The folks at EA opened the doors of the Ivy Penthouse in Sydney’s CBD last Thursday night for the Australian debut of FIFA 14 on Xbox One. Press Start got to go along for a hands-on with the next-gen version and a chat with some of the team behind the game to find out what set it apart from it’s current-gen counterpart.
FIFA 14 is not that different from generation to generation – if you’ve played FIFA 14 on Xbox 360, you’ve pretty much played it on the Xbox One. There’s only one real reason the Xbox One version might convince you to upgrade – for a more realistic TV soccer experience. Although both versions visually capture the look of watching a game on TV (with animated transitions, lower thirds and a newly added ‘EA Sports’ logo in the top right corner), the Xbox One feels like you’re playing a game that is broadcast quality.
Stadiums feel more realistic, crowds in the stands no longer look like poorly-aliased gifs and tufts of grass spray into the air when a player takes a slide tackle. It’s almost magical to score a goal and have the instant-replay swoosh across the screen to relive it. Although sometimes players have an ‘uncanny-valley’ vibe during close-up replays, the game feels designed for the next generation of console – not surprising considering EA have invested so heavily into their IGNITE engine.
The Xbox One controller feels responsive and comfortable sitting in your hands (check out our hands-on preview of the console for more) which adds to the next-gen FIFA 14 experience. The controls are identical across both platforms (and nearly identical to those of FIFA 13, if that’s a concern), but using the triggers and shoulder buttons on the Xbox One feels more immediate than the 360. The rubbery thumbsticks on the new controller also feel better for the more complicated skill moves and it’s simple to hone in the accuracy of a shot by timing how long the face buttons are held down.
FIFA 14 feels tailored to the Xbox One – although you might not be missing anything important with the 360 version, it’s definitely worth checking out to see the new hardware is being used for. If you’re keen to see what the next-generation of console sports games look and feel like, make sure to pick up a copy of FIFA 14 for the launch of the Xbox One on 22 Nov.