FIFA 14 PS4 Review: A Header in the Net
Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about soccer/futbol until a few years ago. Everything I learned of the sport, I learned playing EA’s World Cup 2010. It’s not the first time that a video game has been instrumental in teaching me about a sport. It’s actually how I learned about hockey back in 1992 with NHLPA ’93 for the Sega Genesis, and now I’m a NHL season ticket holder and self-proclaimed super fan.
Since 2010, I’ve played EA’s FIFA series with more and more knowledge of how the game flows, how to score goals against tough keepers, and generally how to tackle without getting the dreaded red card. I even follow a few clubs now, and am hotly anticipating next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
So, when I say that FIFA 14 for the PS4 is the best soccer/futbol game ever made, you can take that from someone who knows the sport, but is still growing in his admiration for the athletes and the skills needed to play. And don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to downplay my assessment. FIFA 14 is the best soccer/futbol game ever.
On top of excellent player physics and animations, the ball now adheres to realistic physics. It’d be easy to use a “bend it like Beckham” joke here, but it’s not necessary. I can bend it as much as I want to with the amount of control afforded to me by the DualShock 4 controller. It’s an amazing feat to create on-field physics like this.
Before a match, the player can adjust the time of day in half-hour increments, which means that the ambient lighting effects of day turning to night in a late afternoon match are wonderful, and the shadows on the pitch even change to correspond from the shift between sunlight and stadium lights.
There are over 60 stadiums from around the world and more clubs to choose from than any sports game should be allowed to have. To put it simply, there is a ton of content packed onto the disc. FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), which started in this series and has now spread to all EA Sports games, is back with some refining tweaks to balance out the gameplay. It’s fun to build a team from cards and take them online, but buying new packs uses real money (or you can earn coins by playing, but it would take forever to actually earn enough to build a powerhouse team). Because of that, I’m stuck with a team of 60 level players and one 75 guy. Chemistry is important in FUT, and the mode takes into consideration things like player satisfaction in their position, to even proximity to players on the pitch from the same country. It’s tough to manage all of this, but it adds levels of complexity to the game and fans eat it up year in, and year out.
The music selection is incredible, stocked with almost 30 tracks by established and up and coming acts in all styles of music. The music primarily plays over the menus and during the skills challenges, and it’s a welcome part of both.
As a complete package, FIFA 14 is as perfect of a sports game as you can get. EA Canada truly caters to its fans, and once you play it, you quickly realize why it’s the best selling sports game in the world.
FIFA is a series that has been around for years now, but this is the first next gen version. I don’t see how this game could get any better, but I said that about FIFA 11 and look at where we are. The fact that this can get better is scary. I wish the rest of EA Sports’ family of studios were paying attention, because FIFA 14 is how you make the most compete sports title. I’m still a new fan of soccer/futbol, relatively speaking, but games like FIFA 14 make it a good time to really enjoy the sport.
FIFA 14 was played on PlayStation 4 for this review and provided by EA Sports. It was released on November 15, 2013 for PlayStation 4, and on November 22 for Xbox One.
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