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FIFA 14: A fun game of competitive football

October 05, 2013 12:15 IST

FIFA 14: A fun game of competitive football

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Murali Venukumar

Nevertheless, FIFA 14 hasn’t improved enough to earn an outright recommendation.

Platforms: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC /PS Vita / PS2

Price: Xbox 360 / PS3: Rs. 3499 ' PC: Rs. 2499 ' PS Vita: Rs. 2499 ' PS2: Rs. 999

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: Electronic Arts / EA Sports

Distributor: Milestone Interactive Pvt. Ltd.

Genre: Sports

Age Rating: 3+

EA has been going great guns with their FIFA games the last few years, so it’s more than a bit troubling to see hints of stagnation show in FIFA 14. Mind you, it could just be an unfortunate effect of the end of the console generation. There’s only so much you can do with 8-year-old hardware after all, especially with versions of FIFA 14, using EA’s new Ignite Engine, being prepped for release on both the PS4 and the Xbox One. Even worse would be if innovation within the team has taken a back seat given the negligible set of improvements that come with this iteration of the franchise. 

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Photographs: A/EA Sports

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FIFA 14: A fun game of competitive football

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Murali Venukumar

You’ll notice a new set of menus right off the bat, but it’s debatable just how much of an improvement they are when it comes to usability. Presentation is also more or less identical to last year’s game aside from more fleshed out commentary, which really does make a difference to just how immersive the game is. However, the gameplay improvements are more a case of enhancing features from FIFA 13. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it sort of sticks out when the game doesn’t have a major new feature (or three) to ride on.

Veterans may notice a more free flowing game with AI players reading plays, moving, jostling for control and taking shots more realistically -- and dare I say it, intelligently. It may not sound like much (and it probably isn’t even noticeable for the casual fan), but there’s a subtle difference in pace as well. You’re now given even more legroom to play the game at your own pace. 

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Photographs: A/EA Sports
Tags: FIFA

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FIFA 14: A fun game of competitive football

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Murali Venukumar

That said, the animation system is clearly in need of an overhaul. There’s no reason why the paying public should put up with robotic movement and wonky transitions, especially when the camera cuts to a close up cutscene or replay. With this year’s PES entry sporting a new engine (albeit with atrocious framerates), the onus is back on EA to up their game. A little competition is never a bad thing.

What you do get with FIFA however, is a fully licensed set of leagues, clubs and other fancy bells & whistles. This is probably what tips the scales for casual fans, and the licensing and presentation is as good as ever this year – even if it can be a tad overzealous with all the account linkage/information sharing requests. The new skill games are a nice bit of addictive fun, though.

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Photographs: A/EA Sports
Tags: FIFA , PES , EA

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Murali Venukumar

That’s not to say FIFA 14 isn’t any good; far from it. It’s still a fun enough game of competitive football, and a blast if you have friends over (more fun than online multiplayer matches by a stretch). You’ll also notice that all the usual suspects from the ultimate team to full offline and online seasons make a return, although it’s becoming increasing irritating that you can’t carry progress forward with each yearly upgrade.

’14 might be a perfect game for a first-time buyer, although it may make more sense for even them to wait and see what surprises the next gen versions of the game holds. As it stands though, FIFA 14 hasn’t improved nearly enough to earn an outright recommendation. 

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Photographs: A/EA Sports
Tags: FIFA

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