It seems that every new version of Fifa is met with so much harsh criticism !! And Fifa 14 is no exception.
I'm not saying that it is perfect and here's my take what I like and dislike:
- Polished up screen menu system
- Gameplay is quite good, and improved graphics are welcome
- More realistic skill moves
- Very important IMHO is that the player without the football runs faster than the one who is. This is a very realistic situation which was lacking in previous versions. I do stand to be corrected on this point, yet it definitely is much more noticeable in this version.
- Whilst the commentary has improved quite a lot, it does need some polishing up. At times I am amazed with what the commentator says yet on other occasions I feel it too repetitive and annoying. "Your type of goal" "Definitely your type of goal".... too much of it.
- Way too many offsides!! Having said that, it probably reflect how much one knows the game in real world scenario I guess.
- Players falling or tripping too much
- Whilst fouling has been reduced to a minimum, certain fouls are a bit dubious.
- Online gaming seems to be more controlled by the CPU than the user!
Software updates could hopefully address certain issues.
Taking all into account I do find that Fifa 14 PS3 is a bit of a mixed bag. Yet I just cannot stop playing the game!!
Hope you have more luck than I do!
on 10 May 2014
I will start by saying that if all you want is to casually play matches against your mates then its perfectly fine. However it is no better than fifa 96, graphics withstanding.
If you, like me also like to play a season mode (ie manager) and bring a club up through divisions then don't bother! There are so many aspects to the game which have been ruined and made completely unplayable unless you begin the game as a top team.
1. Impossible to find good signings without investing obscene amounts of time. Due to Global Transfer Network you MUST use scouts to find players as you no longer have the ability to manually search as see a players ability. This in itself is not such a problem. However your scouts will only find players of the level which your team BEGINS the game. ie a league 1 club will only ever be able to find players of league 1/champonship quality even once they have become a 5 star team playing in Europe and invested millions on top level scouts!
2. Scripting / Match Fixing. Your own ability on the game becomes completely negated at various points throughout a season. The game will decide what the outcome of certain fixtures will be and make it impossible to win. This is not even in games against top opponents either which would at least make some sense. Your team on form can come up against bottom of the league who have taken 10 points from 20 games and they will be completely unplayable. Your goalkeeper will parry everything to a striker for a tap in. Your defenders will literally fall over each other. Their players regardless of their ability (even defenders) will all start dribbling around and leaving yours for dead. Your fresh 90+ speed players will get beaten in a foot race by 50-60 speed rated defenders. The whole scenario becomes ludicrous as not only do they become far superior to their own ability but your own players become next to useless too.
In these games you can replay the game as many times as you want with different players, tactics and even lower difficulty to some extent and the best you will achieve is a draw. Strangely I would rather my own ability decide the result of my games....
If id have known about even only these two major flaws in the game I would not have wasted my time and money on the game. It was only once I started becoming thoroughly infuriated by these and other issues that I googled them and found forums documenting these precise (and more) issues with the game. The official fifa 14 forum actually even states that discussing the 'scripting' topic will result in you being banned from the forum and denies its existence....
Dont waste your money or your time on this game.
on 24 January 2014
Ok, straight up:
FIFA 14 is the best football game/sim out there. Tried PES 14 recently and didn't like it that much.
(note this review is from a Career Mode perspective, don't play that much FUT yet).
The whole dynamics / kinetics of the game has improved with players moving in general better around the pitch and acting relatively more aggressive. So if you like a football game in which you can spend hours, go for it.
Now, the fine print: be prepared to be frustrated as hell!!! It is true, players move better and close down defensively much better, react and chase down their mark. Yes, of course, the AI opponent players do all of that. Your players will:
- constantly be caught in offside;
- become annoyingly slow when with the ball;
- freeze from time to time, giving the opponent sufficient time to catch up, intercept or simply take the ball away from you;
- miss inexplicable passes or throw-ins and give away the ball;
- make at least one terrible mistake per match which mostly means a goal against.
- not attack long balls, overhead passes or high frontal passes.
Also, note that your players will handle the ball like amateurs, often will pass the ball to the wrong guy.
Other things to take into account, courtesy of EA Sports and the idiot who led the game programming: tackling the ball away from the AI opponent is a herculean task, no matter how many touches, slides or players you get around the opponent, he will keep the ball like Zidane in his prime. 90% of the time you tackle the ball semi close to the side lines or end line will result in a throw in or corner kick for the AI opponent. Your players will slide like on ice, while your opponents are always well positioned, can take the ball away immediately from you and will ALWAYS (no matter the skill set) be stronger, faster and jump much better than you. So basically, the genius at EA have leveled the playing field in Career Mode by making your players more stupid, fallible and clumsy, while your opponents thrive on skills you just envy.
I'm sure there's a lot more, just not in the mood for being more explicit.
However, if you are still a PS/Xbox football freak like me , go ahead and buy it (preferably used or on a discount so not to make the EA masterminds who flawed this game that rich).
on 3 December 2013
As the saying goes, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. Apparently nobody told FIFA this. I loved FIFA 13, it was a big step up in terms of realism and played fantastically well. It had its glitches but it was certainly playable. So I decided, naturally, to progress to FIFA 14.
Well that was a complete waste. It arrived, and eager to try it out I tried a few of the skill games. Instantly the controls were over sensitive. I moved slightly to pass to one side and the ball flies off in a completely different direction. The same thing happened in an actual game. Every time I tried to turn a player in a particular direction, the slightest adjustment to the analogue stick and the player would stop dead and turn somewhere else.
Then there's the first touch. Wow. This alone completely kills the game for me. No matter who the player is, no matter how slow/ short the pass, a player cannot control the ball smoothly. It's as though it goes to slow motion. The player takes an age to turn on the ball and if you try to recover by making a pass, big mistake. Because passing also takes forever.
FIFA 14 is a game of luck now. There is no skill involved. You run AT the ball, run towards the goal and more often than not, if you lose the ball, it takes so long for the defender to turn and pass that you snatch the ball back and you're through on goal. I've also noticed every single person I have come across online goes for the same tactic; play the ball down the wing, knock it in from the byline and, as long as there is 1 player in the box, you will connect and score. I haven't yet conceded a goal that didn't come from this play. (Before I look bitter, currently 9 wins and no losses, but the terrible gameplay makes it unplayable).
I could go on all night about this. Corners, for instance. I have connected with every single corner I've taken, more often than not a free header, and each and every time it flies over. It's as though FIFA have tried to enhance realism by making it true to life. It's a shame that true to life is the life of a Sunday league team that lump it up and down the pitch.
Thoroughly disappointed with this instalment. All I can hope is that this is a stepping stone game and they're developing and trying things out in preparation for FIFA 15. Fingers crossed, but I won't hold my breath...
on 3 November 2013
Lets start where you start the game. The menu, it is rather sluggish especially during manager mode. It takes a long time to get from one page to the next, and setting up your team can take you up to 5 minutes if you have to sub the whole team. It does help if the internet on your PS isn't turned on. The downside being that your XP wont be kept and thus you cant gain access to retro shirts, which I personally love, or other goodies. Without the ability to turn off auto-save there is very little you can do about the sluggishness of the menu. The menu is more stylish then previous games, nonetheless the feel for the controls isn't really there and it does take some getting used to.
Now then the game play. The passing is dreadful, for good players with high passing stats to pass the ball behind a player for 20 to 30% of the time is not only annoying but also inaccurate. It doesn't matter if the passes are short or long usually they are wayward passes. However if they do find a player the newly implemented first touch system is not up to specks. Even the most technically gifted players frequently mess up the first touch making it easy for the opposition to get the ball. The realistic feel they were going for is ruined when playing with good teams or players. However if you play with Tranmere Rovers for example it does feel realistic. All in all when it comes to passing I have giving up on the pass button and instead opt for the through ball even in defence just so that they arrive more frequently at the intended party who can then just walk into the ball or immediately pass it on in order to avoid the first touch syndrome.
I have tried the long ball forward numerous times to see if that would solved any of the passing problems. However here comes into play something that has annoyed me throughout the last few years in FIFA. If you are stuck behind a defender you aren't going anywhere. No matter how fast you are and how slow the defender is, and since it is scripted you run after the ball it is hard to get your player to move a different direction. If that does happen then you have the new "real" movement system which makes the players take longer to change direction or speed up. This is more realistic and although I'm a fan of this it doesn't help when being stuck behind a defender where in real life they'd run past him. The dribbling has also been changed and the ball is sometimes quite a way away from the player dribbling, no matter the skills of the player. This can lead to interceptions easier but more annoyingly team mates taking the ball from your feet at crucial times, mostly when playing as Pro.
The rest of the game play seems pretty okay, there are of course the usual things which we have come to love or hate. Like weird player collisions, dumb AI (constantly running offside, team mates intercepting passes meant for you), referee's that don't know the rules or the weird graphics of a ball through the foot.
The scouting system has also been changed and it is no longer possible to see the overall level of players in the transfer market. You have to scout players first before getting a good reading on their skills. Although the idea behind this is appealing it would be better if for example the players were shown with a guesstimate rating. Since most people especially in the sport would roughly know how well players are at Real Madrid or even lower league clubs. This would make searching for player a lot easier. However the youth scouting process for your youth team has improved and it is easier to scout young talented players. Nonetheless the loan out system is till flawed and players still grow slower when playing matches on loan compared to sitting on your bench or even in the reserves.
Finally there is the levels at which one can play FIFA, something that has bothered me for years now is the legendary setting. The only thing this changes in comparison to world class is the speed of you and you opponents to the point where a MK Dons defender outruns Messi. Now first off this isn't realistic and I for one play for the realism for as far as that goes. So usually this means adjusting the game play setting for me and the opponent in terms of speed and acceleration. This however brings you back tot he world class settings and leaves plenty of room for AI error on Legendary. This is something that should be fixed. Legendary should be difficult because of good defending and attack not because the opponent are all Usain Bolt fast.
All in all it is good fun to play like any FIFA, having said that like any FIFA it has it's flaws. Where for me the sluggish career mode menu takes the cake.
on 21 October 2013
Its hard to sum this game up really, firstly I am addicted to it, whether its FUT leagues, tournaments or online its just a fun game. Graphically its FIFA so the players mostly look like their human counterparts apart from some of the more obscure one.
The menu's are better and smoother than FIFA 13 but for some reason career mode is really sluggish throughout the menu's and especially when in your squad, its annoying that it takes what seems like an eternity to scroll through your squad and make changes, unsure if there is just too much information for the game to process but maybe a patch will sort this out at some stage.
If you've read other reviews then it wont surprise you that the main annoyance is the AI or lack of it.
Obviously in FUT you tend to start out playing cup's and leagues on Amateur and Semi-Pro difficulty, this is rarely a challenge really and is just good to try out formations, players, chemistry etc.
Then when you move to better cups and leagues and basically from Professional difficulty onwards the game just changes, everyone wants a challenge and I've had some cracking contests on Professional and World Class difficulty, usually not the teams you would imagine though, you may get small Belgian clubs etc with a RB with say 50 for pace yet he can easily outrun someone with 90+ pace, part of me can understand this as the difficulty has to progress throughout the levels, one massive issue is how your players behave, I remember in FIFA 13 I had a great FUT team but didnt really understand the chemistry side of it (basically chose to ignore it) as it was my first FIFA game for a long time, my team would be rated at well over 80 but then I'd get easily beaten by a lesser team simply because the chemistry was off, then I had a lower rated team with high chemistry and would be a different story.
In FIFA 14 your players react like there is no chemistry, they run from the ball, the constantly run offside and I agree with one comment I read which was that you will have more joy with strikes from outside the box than a 1 on 1 with a keeper, of course if you use finesse or lob then you stand a better chance of scoring in these situations though.
My personal gripe with the AI (as I can usually get over the running all over the place thing) is players not reacting to the ball or randomly changing player when you have someone right next to the ball and suddenly they run away and you take control of someone else, also when there is a long ball or keeper kick out sometimes players wont jump for the ball and will just leave it to go straight over them.
Then you have players bumping into each other or not getting up when they win the ball from a slide tackle etc, when playing the CPU on harder difficulties it does sometimes feel like the CPU will score when they like, for example I was playing with my 84 rated side against Anderlecht I think and their forward scored with every touch of the ball which was fine but the goals were ridiculous (as was my keepers AI) I went on to win the game 4-3 so no harm done but these issues do affect the enjoyment.
Its such a shame that these issues ruin the gameplay quite a lot and they are heightened when you are losing, the online aspect of FUT is great but again at times I've felt well underpowered due to AI issues where my team has appeared pretty sluggish - that might just be my team though.
There are many plus points with the game as the challenges are better as you have a couple from the games recently played and also some that haven't yet been played, quite similar to the NBA 2K titles with game of the day etc.
I'm unsure whether EA are able to patch some of the AI issues, I'm not holding my breath though as the issues would take a lot of effort to change.
To be honest sometimes I don't know why I keep playing it, I'm not onto the Ultimate Cup properly and its so frustrating that you can have the best team possible (I haven't but have tried with some great players) and the 'handicap' engine kicks in and its like you're taking on Barca with a League 2 side, only taking on middle of the road teams like Shakhtar etc and can't hit the net, you might have a perfect header and it'll smash off the bar or post and you'll be clean through and miss with someone like Cavani or Falcao, you then get the invisible players as quite a few times I've seen the ball literally go through my defender rather than bounce off their legs etc.
The most annoying thing about this handicap is that the CPU will score how they want when they want, they will confuse the AI by passing back and forth around your box and it seems near impossible to tackle them as they will just change direction a split second before, just to note this isnt me saying this difficulty is too hard for me because it isn't, I've beaten the CPU and had great matches drawn but its this part that frustrates me as I'd rather have a cracking match where my team actually works even if I lose rather than playing with what seems like a team worthy of a special school, surely EA owes it to paying fans to do this as I've purchased the game and points to get myself started with FUT but then just end up getting the players I want that quite often are affected by the handicap engine EA has in the game - I think its actually called an 'Intensity' engine but it only handicaps one side.
Its definitely a game you'll love and hate in the same 5 mins.
Hopefully this review gave a fair assessment of the game in general and something must be right because I'm addicted!
on 22 December 2013
As a Fifa stalwart for several years and with fifa 13 ticked off as one of the best yet, I was really looking forward to receiving fifa 14 for the PS3.
In terms of general game play, its not really that different to last year, just having one or two extra skill moves and finishes - and a notable increase in difficulty when moving a player towards a ball (which has added realism and was welcome), this seasons kits and player updates aside - thats where my positives end.
The windows based framework / interface, scout system and transfer system are frankly horrible. There are long lag times, frequent crashes and getting through a season can take what seems like forever.
That brings me on to my major gripe.. I really only buy this game to play through seasons in manager mode and play the games, etc. As stated earlier, last years effort was thoroughly enjoyable. This year unfortunately, I feel robbed of my £40. Into my third season the game framework cannot handle it and is constantly riddled with bugs, such as freezing, loss of and stuttered commentary, and the all too familiar crashing. Re load and try again.. Same thing. Etc, etc. It has now gotten so bad (after 2 months) that any game mode I try from a one game match day 'kick off' to new career, to tournament just freezes after 3 or 4 minutes of game play and I have to re boot the game from scratch.
Needless to say i'm really disappointed and will be providing feedback to EA sports.
on 23 December 2013
Overall it's a good game, problem is it takes some use of youtube tuturials, skillgames, praktice, understanding of football and the controls for it to becomes a fun game. But be warned, this is also one of the most frustrating games ever made. I don't know precisely why but there is no other game that gives me such a sense of excitement when I win or play a good game, but also a lot of frustration when I lose (even if I'm the better player). Be prepared to lose a controller when you start playing this game.
- Endless replayability, game stays engaging.Really looks and feels like football.
- Lot of different modes, all be it that I won't use a lot of them.
- Good graphics (real sence of a real football game) and fps.
- almost no lag and quick connection is seasons mode.
- sluggisch menu's especially in career mode.
- Commentary get's irritating after a few games. I have it turned of.
- Not all countries are in the game and there is no world cup mode.
- Can be very frustrating. I think this could be helpen by better tutorials or maybe something like a crosshair of aiming help when shooting or passing.
- Online a lot of players choose the same teams, but this can't be helped.
- Sometimes still feels scripted, randomness finishing (I would accept scores like 10 - 12, like the old fifas, if this makes finishing feel more fair).
on 21 October 2013
FIFA 13 was a pretty decent game, sure it had some flaws around speed of strikers which FIFA 14 has addressed. However EA seem to take 1 step forward then 2 steps back. Instead of tweeking the bad bits and keeping the good bits they go for a complete re-write. The gameplay is quite fun apart from the fact defenders cannot clear headers. Skill moves are a lot easier as you no longer need to hold down the R2 button and they are also effective and do create extra space where before they were more showmanship. So apart from the headers gameplay I would say 4/5. What really annoys me is they have destroyed the ability to play the manager game. FIFA 13 was a step down from FIFA 12 and FIFA 14 is awful. I have come to the consulsion its because they want people to play ultimate team, which is quite fun but ultimately will cost you money. It has a coin system which people familair with online free games on social sites will be familiar with. I for one see through this, to me its EA just being money grabbing whores to the detriment of the gamer but to the advantage of their profits. For this side of the game I would give it -1 star. EA should be ashamed of themselves and I hope another gaming football franchise can come along and take the market as we all want change and I am afraid EA with their latest edition has not and cannot deliver the answer to what the football gaming fan really wants.
on 5 January 2014
I'm not the best FIFA player, or console player generally, so I don't mind losing to better players as I'm used to it.
FIFA 13 was frustrating at times, but I always accepted that was down to me. It was a good game.
FIFA 14 is the only thing in the world that absolutely infuriates me. A rage I did not know I had in me.
The result of the match is totally randomised, decided by whose defenders & goalie do the craziest things.
A top-of-my-head list of bugs that will have you spitting every game:
1. Your goalie has a mental breakdown. Concede
2. Every tackle ends at opponent's feet, often magically clear through on goal. You can tackle one player 17 times and he still ends up through on goal. Concede
3. Defenders NEVER jump at corners. 7ft defenders vs 5ft 7 strikers lose, a lot. Concede
4. Switching player stops the defender running. Concede
5. Switching to the wrong player. So wrongly it's incredible. Concede
6. At random, when you are chasing a player pressing square to tug, instead, 3-4 metres away from the opponent he will attempt a little toe poke tackle, poking thin air with his foot. Otherwise you'd have caught up. Concede
7. Attempt through ball to left wing where 3 guys are clear on goal, clearly holding that direction on the controller - oh it's gone for the right wing where a lone guy is marked by 4 men instead.
8. Superhuman goalies for randomly picked matches. By superhuman I mean you will not score under any circumstances, 15 Banks quality saves in a row.
9. John Terry catching up with Aguero, Walcott, Ronaldo, or anyone for that matter. With full energy.
10. 'Normal' crosses, from a normal angle, with an able winger, with no pressure. Fly out for a throw in other side. So you have to double tap to near post every time
11. Bundle situation anywhere on the pitch? Crowded area? Your 5 players will lose out to the 1 opponent who is now clear through on goal
.......there are so many more, I could knock up 50 no problem at all but I have a day to get on with.
For the REALLY good players, these aren't a problem - they can get on and beat you anyway.
I am guessing that all the good 4-5 star reviews are from really good players who run rings around the average guys like me. I don't care about losing to them, they are pros and will always beat me fair and square.
The rage comes from the marginal games, two average-decent players battling it out online. The outcome is totally at random.
The better of the players can have 20 shots on target at close range vs the opponent's 2.
Depending on how many of the defending bugs mentioned above occur, he (or she) could win 7-0, or lose 0-1. It is pot luck. And it is so wildly random, it's not weighted to the guy having 20 shots on target's favour game after game.
THAT is the infuriating thing my friends.
You could argue that this reflects real life, you are wrong - glance at the (partial) list again.
And upsets / totally undeserved victories are freak occurrences, not the norm with 50-50 odds every time.
Everyone loves football, and I want to play a football game in the evening. This one drives me to drink, it would challenge even a Zen Buddhist's mental state. In fact if you are a football lover & practicing Buddhism, thinking you've 'made it', try this game and see how far you've really got.
It is terrible game playing, and bad for the average player's mental health. Stick to 13.