FIFA 14 Review: EA’s Behemoth Retains Title
If anything, the mode’s league- and nationality-based bonus system doesn’t go far enough. Why not reward obsessive managers for assembling a team of left-footed Muslims, or an all-mohawk side? The possibilities are endless. EA could also stand to improve the interface, reducing the number of menu layers and giving priority to the functions players will use most often.
Of course, some players will never use Ultimate Team at all; I avoided it happily for years. FIFA has a way of insidiously providing something for everyone, like the monopolists they aspire to be. I alluded to a sense of comforting familiarity at the beginning of this article, but it can also be hard to get around the game’s multi-tentacled vastness, the sense of it being a sure-shot bestseller, the definitive best — the most popular video game about the world’s most popular sport. But while I have mixed feelings about EA’s perch on this lucrative pedestal, it’s hard to to argue that the EA Canada team hasn’t earned it, and doesn’t continue to earn it, by delivering a game that really does feel better, really does feel different, every year, even if you have to be an avid player of the game to really appreciate how. But even if you’ve never played a soccer video game, and you want to start, this is the choice.
- More physical, and physics-based, which leads to more varied, realistic soccer
- Beefed-up AI means better decisions on offense and defense
- Slick presentation and feature-set, as befits one of the most popular games in the world
- Ultimate Team is compulsive fun, with a few caveats
- Balance is still being tweaked after post-launch issues
- Enthusiasm for new features leads to a few gameplay hiccups
- Remains to be seen if next-gen versions can deliver something truly transformative
Final Score: 86/100
Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.