The first thing you notice about FIFA 14 is how streamlined the menu system is. Everything is much simpler and seems to work faster, and look seems to have been borrowed from Windows 8. Everything else is subtle, but has real impact.
FIFA 13 was an awesome game, dragged a bit between the games on carer mode, but the game play and graphics, heck, the general feel of the game was great. The AI however wasn’t always on it’s toes, and it was easy enough to exploit a mad run up either side of the pitch and score a goal.
In FIFA 14 I found myself being closed down a heck of a lot more when attempting my ingrained tactics. Seems like the AI had taken steroids. This game was going to be a lot harder to become hat trick hero as much as I had in FIFA 13. I was going to have to go back to the drawing board and come up with some new game winning moves. This was both frustrating (initially) and a breath of fresh air, giving me a new challenge instead of recycling the same old game once more.
The graphical flow of the game, and player response has also been given the once over, creating a much more realistic feel and look to the game, and no doubt there are new skills that can be learnt about handling the ball, shooting and such, but I’m more of a just get out there and kick the ball kind of guy.
That and the Skill Games that you can do, always seem to me to have been designed by some evil genius who wants to make me cry at my inability to master any football skills.
In short, what makes FIFA 14 so great is that it looks subtly more realistic, and it’s forcing me to think more like a team, rather than be a lone ranger carrying the team. I’m having to re-think everything and it’s giving the game new life.
It’s both a great game for the beginner who has never played FIFA before, and long term fans, because there is enough in it, to make you want to leave FIAF 13 behind.
Rating: G Suitable for general audiences.