I’ve been hooked by many a game in history but rarely has one taken my fancy like EA’s FIFA 14. After recapturing my love of the British Premiere League about three years ago (thank you, Directv) and begun following the Liverpool once again (watching the end of “King Kenny’s” reign and the transition to Brendan Rogers), I’ve fully invested in Premiere League experience so it was a throw-away decision to purchase and try out FIFA 14 for the Xbox One. Extremely glad I did.
I’ve tried various FIFA titles before but all lacked a certain precision, ambiance, focus and quickly hit the discard pile. Though the essence of the game was there, the dated graphics of the Xbox 360 really held the game back. However, FIFA 14 just shines with the Xbox One driving the experience.
I’ve been playing FIFA 14 since the holiday season and I continue to be blown away by the features, ambiance, and narrative of this gaming experience. Allow me to bring that to life for you. I’ve played probably 400 games (using Liverpool, of course) and even last night, continue to hear new dialog from the game commentary and unique animations for scoring, shooting, saving, and passing. Not only is the depth of the play shockingly good but as is the managerial experience. FIFA 14 truly captures the very essence the British Premiere League. From the clubs, the stands in full voice, the transfer windows, salaries, club budgets, and fickle players — it is all there. The icing on the cake is earning the ability to customize player’s appearance with brand name boots and uniform choices from Nike, Puma, Adidas (to name but a few). When combined into one cohesive experience, it is jaw dropping.
While the Xbox 360 version was merely okay, the Xbox One has brought FIFA 14 to life but this isn’t a limited scope venture: replay-ability is this game’s final strength. Not only does the AI change (one career season Suarez demands a transfer, the next he’s content to stay), but the amount of skill moves to understand is initially daunting. As one progresses up the difficultly level, skill moves become a must to master — adding another level of complexity to explore and deploy on the field.
Some may cite examples of EA’s recent failures (the Madden franchise which changes at a glacial pace, the horrendous release of Sim City) to ignore this title but EA nails it and have turned me into a franchise convert. I look forward to FIFA 15 after the World Cup concludes. Enjoy!