

I found out myself how devastating you can be when combining pure shot with the real ball physics as I smashed home the opener from a free-kick with Mesut Ozil. It takes some practice, but the dip you can generate when you hit it cleanly is frightening. Lloris literally has no chance.

The graphics have had the usual minor tweaks but I get the feeling EA are holding back until the release of their Next-Gen console, where we should see dramatic changes.

In the end, after a pulsating 90 minutes I emerged victorious, leading Arsenal to a thrilling 3-2 win over Tottenham. Goals from Ozil, Giroud and Mertesacker were enough to see off Spurs, despite the best efforts of Soldado who bagged a brace.

Verdict

While the modules and interface are largely unchanged, only the menu has seen a re-jig, it’s the game-play enhancements that ensures FIFA is still easily the one to beat in the football gaming world. Overall, we gave it an excellent 8.5/10.

For

New gameplay features such as pure shot and real ball physics add to the realism. New tactics and tricks also add to the gaming experience. Global scouting network is a great feature for those who enjoy career mode. Less focus on pace, more on clever pass and move football.

Against

Lack of changes to game modes and graphics have only seen very minor tweaks.

If like me, you are a gaming enthusiast – AdvertisementOrder FIFA 14 NOW – it’s certainly worth the money and you know you’ll get hours upon hours of enjoyment out of it. After all, We Are FIFA 14!

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One Comment

  1. Yusuf Muhammed Jamiu

    October 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I really love recent gunners

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