|System: Xbox 360, PS3*, PC, Xbox One, PS4*|
|Dev: EA Sports|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: September 24, 2013|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
This is not to say that FIFA 14 doesn’t have its visual flaws. Although the action during play is near flawless, cutaways to player shots can have screen-tearing and loading issues that make for some truly odd visuals. However, I believe this is due more in part to the limitations of the current consoles, not the design of the game.
Audio for a sports game is a curious thing. It is expected to be at a level that helps to immerse you in the gameplay, but normally never transcends anything beyond ambience. This is true of FIFA 14 as well. It’s not to say that the quality of the audio in FIFA 14 is bad, far from it. It does its job admirably. Crowds cheer louder as a player nears the goal for a shot, announcers keep up with the on-screen action, and the sound of kicking a ball sounds like, well, you know, kicking a ball. The international soundtrack was kind of cool, even though I couldn’t understand a word of some of the songs; it was a testament of the popularity of the sport worldwide. The only issue I had with the soundscape was that the announcers could become annoyingly repetitive, continually repeating the same phrases for similar situations. While this is the case with all sports games, it still bugs me. I will say, though, that the announcers are much better than other sports games I have played recently (I’m looking at you, NCAA Football 14!)
All in all, I really did enjoy my time with FIFA 14. I’m not sure if it’s the best game in the series, but it kept me playing for hours on end, and that’s enough for me. The visual and audio competence supported by the rock-solid gameplay is a winning combination, and just goes to show how much EA has perfected the major-league game formula.
So, will I run to my local department store, buy myself a multi-colored, long-sleeve shirt and proclaim myself a soccer hooligan? Nah, probably not. But I will definitely keep FIFA 14 in my collection for when I get the itch to feel like I can actually play a sports game. Well, for that, and when I want to yell “GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL” in a buddy’s face. Either way, it’s a good time.
This summer, the FIFA team told us that FIFA 14 for the XBOX ONE would have nearly 10 times the detail that it had on the XBOX 360. After having seen both we can say… kind of? Don’t get us wrong, the XBOX ONE version does look better than the XBOX 360 version. Even the colors are more vibrant, which is a strange pattern we are seeing in these next-gen releases. You can definitely notice more detail on players’ clothing and in their legs as well.
It’s their faces that are the most disappointing. Even on the next-generation, FIFA players have this stone-cold, emotionless look on their face. It’s actually kind of creepy that the game has these very active, very realistically moving player-models with these mask-like faces plastered on them.
The claim was that the XBOX ONE version was going to be “vastly different” from the XBOX 360, which is a bit of an overstatement. The XBOX ONE version is certainly better looking, but it’s still comparable. It’s not going to blow your mind out your nose with graphical fidelity or anything. Players just collide better, handle the ball better, and animate a bit smoother. It’s the same improvements you’ve seen in every next-gen sports title.
That being said, if you have a XBOX ONE and haven’t purchased FIFA 14 yet, there is no particular reason not to purchase the XBOX ONE version. It notably looks better, and it has all the functionality of the XBOX 360 version. Many retailers are even offering one-to-one trade-ins if you want to upgrade your XBOX 360 version to the XBOX ONE versions. You might have a problem finding an online community, as there are fewer people with XBOX ONEs than there are with XBOX 360s, but from a sheer technical standpoint, the XBOX ONE version looks better and doesn’t cost anything more than current-gen version.
Date: September 24, 2013