Game: Fifa 14 Developer: EA Canada Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now Available On: PS3/360/PC Version Played: PS3

FIFA Story
Fifa 14 is the latest entry into EAs best-selling sports franchise. The game released to a lot of criticism due to the fact that the gameplay was a lot more unpredictable than previous iterations. This has since been rectified with a patch that was recently released for all platforms. I’ll discuss the problems that game had prior to the patch being released and also touch base on how the patch has fixed the game for the better.

FIFa presentation
Presentation has always been a strong point of the Fifa franchise but EA managed to take it up another level in Fifa 14. The whole menu system has been completely revamped for the better. Everything looks incredible and suff is much easier to find. One of my biggest gripes with Fifa in the past was that it was really hard to find specific modes. They were buried in sub menus and half the time I didn’t even know they existed. Fifa 14 really excels in putting its amazing modes front and centre for you to explore.

Fifa Screen 2
The game itself looks marginally better than Fifa 13. Collisions feel more realistic and movement in general seems to look a lot less stiff. It’s apparent that the real improvement will come in the next-gen versions. Fifa 14 on the Xbox One and Playstation 4 use a brand new engine that has been dubbed The Ignite Engine. This engine will incorporate things like True Player Motion and dynamic weather and crowds that constantly change-up the game mid match.

Whilst it’s exciting to look forward and see what advances Fifa 14 will make on the next gen system, it’s also sad that the masses won’t get to enjoy these upgrades without upgrading to the Next Gen consoles. Fifa as a series has really seemed to hit a wall over the past few years and we feel like there’s no better time than now to make the Next Gen leap with a brand new engine.

Fifa Gameplay
When I first got my hands on Fifa 14 I was pretty disappointed with a lot of the changes that had been made. I was extremely happy with how the game played in the past few years and I’d sunk 100’s of hours into them without ever feeling that I was getting bored. In Fifa 14 however, I felt that the A.I was even worse than in previous years. The one thing that I immediately enjoyed was that players seemed to run better lines into open space however this lead to a frustratingly amount of offside calls.

Not only this but I found it absolutely ridiculous just how overpowered headers from crosses and corners were. I feel like more than half of the goals being scored were from headers that I simply couldn’t do anything to defend against. I’d get men around the ball and still have goals scored against me. Not only this but I also just felt like I had less control over my players in general. Players seemed to be less responsive and needed that extra step in order to get the ball on their foot. For a game that relies so heavily on getting the timing down and having it as a second nature, this really felt like a step in the wrong direction for players that had put hours upon hours into the series so far.

Fifa Screen 1
Another huge problem was that Finesse shots seemed to be a lot more overpowered in Fifa 14 than in previous years. I felt that Finesse shots were being used from outside of the box in order to get around the goalkeeper more easily than usual. Usually finesse shots are reserved for when you outsmart the defence and go in for a close range shot. It wasn’t helping that goalies were constantly rushing in and putting themselves in bad positions either.

Thankfully this all changed with a game changing patch that was released a few weeks ago. EA released a patch that vowed to fix attacking headers, finesse shots and improving defender switches during crosses. I feel like this patch has made all the difference. Immediately after installing this patch I felt that it was a much tighter experience and I was back to enjoying Fifa to its fullest potential. I felt like I had to earn goals once again and felt that goals were only scored against me when I made a bad defensive move. I felt that less goals were being scored from luck on most occasions.

This will also upset some people. I felt that Fifa 14 pre patch was a lot less skill based and had a much more arcade feel to it. After the patch it is back to its strategic, skilful best and will really require you to put in effort in order to score a goal. This will ultimately lead to less goals being scored in matches so it all comes down to personal preference. I still feel like there are some oddities in AI making stupid decision and a few overpowered players that really change the game up.

Fifa Conclusion
Fifa 14 is another great entry into the series. After playing the next-gen versions on both consoles, it’s clear to me that Fifa 14 was created with a next-gen vision in mind. Everything is more dynamic and the gameplay feels more realistic in general. Fifa 14 on current gen is still a very worthy experience for the fanatics. I’d recommend that you’d install that patch before playing if you’re a series veteran as the gameplay is almost enough to turn any Fifa fan off without it.

Fifa END

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