Pros: Upgrades and game enhancements add the necessary realism and immersive game effects
Cons: FIFA Needs to Better Incorporate the Crowd and Fans as Part of the Game Day Experience.
Soon after you start playing FIFA 14 you will immediately notice the effect of the game’s “Precision Movement” feature, which dramatically changes FIFA game play mechanics by enabling the animated players to move about on the playing field with the same movements as their real life counterparts. Gone are the players of prior FIFA editions who seemed to glide along the field and whose movements defied physical reality. In FIFA 14, gamers will be amazed as the animated FIFA players accelerate and de-accelerate, plant, transfer their weight to change direction, cut, push off, pivot, alter momentum as though in an actual soccer match. The game has a life-like feel as play as the players need to dig their heels in in order to stop after explosive runs and require longer recovery time to overcome the momentum after quick sprints. The “Precision Movement” enhancement is very cool and simply completes the real feel FIFA soccer experience.
Another subtle, but meaningful, upgrade introduced in FIFA 14 is the “Pure Shot” and “Real Ball Physics” features make every dribble, pass and shot feel legitimate and infuse the game with another immersive layer of realism. Depending on the approach angle and foot position as it strikes the ball, the ball swerves, dips, bends or rises in incredible realistic ways. The improved ball physics translates into unpredictable ball movements, deflections and more rebounds just like in real FIFA matches.
Although each of the remaining upgrades to FIFA 14 are mere refinements to the game play, collectively these improvements make for a deeper and better gaming experience. FIFA 14’s visual graphics are sharper, smoother and more colorful than prior FIFA editions that make for a terrific visual game presentation. In addition, EA has made considerable progress in eliminating the bug ridden game physics (no more entangled mass of players laying on the ground or moving about in a confused manner) that detracted from the game realism. Game players will also notice significant enhancements to the game’s artificial intelligence as both offensive and defensive animated players intuitively and logically interact and react to circumstances and actions on the field. Other worthwhile features added into FIFA 14 are “Protect the Ball” (enables players to fend off the opponent while manuerving the ball down the field), “team intelligence” (your virtual teammates will react to the manner in which you control your player—if you pressure the ball so will they) and various feature to add another layer of realism to the act of dribbling the ball in various circumstances.
Although with FIFA 14 EA is produced a wonderful on field virtual experience Gamerman is disappointed that the FIFA development team fails to capture the full essence of a soccer match. Gamerman wishes he could have taken the EA FIFA developers to the US-Mexico World Cup qualifier game this past summer to understand soccer in its full context. Soccer is not merely the game on the field but also the passion, pageantry and excitement of the team followers. No matter how close the on-the-field play resembles real soccer, EA’s FIFA game can never truly be complete without the crowd shots of fans cheering, singing and engaging in unique cheers and antics that underlies the world-wide passion for the game.
The bottom line is that the FIFA franchise remains the most complete and realistic virtual soccer experience available today. The upgrades built into FIFA 14 make it a completely different game than its predecessor, FIFA 13, so Gamerman has no hesitation in recommending a DEFINITE BUY of FIFA 14.
Available at all online gaming stores and locally at Gamestop, Best Buy and Walmart stores.