‘FIFA 14′ Review

Oct 1, 2013 by  

FIFA 14 Review

Last year’s FIFA 13 was a bit of a disappointment in that it failed to iterate on the previous year’s improvements in any appreciable ways. Like many sports games released over the past few years, FIFA 13 left the impression that the series was standing still – biding its time for the inevitable next-gen jump.

And now that the next-gen jump is almost upon us, and FIFA 14 is available for all to consume, recommending the current-gen iteration becomes all the more challenging. But, despite the knowledge a crisper version of FIFA 14 is right around the corner, EA Sports has still made some improvements to the current-gen version that make it worth recommending.

For starters, the on-the-field play feels greatly improved for FIFA 14. While dribbling, passing, friendly and enemy AI, and shooting have all found a nice sweet spot, the way players jostled for position always felt a bit lacking. In FIFA 14, that has all changed, with players now able to muscle their way to the ball even if a defender cuts them off. It’s a detail that might go unnoticed by some, but one that goes a long way into improving the realism of the game.

FIFA 14 Review - Player Collisions

Speaking of realism, a big change for this year – at least one that soccer fans will notice – is the way player physics work when shooting. Now, the game will take into account the trajectory and speed of the player to determine what type of shot they are capable of getting off and what animation to use. For example, if a player stumbles before a shot they will lose significant power and they might end up throwing their whole body into a shot, which makes it more difficult for them to field any potential rebounds. It’s another subtle touch for FIFA 14, but one that fans will appreciate for the realism it adds.

Additionally, the decision to tone down last year’s first touch mechanic, and to add a new “Protect the Ball” button makes it so players aren’t constantly turning the ball over the second it reaches them. Players can now more easily collect a past in stride and turn up field without worrying about the ball jumping 5 yards in front of them.

Aside from that, though, FIFA 14 is a mostly recognizable experience, especially to owners of FIFA 13. That isn’t to say the game is lacking, only that there aren’t many big changes, save for those previously mentioned – and those aren’t necessarily justification enough for another yearly purchase.

FIFA 14 Review - Shooting

At the same time, some of the finicky issues that have plagued FIFA in the past are still present this year, including inconsistent player auto-switching and a wide difficulty gap between the “Semi Pro” (Medium) and “Professional” (Hard) levels. On Semi Pro, for example, players can score at will, as the AI barely poses any threat on offense or defense. Yet on Professional, things escalate to a real match, but one that, for the novice player, will be extremely challenging. There’s little middle ground for newcomers to develop their skills without getting hosed every match.

All the usual suspects for modes have returned as well, from Be a Pro, to Career, to FIFA Ultimate Team. As with this year’s Madden, Ultimate Team adds a new chemistry mechanic that increases the viability of a team based on individual player associations. However, in FIFA 14 those associations are boiled down to whether two players are from the same country, club, or league, not their play style. So, matching up a player from the MLS with a like-minded counterpart from the Premier League doesn’t boost the Ultimate Team’s chemistry. It’s a strange way to use the mechanic and, to be honest, players will have better success if they simply go after the most skilled footballers.

FIFA 14 - Ultimate Team Chemistry

With the next-gen version of FIFA 14 a little less than two months away, gamers have a difficult choice to make: pick up the game now or wait to see what improvements the next-gen offers. After significant time with FIFA 14 it’s hard to recommend the game to anyone but the most die-hard fans, as the improvements are subtle and don’t fundamentally change the gameplay. The modes have been tweaked and adjusted, but, again, there isn’t anything to justify the $60 price tag for owners of last year’s game.

That being said, the gameplay in FIFA 14 is much more refined when compared to FIFA 13, so those who do pick up the game will find a more enjoyable experience overall. Not to mention the realism that the collisions and shooting add to the proceedings make the game look as close to real soccer as it ever has. But two subtle, but in my opinion needed, improvements aren’t going to outweigh a lot of the same-ness that pervades the game overall. Picking up FIFA 14 now won’t leave gamers dissatisfied, but it might be worth waiting to see what the next-gen has to offer.

Have you had a chance to check out FIFA 14? What do you think of the game? Let us know in the comments below.

FIFA 14 is out now for the PC, PS2, PS3, Vita, Wii, and Xbox 360. Game Rant was provided the Xbox 360 version for this review.

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5

17 Comments

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  1. this game actually really sucks….gameplay is terrible and awkward plus its the same thing ea has been putting out for god knows how long def doesn’t deserve a 4 out of 5 more like 3.5!

  2. Is this really out on Playstation 2? Wow.

  3. Heres the deal. I come from FIFA 12 and there are big differences. The game changers are that, being pretty mediocre, I earlier prefered Semi-pro difficulty. F10,11 but then came Fifa 12 and after a while I worked out how to “beat the game” on Pro. Yay! Challenging, as I didn’t always win or score. Pro was also necessary for Career Leaderboards so Yay again. There were new parts of the product as a whole, that I discovered and the experience has been positive. I didn’t skip FIFA 13 for any other reason than that the sales person in question didn’t manage to give me a good enough swap in deal. I was offered just under a 10 dollars in trade in value. But I digress.
    Overall I find the jostling for the ball etc to be positive, that I can play an Eng lang menu with Spanish commentary is a little lame as a plus but very entertaining if your not a Spanish speaker :) “GOL GOL GOL GOOOOOOOL!!!!!”
    Opposing players are much to quick to tackle in 14 pro, if the opponents score you might as well give up as every opposing plyr gets a totally unnatural energy boost (so no change from Fifa 12) and if you pass the ball around for too long and then lose it, you will see Yeovil Town turn into Barca before your eyes.
    The only way to get the ball back, and if you can get close enough before they pass, is either risk a red card or let the f**kers score. Its ridiculous and keeps the hand-controller manufacturing industry well-financed. Any tendency you show, be it from continually lobbing through-balls onto a Fwd or hogging the ball like I said earlier, it will mimick you. It is borderline binary taunting. A digital 5 yr old, you want to bitchslap for being cheeky.
    Anyway…there are so many inconsistenies in EA’s structural and estetic planning of their Fifas down the years that you have to wonder: Do they even listen to anyones rants or do they just assume that if they change the product in some way and point this out pre-sale, they are always going to sell their product. Its like beta testing you pay full price for where results are thrown away, not followed up on and generally just ignored. In some cases down the years they(EA) have changed something that everyone agreed didn’t work but in the process totally ruin or omit something else that was “awsome”.
    This can go on and on, but in there there’s a coupla things that irritate me and might hit a note the rest of you.
    I’m bored now. Everyone should read Cervantes “Don Quijote”.
    Dave

    • …and forgot to say that 3 days in I still havent found online teamplay. Not with real teams nor with “Be a Pro” players. Only head 2 head. Why do they have to keep moving s**t around for? Huh? :)

  4. dggth htrhrhrhr

  5. good

  6. chip through ball??? beats the defenders ever
    time??

  7. Well, where to start. The early reviews were some what biased as they obviously did not know how to play the game. Lobs, headers, cross balls always resulted in a goal, good player against a bad player who used those tactics invariably won. I gave up playing on line as it was #$%^&* up.
    I played seasons against the computer, 5 divs down pretty easy. Div 4, i am still there after almost a month, playing against world class, impossible to score (especially after the patch). Offsides, i don’t think EA know how to implement that one? Players coming from an offside position to get the ball, 50 yards up the pitch and its still offside. I’ve had some games with 30 offsides, kinda distracts from the play (what play) impossible to dribble, shooting, oh heck missed again, oh no, who is that goal keeper, wait a minute its my mum………….Fantastic………..
    I play occasionally on Semi or professional, although its kinda broke and needs alot to fix it. First touches, what a joke!!, players being passed to just do not pick up the ball and the switching, my god (yes he would do better) the wrong player again 1/2 way up the pitch behind the guy with the ball, crap they scored…………… Enough, i still have trouble putting it down as i am addicted……….cost me a fortune in packs and i get rubbish… But i would not recommend it to anyone,not in its current state, ps i play PS3 and PC versions and the pc one is harder than the PS3 one….

  8. Will someone please tell me how you get your bots to play half decent i said it through fifa 13 n its exactly the same on this pile of s*** its as though my club is there for everyone elses to play well against i refuse to believe that its ‘luck’ because that means it will go your way which never happens!!! Iv tried everything and they still play like utter retards well worse than that because thats an insult to retards there has to be a way

  9. The first match i ever played on fifa 14 was with Barcelona. I was playing as Messi when i did a backflip rabona fakie shot from half way that chipped Iker Casillas. I then used Messis power up celebration where he crawls through the seaty bumcrack of Pique, a fellow team mate.
    The next goal i scored was with Messi aswel it was a front flip rainbow bicycle fakie backheel from the goalkeeper sqaure i then was so happy i broke my gaming console. I ow hate Messi because he crawled up every player in the Barcelona squads swollen bumcracks.

    • I also had that issue on fifa it is common for Messi to have those celebrations except for me he stuck his fat little fingers in the bumcrack of Pique no worries sorry about your console haha

      Oliver

  10. 4 out of 5? I’ve been an avid FIFA player for the past few years and loved 11, 12, and still liked 13 quite a bit. This year’s FIFA is pure, flat-out, unadulterated GARBAGE. The balance, bugs, fluidity, etc. are awful. Is it different? Yes. Is that a good thing? Hellllll nooo it changed but for the worst.

  11. Fifa 14 is difficult to play because when you win a cup like gold players cup who promises to give you 7500 coins but you did not get it which leaves you with the player finishing their contract and you got no money to buy contracts for them. If this is what fifa 14 is, then i recommend all those who play fifa 14 to quit playing cuz the credibility of the game sucks

  12. Professional level is ridiculously hard. I’ve overwhelmingly won tournaments in Amatuer and Semi Pro in ’14, but i’m now stuck near the bottom of the relegation zone in Pro. In Pro: My shots that typically score are mostly wide, I can’t hang onto the ball for more than 2 seconds before the ball is stolen away, in critical moments the controller buttons don’t seem to work, defenders on the opposing team seem to be able to reach out feet in any direction to thwart drives with the ball, opposing team defenders also seem to make up inhumanly possible amounts of ground to catch up and steal the ball from me and the ball bounces with extreme precision for the opposing team while the ball seems to ricochet uncontrollably for me with an exaggerated bounce which more often than not ends up with the opposing team. Very discouraging and frustrating.

  13. WORST FIFA EVER. EA has turned into money hungry cheaters. The only positive reviews of this game are from paid media outlets.

  14. Next gen fifa 14 is so much harder then previous gen. On normal difficulty the opposing team always win the ball. Through balls are almost pointless, every time they seem to get intercepted. I played Barcelona and beat them 3-0 then played stoke and they hammered me 2-1, it was like I was playing pro difficulty . They need to fix this issue. Everythink else has improved massively. The only other annoying thing is the bloke who has to read all the scores out after every game in carrer mode and then read every teams position in the league.

  15. Hi guys! I need some help, I play FIFA14 with a personalized control-mode, so i set it up (I just bought my Xbox One yeesterday) and I was playing with a friend, he uses classic control-mode, and then we noticed every time that when any of us change the mode we use to play with the other control also change (automatically), so when I change mine to personalized, his control changes to personalized but we didnt noticed until we started playing, and during the match he changed to Classic mode, and my control also changed to Classic, anyone HELP ME that would be great!

    GAMERTAG, (twt, IG) JuanBakes

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