FIFA 14 (PS4) Review
Fun multiplayer. Movie moments. Thrilling experience. Visually beautiful.
Niche. Learning curve. Repetitive.
FIFA 14 is the embodiment of the sports game on the PlayStation 4. That may be partially because there aren’t many under the genre on the new Sony console, or it could just be because FIFA is a good series. I’m going to attribute my experience to a little of both. The next-gen version of FIFA 14 is just as fun as the current-gen version is with a little added features for those players making the move to enjoy.
To start, you get the same options as the current-gen for game modes. You can start your own career, either a manager or as a player. I, again, started off as a player before making my debut in other modes in the football (soccer) game. I began my player career playing for Manchester United before being kicked off the team, or sent out on loan depending on how you look at it. You play the season out, following the roster of players from across the world and your manager and coaches. Occasionally you will play a match, sometimes you are benched and can watch the game play out, and others you get right into the action.
Manager mode allows you to, obviously, take on the role of the manager of a football team. Handling the day-to-day is fun, but FIFA wasn’t really made for this type of simulation, the action is on the green, dribbling and passing that beautiful ball around the field, attempting to score. You will have the ability to entice players to join your team, trade-off those who are losing games for you, and just basically run your little world in the football series.
Multiplayer will no doubt bring you more time than the single player modes will. It is much more fun to play against real opponents who know what they are doing rather than the AI. Players are ruthless, they know the controls, they know there best players and they know when to shoot for a goal. They have practiced relentlessly within the week the game has been out. If you are an inexperienced player, such as I am, then you will more than likely lose quite a few games. The fun is always there though, whether you are losing the game or winning it by a lot. Scoring a goal always feels good, the thrill of sprinting up to the goalie and maneuvering around him to kick the ball into the net, the scream of the crowd quickly resounding throughout the beautifully detailed stadium. It is a movie moment.
Visually the game looks fine, it isn’t much different from the current-gen release, though as a port that is to be expected. Players are all finely detailed after their real world counterparts, facial features are dominant and allow for easy identification of a player when you get a good look at their face. When playing the game the camera will be zoomed out, players are smaller but still detailed quite a bit. You won’t be able to tell who they are when playing normally but that isn’t a problem as you are focused on the action on field instead of who you have selected.
The next-gen will include some new features for players to enjoy. These will include: Living Worlds, In-Game Director, Precision Movement, Pro Instincts, and Elite Techniques. Each of these will be noticeable additions to the game if you played the current-gen version. Living Worlds ensure you feel like you are actually playing in a massive football stadium, the crowd comes alive with excitement, players freak out when scoring a goal, and the weather changes. In-Game Director makes sure you feel like you are playing a real football match, accompanied with the Living Worlds the immersion here is incredible. Precision Movement allows you to control your players and the ball with greater depth. Elite Techniques features over 1000 new animations ensuring your players act like real football players. And Pro Instincts allow you to make split second decisions in the heat of a match.
Controls will take you a little bit to get used to unless you are a veteran of the series. If you are picking up FIFA 14 for the first time then you may have a little trouble, especially if the game is still installing, if it is you are going to be thrown into a random match automatically. Give it a couple of matches and you will understand when to pass, how to pass, and when and how to shoot the ball. Eventually you will be scoring at least one goal every game, which makes it a lot more fun.
Overall FIFA 14 on the PlayStation 4 remains a fun game from the current-gen version. Not a lot has changed which is a little disappointing, but what has been added in makes the game more immersive than anything else. Unfortunately FIFA is a niche series for fans of the real sport, football, if you aren’t a real world fan then there really is no inclination to pick this game up and play it. A learning curve, especially online, will throw some people off as will the constant chasing of the ball up and down the field. If you’re a fan, pick the game up and enjoy some time with you friends. If you aren’t a football (soccer) fan, leave this one on the store shelf.