Published by: Electronic Arts
Released: November 15 (PS4), November 22 (Xbox One)
Rating: E for Everyone
Available On: Xbox One, PS4
FIFA 14 launched in September on the current-gen hardware. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners have been enjoying EA’s ultra-realistic soccer sim for a couple of months. But new technology brings new innovation, and while the FIFA 14 that hit shelves alongside Microsoft and Sony’s new hardware strongly resembles the FIFA 14 that launched in September, it is different and enhanced enough that hardcore soccer fans may find reason to pick up both.
The foundation, of course, remains unchanged. If you like FIFA on any platform, you’ll like FIFA 14 on the PS4 or Xbox One. FIFA 14 runs on an entirely new engine, built from the ground up. This results in better ball awareness from AI players, more realistic ball handling, smarter plays, and tougher defenses. On the next-gen consoles, however, everything feels just a bit faster and smoother. Animations are better, players are smarter, and tried-and-true cheap tactics from previous iterations are not as effective.
There are fun additions. For the first time, co-op play has been added to the Seasons game mode, allowing you and a friend to live the highs and lows of a full season of play together. FIFA 14’s scouting mode, which was reviewed warmly in the old-generation versions of the game, is still here and as fun as ever. Every player has chemistry with his teammates; syncing up player chemistry becomes a big part of finding the perfect team. FIFA has always been about charting your own path to success, and FIFA 14 provides all of the tools you need to make this a reality.
The Xbox One and PS4 versions of FIFA 14 look much better than the old-gen versions, however you won’t find much new in the presentation. The shots are mostly replicated from existing versions, the inter-scene animations and menus are all about the same, and the audio is effectively indistinguishable between different editions of the game. In a shot-by-shot comparison, it’s easy to tell the difference between next-gen and old-gen versions of the game, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing a lot of variety. Think of it as the difference between VHS and DVD – the move is still the same, but one format is naturally superior to the other.
Overall, whether you end up buying FIFA 14 for the next-gen consoles largely comes down to two factors: How much you enjoy FIFA games, and whether you’ve already purchased an old-generation version of the game. Fanatical soccer fans will find much to love in the next-gen improvements and slicker visuals, but those who opt for one game every couple of years may not be able to justify the expense. If you already own the old copy, you’re probably fine without the new one unless you absolutely demand the most recent and pretty soccer sim available.
FIFA 14 on PS3 and Xbox 360 is excellent. But it’s even better on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.