FIFA 2014 is one of EA Sports’ first forays in to next gen gaming. It utilises the developer’s new ‘ignite’ engine and not surprisingly the ultimate upgrade here has been graphical. EA is rightly proud of its FIFA gameplay engine overall and whilst minor control elements have been tweaked and adjusted, this was not the area that developers felt the need to target for improvement here.
Let’s make a start with how the game now looks then. We have been treated with the visuals in this department. The Xbox One’s much increased memory capacity simply means everything now looks more realistic and everything acts more realistic. This is the case not only on the pitch, but in the crowd and in the dugouts where the improved AI means each character now reacts and responds to what is actually happening on the pitch. The stadiums within the game look beautiful and are modelled on the actual stadiums of the biggest teams in world football. The character models are crisp and lifelike and textures are much improved, you can now see the player’s shirts and shorts rippling in the wind etc.
Furthermore plenty of detail has been added to further flesh out the game. More animations have been added, the players now role their foot over the ball when dribbling etc and each individual player’s characteristics and playing styles can now be clearly seen. We now also have seamlessintegration and no gaps in play. Now when the ball goes out of play, instead of being greeted with a blank reset screen, a ballboy will throw the ball back to you to take your throw in and play continues! It is in these details that the game comes to life and feels more fluid and realistic. A further improvement is in the stunningly realistic instant replays which EA Sports deserve much credit for.
Like I say under the new gloss the game is ‘FIFA’ as you have always known it (not necessarily a bad thing) but even in this department minor changes have been made to how the players control on the pitch, giving an even more lifelike feel of controlling an actual professional footballer. For example when changing direction with the ball, the movements feel heavier as weight is shifted from one side of the body to the other.
There are a couple of downsides however, in the early days of release many players reported continual crashes in most of the game modes but it seems EA has managed to iron out these glitches and connection problems. The main factor many players will take issue with, will be the omission of game modes as Team Play and Tournament modes are no longer present. This factor aside this instalment of FIFA is well worth checking out as the franchise makes its debut on the Xbox One.