Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

FIFA 14 Review

It’s that time of the year when the FIFA wagon rolls into town and this years installment promises to be the best football sim yet. Whether you’re a hardcore fan of the FIFA franchise or just wanted some simple squad updates (Real Madrids attack of Benzema, Ronaldo, Bale & Isco anyone?) there are certainly enough updates and tweaks to keep both camps happy. Read on for our full FIFA 14 review to find out if it lives up to its billing.

Is this just a squad update so I can play with Bale at Real Madrid?

Well yes, that is a part of it but only a very small part. Though of course the original Europe Cover has Bale in a Spurs shirt, that has all changed. The key thing to know is that the gameplay has had some very impressive, yet subtle tweaks. As with every EA game we cover, they have thrown a whole load of new exciting buzz phrases at us. This time we have pure shot, real ball physics, team mate intelligence and many more. Add them all together and you get the most realistic and true to life football game on a console you will ever find.

The menu screen has also had an update which helps to create a fresh new look as soon as you load the game up (and confirm for the 1,000th time that you want the language to be English!) and the usual elements like FUT, career mode and training all feature with a few updates.

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How close to the real thing is it?

It’s getting there – it really is. One of the first things we noticed in the Average Joes office is how the players can affect the ball in more ways. The ball is taking a lot more deflections and ricochets off players across all situations. Previously it has been very easy to keep hold of the ball when running with the ball or controlling the ball but this time round these factors have been accounted for. If your player is generally quite crap, his ability to hold onto the ball like the top players is noticeable.

If you have played the game you will have seen players who score one type of goal. Move left or right when one-on-one and then hold the shoot button and it goes into the corner. This time round we have noticed more variety in the type of goals scored thanks to the new shooting enhancements called ‘pure shot‘ and ‘real ball physics‘ – simply put this means shooting has become more realistic like the pros. We have scored some screamers with RVP volleying in the ball in off the cross-bar and Yaya Toure scoring some brilliant free kicks.

Is it worth buying if I have FIFA 13?

If you have FIFA 13 and didn’t upgrade you could happily carry on playing and enjoying the game. That is until you actually play FIFA 14 and start to notice all the brilliant gameplay updates, sharper graphics, new kits, new signings and all round slickness of the game. The game hasn’t gone a million miles away from last years version, but it has improved enough to make it worth upgrading.

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Will I end up getting humped 5-0 everytime by a 12 year old kid?

Maybe – but that is totally down to your ability or lack of – get some practise in!

FIFA 14 Review Verdict

EA have done enough to both the look and feel of the game to satisfy all types of players. The new tile-design menu screen has gone the way of most interfaces these days (Surface, Xbox et.al) giving it a fresh new feel. It’s the tweaks to the game play and realism of the action that will keep the punters happy. Ronaldo and Bale can now shoot exactly like… well Ronaldo and Bale, with their trademark dipping free kicks and lightning pace.

With EA churning out a FIFA game every year you can look at it two ways – are they just bringing out small updates year after year to ensure more sales or is a year actually enough time to really develop the game and take it to the next level? Who knows – but, when the game still delivers super sharp graphics and the most realistic game play from a football game, does it matter? No.

9/10

FIFA 14 – £39.97 (UK) Out now on all major platforms
Tested on Xbox 360

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