Sponsored Post: FIFA 14 – Golden Boot or Red Card? [Hands On]
FIFA 14 is here, and PS3 Attitude were invited to take part in a tournament earlier this week in an attempt to find out who has ‘unbelievable tekkers’ and who should be sent for an early bath. A group of journalists and bloggers descended on East London with dreams of footballing glory, but how did the game itself hold up under the relentless competitive pressure?
The first thing you’ll notice about the latest FIFA incarnation is that everything has had (yet another) polish. This isn’t just another re-skin (a criticism that has certainly been levelled at the Vita product) – this feels like another step up the league table.
Before the tournament started, we had a chance to play a practice game. @Weefz (from The Average Gamer) and I sat in front of an original ‘fat’ PS3 (long time, no see) and set about working through the options and controls. Thankfully, ‘Classic’ is still an available scheme for all those FIFA purists. It was a shame that, with a two-player game ahead of us, that the ‘please-wait-while-we-load football drills’ screen only allows one player to take part, although I do applaud EA for expanding that section to include real-life training.
The first thing you notice about the gameplay is that it is slicker than ever. Passing, ball control, dribbling, skills and tackling feel better than before, and look more lifelike than I’ve seen in previous FIFA titles. It’s the little touches that make a difference. For example, if the ball goes out for a throw-in and bounces back onto the pitch, the attacking player will run to pick it up and make his way quickly to the line in order to take the throw-in quickly. It keeps the action going and that, in turn, keeps the interest and excitement high.
Our only criticism of the game itself was that, in all the time we practised, there were no fouls, bad tackles or yellow cards. Not for the want of trying though – @Weefz was giving it her best shot and diving in with both feet at a moment’s notice. While everything in FIFA 14 seems to mimic real football as closely as possible, including the superb commentary, games do tend to move ahead without much ‘incident’.
We got into the tournament proper after one practice run and, dear readers, we did our best but it simply wasn’t enough. 1-0 down after 88 minutes and we managed a set of beautiful passes that led to Rooney side-footing the ball into the back of the net. Little did we know, until two virtual minutes later, that there was no extra time in this tournament; penalties beckoned.
And here is my only really big gripe with FIFA 14. Penalties are still too difficult. I remember when they introduced the green bar system a few years ago. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. Needless to say, PS3 Attitude crashed out of the tournament on penalties faster than you can say ‘England’.
Other than that personal dislike of the penalty system (and I’d still have the same opinion even if I’d won and moved ahead to the next round), FIFA 14 really is the best football game yet. It is bound to become a regular fixture on the Attitude Towers PS3, and we’ll be keeping an eye on how much better it will look when it comes to the PS4 in November.
This post has been sponsored by EA Sports (and all money goes to charity, of course) but all thoughts are our own.