Another year, and now another FIFA is upon us. The question to ask is, should you buy it? Is there much of a difference in terms of gameplay and graphics for people to want to upgrade to the newer version.
In my honest opinion… No. I’m apart of EA Access so I’ve been able to play it since the early trial, and I also played the Demo which arrived before this.
Before playing the Demo I was adamant that I wasn’t going to buy this years iteration. Mainly because from what I had seen there was no real differences I could see.
I played the Demo and still felt the same. However I think the limitations on what you can do in a demo makes it hard to judge the game. Specially as I like to try the Career and FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), and the only look I had was at FUT, where I was given a superstar team to play as. Not really realistic as most if not all the players on my team I would never have the privilege to use on my actual team. Although I do understand this is only a taster of what is meant to come, so that can be forgiven… Just ;).
Then the trial was released and I had 6 hours to sample the full game. First thing i went for was FUT, mainly because this and Career are the only modes I like to play. First impressions of the game were that it looked the same, other than a few graphical upgrades. The game utilises the same ‘Metro’ style menus that are used in FIFA 14, but this doesn’t bother me, as they are actually quite good and do the job.
The next exciting part for me was actually trying a game. My first game was in FUT, just a friendly against the Team of the Week, which I ended up drawing 2-2. Love a Desmond. The gameplay during the match felt smooth, and you can tell there have been updates to the way players touch and hold the ball at their feet. Also with more skilled players, who can dribble and control well, you can see how that affects their game by being able to switch direction rather sharply and not be punished much for it.
The next thing I want to mention about the gameplay is the Goalkeepers. This has been a big thing this year for the series, with more animated goalkeepers, better responses and the ability to save things with reactions, just like they would in real life. Example I can give of this is if a balls crossed in to an attacker, and they head, kick or volley the balls and the keeps dived in front of them and got a touch to it, it’s that kind of fine detail that s been worked on with reactions, and I think that it has been done brilliantly. Theres times it will come off the keepers chest, head, arm, leg and you know for a fact that that is what could have happened in real life. However I have noticed that there are instances when a shot will be straight at the goalkeeper and he wont even attempt to save it and go right through/past and into the net.
I have to give this an honorable mention too. The crowd. I love the crowd on this game. There are so many different models used that you don’t see the same person twice. (At least not in the same section of crowd). Their reactions are fantastic too, and I love it when I’m playing away, I score and you can just see a tiny segregation celebrating! Brilliant
Also I have to give a mention to the kinds of goals you can score…. Like this one..
There is still one thing that lets the game down…. Referee’s. I’ve found decisions have been hit and miss still, although it has been few and far between with the bad decisions, I don’t think I’ve had enough of a variety of the Referees to warrant commenting on them. However from what I have played, they have been better.
Modes in the game havent changed much, if at all. Usual culprits are there in kick off mode, Pro Clubs, Ultimate Team, Career etc. One thing I’m very impressed by (when it works) is Match Day Live. Getting the information for your team, direct to your console is fantastic. Being able to read news, see the league table, next fixture is a lovely little feature, and one I’ll be using a fair bit, specially on Match Days.
I said above that I didn’t think it was worth upgrading to the new version, and I still believe that if you’re enjoying FIFA 14 still, stick with it and wait for the price of 15 to come down before making the change. However saying that, if you do upgrade then there is fun to be had. I have slated FIFA in the past, but so far have enjoyed 15, and I’m not regretting the purchase… yet… 😉
Last years FIFA only got a 70% from me, that was because I felt 14 hadn’t evolved much from 13. However with FIFA 15 I feel there is some evolution there, specially with touches and the way Goalkeepers react now. It is a big improvement. So this year I’m going to give FIFA 15 87%.