EA football games have been an annual ritual in gamers’ lives since the early 90s and FIFA 14 is the latest installment. Some years have seen amazing releases, as was the case with FIFA ’95, FIFA 07 and FIFA 12, while others have felt like nothing new had been added, so the big question is whether or not FIFA 14 will live up to the hype and the expectation of being the first football game to be released on the Xbox ONE and the PlayStation 4.
The biggest downer for Nintendo fans is that Electronic Arts has not developed the game for release on the Japanese gaming giant’s next generation console, the Wii U, despite the fact that FIFA 13 was available on all of the Nintendo consoles. While FIFA 14 will be getting a Nintendo Wii and 3DS release, it won’t be out on the Wii U, although with Nintendo’s upcoming games roster it’s possible that situation could change if console sales pick up in Europe.
The game will be initially launched on the Wii, 3DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, PSVita, Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 on the 27th September 2013. It will then be subsequently released for the Xbox ONE and PlayStation 4 later in the year as the new consoles are launched in November. It will also be ported for mobile release with scaled down features for iOS and Android.
The most significant advancement in the gameplay department comes with the introduction of the new game engine for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE versions of the game. While other console ports will rely on the same engine as the last FIFA Football release, the next gen discs will bring with them gameplay advancements using EA’s Ignite engine including:
- Human intelligence opposition to make players react more like they’re people instead of sprites in a game.
- True player motion to make your players move more realistically using biomechanical physics.
- Dynamically changing environments for the pitch and stadium to create more of a lifelike experience.
In addition to the Xbox ONE and PS4 specific gameplay updates, the game will also feature more precise directional movement, the ability to protect the ball, a pure shot facility that allows you to find the best approach to catch the ball on its sweet spot to get off a better shot, teammate intelligence to make your players act more like a unit and real ball physics to bring more reality to the way the ball moves on the pitch.
FIFA 14 features a few new cool moves to look forward to, including the sprint dribble turn that makes it possible to make sharper adjustments in direction while dribbling quickly, the second chance tackle that allows for an extended tackle region and the ability to recover from a failed tackle easier to get another chance to get the ball, and the curling lofted through ball that makes it possible to extend the angle of your passes while being tracked by a defender. We’ll add more moves as they’re announced.
- Skill game – This mode is a bit of a skills academy which you can use to hone your moves in competitive practice sessions against yourself or with multiplayer versus.
- Career mode – This mode is as old as the game series itself, letting you take on the leagues and cups of the world through the football seasons. This time around you have the added functionality of being able to scout for international talent to boost your team with the new navigation hub.
- Ultimate team – This has been a popular feature for a couple of years now and it’s been confirmed to return for FIFA 14. You’ll get to build your own team, manage your club and choose the style you play, as well as taking your team on-line to test its strength and depth.
- Multi-player – With the new refinements in FIFA 14 your living room battles should be all the more dramatic and lifelike, especially with the ignite engine power provided by the next generation consoles.
- Online play – Play in single matches, online leagues and cups.
With the crisp clarity and power of the Xbox ONE and PlayStation 4 consoles, the version releases for these will be the best in terms of graphics with more detail in every aspect of the game. The Ignite game engine is scheduled to bring improved rendering, run-time physics, movement and animation to make the next gen release of the game the best looking in its history. With 10 times more animation depth and detail, it’s certainly got the makings of a significant step forward in terms of graphics.
As with all FIFA games, 14 is a pretty good looking game on all of the consoles, although the graphics on mobile and hand held devices will inevitably be the weakest of the releases. However, if you want your football gaming fix on the move, it will be the only option that includes your team with all of the players.