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.
By Joshua Bruce
Date: September 24, 2013
RATING OUT OF 5
Graphics Visually, this is the most impressive game in the series.
Control Controls are intuitive and clean, easy to pick up and play.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting No surprises here, solid sound adds to the overall immersive soccer experience.
Play Value This game has plenty to do for any level soccer fan.
Overall Rating - Great Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
5.0 = The Best
Pure Shot - Shooting has been transformed. Players have the intelligence to adjust their stride and approach angle to find the best position for hitting the back of the net. Well-hit balls feel satisfying and goals are rewarding. As well as quality strikes, players can now shoot while off balance or rushed.
Real Ball Physics - Strike the ball with more force and finesse. Realistic ball physics now determines the trajectories of balls in game, enabling players to strike the ball with force from distance, drill low rising shots with accuracy, and blast dipping or swerving shots, just like real soccer players.
Sprint Dribble Turns - Utilize quick, explosive cuts and turns to beat defenders one-on-one while sprinting with the ball. Players can move in any direction, preserving their natural momentum and maintaining possession of the ball.
Teammate Intelligence - Better decision-making delivers tighter, smarter marking and improved run tracking. Defenders recognize opportunities to provide support and win back possession. Attacking players have new ways to outsmart their opponents and break down tighter, more intelligent defences by creating space for themselves, running along the backline and checking their pace.
2nd Chance Tackles - The tackling zone has been extended to enable defenders to combine different types of tackles, recover from missed tackles quickly, and have a second chance to compete for the ball in any tackling situation.
Skill Games - A competitive practice mode that enable players to learn or master the fundamental skills necessary to compete at FIFA 14. Become a better player, faster, no matter what your skill level, competing against yourself or friends in all-new mini-games.
Career Mode - Search for talent year-round with the new Global Scouting Network that brings the world of professional scouting to life. Develop and refine your own scouting network. Evaluate soccer players to uncover the attributes of players who could bolster your squad during the transfer windows. A new hub delivers easy navigation, fewer interruptions and live scouting reports.