on September 25, 2013
Each annual release of a new FIFA iteration is a bittersweet event. The FIFA series has evolved substantially over the last few years, and with evolution comes tweaks and modifications that sometime greatly improve the game, and sometimes those tweaks break a mechanic that was already working perfectly fine. FIFA 14 is no exception to this rule, and while it does take a significant step forward in some areas, it takes a step back in others.
Good changes from past years:
1.Offensive AI: Players make intelligent runs that offer a bevy of attacking options
2.Defensive AI: The physical interactions between defenders and forwards are much more realistic. Gone are the days of simply running past or around defenders with Theo Walcott or Welliton (cursed be his name). Defenders block forwards and position themselves to make tackles before the forwards can really build up speed. Most of the time.
3.Shielding the ball: Finally, you can pass the ball to a teammate and the player can shield the ball and maintain possession. Players in possession of the ball fight harder to maintain possession.
4. Player movement and acceleration: Here's a topic of debate, but I honestly feel that EA made the right call to change up how this works from past years. The first few steps a player takes are slow; players don't take one step to reach full sprint speed like in FIFA 13. Slowing down player acceleration definitely reduces the fluidity of the game, which will certainly take some getting used to.
Things EA broke:
1.PASSING!!!!! It's horrible. Atrocious. Reprehensible. Broken. It's slow, weak, and inaccurate. Even the best players struggle to complete relatively simple passes consistantly. No, it's not as if EVERY pass misses the target, but players make awful passes with far too great of frequency. FIFA 13 passing worked great, they should've left it alone.
2. First touch: This is the mechanic that adds variability to how well a player traps the ball when receiving a pass. FIFA 14 has taken this idea a little too far, to the point where players fail to control even very simple ground passes. Once again, I think FIFA 13 mostly got this mechanic right, but it simply isn't working this year.
3. Player collisions: Players from the same team trip over each other all the time; it was annoying in FIFA 13, and EA failed to fix the problem with 14.
4. Offsides: Defensive AI is better at springing the offside trap, which is a good thing. However, the result is that strikers are getting caught offisde CONSTANTLY.
As a diehard FIFA fan, I really wish I could say that I simply love FIFA 14 without any reservation, but that's simply not the case. I really like some aspects to the game, and I'm quite fond of the improvements I mentioned above. Honestly, if EA can just patch the passing system, I can live with first touch and player collisions as they are. But soccer/football/futbol is a PASSING game; if that isn't working, the game isn't working.
on November 25, 2013
To begin this review, I want to start off by saying, I loved FIFA 13.
I know 13 had its own flaws, but I don't think they were bad enough to break the flow of the game.
I know people abused Pace. And I know it was a lot easier to dribble through defenders.
But I think those are the only MAJOR flaws in FIFA 13.
In FIFA 14....I will probably have to write a 10 page essay
But I will TRY to keep it short.
I've been playing FIFA 14 since release. I pre-ordered.
And also note, my review is 100% based on Ultimate Team Game Mode and in World Class difficulty level.
This review is for PS3, don't know if Xbox or the PC has the same issue.
Here are the major flaw topics I will go over in this review:
(Starting from the Worst Flaw in my opinion)
- Player Switching (This is actually a close 1st)
- Player Physics/Momentum
Let's get started!!
As you move up in the difficulty level. (Especially, World Class and Above)
You will notice the Opponent AI get outrageously overpowerd.
While, your AI stays stupid, or even become more stupid. So *bleeping** stupid...
I'm sure you guys have noticed in FIFA 14, once you reach World Class difficulty level,
The attacking opponent AI will:
1. Dribble right through your stupid defenders
2. Make passes very very FAST to get passed your defenders
3. Chip pass passed your defenders (Still overpowered after the Mid-October patch)
4. Cross and score on your defenders, while they stand and stare.
I don't think there is anything I can do once the opponent attacker decides to score on you.
Sometimes, I got scored on less than 5 in-game minutes into the game.
Usually it goes like this. Opponent starts off with the ball.
Passes to winger, winger dribbles up the field through all my defenders, chip pass or cross,
and boom, scores.
Then I wonder why I keep playing this game.
Maybe in hopes that I can somehow figures out how to defend.
And YES, I have spent countless hours tweaking with the "Custom Tactics" and it doesn't help much.
I remember in FIFA 13, my defenders being so much smarter.
They'd pressure harder, keep with the ball/player and prevent/intercept passes.
And a lot of time, they'd come out with the ball for me.
In FIFA 14, I very rarely see an interception occur for my benefit.
I was going to add this to the defending section,
But this is so incredibly bad, it deserved its own section.
And also keep in mind, majority of my complaint for this flaw is during defending.
ESPECIALLY on fast paced counter attacks from the opponent.
I would lose the ball to the opponent defender, and they go on a "fast paced counter attack"
Where the opponent attackers are passing or dribbling very fast up the field.
In FIFA 13, when you pressed the player switch button, it would switch you to a defender that was in the best angle/position to make a tackle.
In FIFA 14, it will switch you to the most random defender, clearly not in the best position/angle for making a tackle. So I have to switch a few more times to get the player I want.
By the time you have switched to the player you want, the opponent has already made a pass to an open player or scored a goal already.
This is really frustrating because when you are in a situation, right in front of your goal, you can't afford the extra second trying to switch to the right player.
Tackling is so difficult once you reach World Class.
First off, it's difficult to make a tackle in the first place because the opponent passes so well and fast.
They complete almost every pass with pin point accuracy as my defenders jog around and watch.
When I finally do make a tackle, the ball just rolls to another opposing player.
This happens way too much to be a coincidence.
Also, my players don't chase after the ball after I make a tackle, they are frozen, as if they are surprised I made a tackle.
And then finally, I would recover the ball from a tackle, but an opponent shows up out of nowhere to take the ball away again. It's very fraustrating.
The opponent's tackle timing is unreal as well.
Basically, once you cross the half into their territory, if you make a dribble that is a touch far from you, the opponent jumps right in front of you to take the ball, doesn't miss a beat.
Passing is so bad in this game. Again, once your reach World Class, it's even worse.
Passing within your half is pretty easy.
But after you've crossed into their half, the opponent is on you like a hawk.
First, let me say, the through balls are so hard to complete.
The opponent defenders are placed so well, they will intercept most through balls.
And from time to time, I witness the following phenomenon. And this is what gets me so worked up.
I would make a through pass, that seems like a sure completion, BUT!!!
An opponent defender that seemed too far away, suddenly teleports to the passing lane and intercepts!!
I'm not kidding guys... this has happened multiple times!!!
Or, this happens.
I would make an awesome through pass that puts my attacker on a breakaway.
Or so I thought... here comes Mr.World Class defender catching up to me in a heartbeat and tugging on my jersey.
How can 70 Paced defenders catch up to my 85+ paced strikers?
I know pace was overpowered in 13, but EA decided to take Pace out of the equation completely for 14.
Also, EA said strength was an important attribute in 14.
Not in World Class my friends... a mosquito could knock your King Kong off the ball.
Also note, I've tried "protect the ball" hahaha what a joke...
So with all the above issues, I do find myself creating chances here and there.
Enough to get a cross, or to get a shot off.
I have defaulted mainly to using the cross and header tactic,
Since I think that gives me the best chance to score.
Now, I will reiterate this again. The jump from Professional to World Class is so huge and unrealistic.
I will use this striker for example: Llorente (Juventus)
87 rated Header, 92 Strength, 93 Header Accuracy, 86 Finishing, 88 Positioning
Is out played by a much much lower rated player in all aspects.
They just push him out of the way, or jump in from of him.
In Professional, when the crosses come in well, my striker can score, but not the case in World Class.
It doesn't matter if a cross comes in well. My striker will be beat.
I use a Serie A/Italian squad, so I've tried all the best Heading/Strong players in the league. Same result.
As for the shooting, remember how I mentioned the "teleporting" in the Passing section?
Well, that happens here too.
The opponent defenders just throw themselves in front of the ball when a shot is taken.
They will block everything!!! Nothing will get through them! (I'm exaggerating a bit here lol)
I will take shots thinking I have an open lane, but a defender that seemed pretty far away will all of sudden "teleport" right in front you to block the shot.
Lastly in this section, I want to touch on the "Real Physics/Player Momentum" EA was raving about in the pre-launch FIFA14 commercials.
Oh, it's definitely there! But only for my players lol
When I defend, the opponent attackers will either do a sudden stop, or do a cut-in.
And due to the "realistic" player momentum my defender is burned, and not able to change direction fast enough to catch up because his momentum won't allow it.
That's all fine, but why doesn't this "law" apply to the opponent defenders?
When I stop suddenly, or do a cut-in, the defender is right there with me.
Or sometimes, I am able to cut-in past the defender with success.
But give it half a second, and the defender will be right with me again.
Is it because a World Class defender can predict everything I do and defy the "law" of player momentum that you yourself put into place?! Geez... give me a break...
Oh yeah, I almost left this one out.
Players knocking each other down.
I can't count how many times I conceived a goal because my defenders ran into each other creating a breakaway for the opposing team.
I even witnessed my defender knocking down my goalie during a cross.
I hope EA fixes this... this really doesn't need to be in the game.
This isn't "real" EA. Even if it was... we don't need this annoying feature in the game.
This pretty much sums up my experience.
I know it's long, but hopefully some of you read through the whole thing and provide feedback.
Some of you may question my team chemistry, which is a 100.
But I don't think that matters too much in FIFA14 to be honest.
And I don't think buying good players matter that much either.
Nothing matters in World Class. (slight exaggeration lol)
I still play this game. Almost every day even.
But I find myself quitting after a short while after I get dismantled so unfairly by the opposing team.
Please feel free to comment/agree/disagree.
Because this is just one person's opinion.
I'm most certainly open to suggestions and tips.
Because I really want to like this game.
Thanks for reading!
on September 26, 2013
I picked up FIFA 14 on launch day. Traded in FIFA 13 for it. After my first two games, I felt like I wished I still had FIFA 13. As a matter of fact, I had planned to spend my entire day Tuesday going hard on 14, and after two games put the controller down.
On first play, it has a different feel to it. The AI midfielders and defenders are almost like a swarm. You can't take speedy wings or outside midfielders down the line as far as you could in previous FIFA games. They cut you off. They play hard, get very physical, and just overall play better team defense.
The menu lags, like other people have posted. It lagged a little at times in 13. The menu lag in this one is worse.
I also agree with another reviewer on scouting players for career mode. Before, when you are doing a career mode as a manager, you could see what people are rated, and what their skill levels are. Now, you get not one thing about a player unless you send a scout. And your scouts skills to recognize their actual numbers vary. If my whole life revolved around this one game, I guess that would be ok. But I have a life, and a son and job, and I find this time consuming, annoying, and this was a bad idea in my opinion.
So Wednesday, I accepted the changes in my head and gave it another go. A few games into a season now and I'm doing much better and you will too if you give it some time. Like others complaining on here about passing to someone and it bouncing away from them right to the other team, I had that going to. The answer is L1. There are different variations of receiving a pass using the L1 button, with some other combinations to do more advanced things. But if you pass, as soon as you control the person receiving the ball, just simply hold L1 and they will control it, instead of it flying off to the other team. It's all right there listed in the moves/controls section of the game. I didn't know either until I checked it out.
I thought 13 was pretty realistic. 14 IS realistic. If you watch pro soccer, you have to play this video game with the strategy of a pro soccer game. It makes you realize how much 13 was like an arcade game, which wasn't my opinion until now. Like I said, if you understand soccer, play this game with the understanding of the game to succeed. I am enjoying it now, which I didn't think I would after my first two games. I will say however, that even though I am getting used to it, and all the realism that it brings, in all honesty, I liked the slightly less realism of 13 better.
Four stars. Docked a star for menu lag and this new way to have to scout everybody to find a fit for your team. I don't have time for that and it will irritate me for the next year. Please EA, don't do that again.
on February 7, 2014
A few things first.I am a lifetime soccer fan, played every fifa since 97. So i can fairly say, this is a crap game. Graphics and likenesses will go up and down depending on technology and evolution of it, but the game has to be fun, easy to pick up especially when its competitive. This is february, been playing since october and this game is just horrible. The passing is frustrating, I dont understand the runs made in the game, you cant defends corners. Some styles of play have been made moot, it makes no sense because you cant use weaker teams. I could care less about game modes, I have other things going on, I need to pick up and play. I have never been a pes fan, but I will probably try it this fall. what a disappointment. save your money. Crap. My rating is no stars at all