FIFA 14 hands-on
An entire videogame generation at the top spot after having surpassed the direct competitor (although perhaps more for Konami’s faults rather than EA’s merits), even FIFA is preparing for the big generational leap towards the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. FIFA 14, which will be available for both the old consoles in late September and at launch for the new ones (unlike PES 2014, which is skipping them), is proposed to be the new yardstick for football titles and the ultimate experience for soccer fans. During Gamescom we were able to test both the PS3 and PS4 versions, and these are our first impressions.
Without making you wait too long I’ll mention at once that the differences between the two versions are self-evident, not so much for what concerns the gameplay which should remain similar according to developers, but the technological gap is glaring: after looking at the game on PS4 it seems to be in front of an entirely new game, not even a far relative of what we had just seen on PS3. However, let’s start precisely with this last one.
FIFA 14 on PS3 can be considered, without the risk of being trivial , like the natural evolution of FIFA 13: in this way it closes a circle began in 2009, which over the years has led the brand to quickly and decisively overtake their main competitor. We found then all of the features that have appeared in recent years, from the plausible contrasts to reactive AI, plus the Pure Shot, the new big feature of FIFA 14.
However, graphics wise there is little improvement, which is not surprising since the hardware is now really old. So, let’s move on FIFA 14 for PS4.
The first impact is one that takes your breath away, especially with the slightly unfair comparison with the “smaller” brother: a perfectly clean image , incredibly smooth animations, accurate facial details and, finally, fully rendered fans in the public. After years and years of requests from fans, we’re finally beginning to see EA caring not only for the field but also for the rest of the stadium, which has long been the Achilles’ heel of the series. Let’s start from player faces; if last year may be remembered as the year of the experiment, I can now say that times have matured and players can finally enjoy virtual faces resembling in all respects those of their real-life counterparts, provided that the real player is quite known in the football world of course.
In conclusion of this FIFA 14 hands-on, let me state that the upcoming entry in EA Sports’ series clearly has its roots in FIFA 13, and of course the true power of next generation consoles will only be harnessed in the next few years. That said, this is already an incredibly solid and fun football title which is improving year by year, and it will be very tough for PES to take back its crown.
Alessio: There has been a lot of talk about the revamped features of PES 2014 thanks to the new engine, while EA Sports has been perhaps less vocal than usual, but the truth is that FIFA didn’t really need major improvements – it was already a great football game and FIFA 14 continues this trend. The subtle improvements really seemed to add to a more natural style of gameplay even on PS3, and of course as mentioned by Francesco, the PS4 version is simply stunning. EA claims that the game will receive significantly improved AI on next gen, but our playtime was far too short to gauge this.
Regardless, I can say without any doubt that FIFA 14 looks like another hit and football fans aren’t likely to be disappointed by the game (with the exception of PC users, who will inexplicably receive a port of the current gen version of the game instead of the next gen one).