Iíll never forget the launch of the Xbox 360. I was fortunate at the time to be able to afford quite a few of the launch titles and being a huge fan of football games, FIFA 06: Road To The World Cup was high up on my list.
I remember grinning through the waxy-looking football players. The shoddy animation and the outrageously rushed presentation. But when I completed the World Cup qualifying stages and the game told me that the World Cup tournament wasnít included in the £60 package I had bought, it was only my then empty bank account that stopped me going Eric Cantona on the system itself.
Itís important to remember this when considering your approach to FIFA 14
on the next generation of games consoles. Although some have chosen to moan about the ever so slightly lighter content in the next-gen version compared to its last-gen counter parts, itís still by far the best ever launch day football game.
So what has EA added? Well the first thing youíll notice is the overhaul in presentation. It's really gone to lengths to make the game feel like a television broadcast. From dramatic slow motion replays to shots of the exterior of grounds there is a clear improvement with this version of FIFA 14
No longer will you instantly skip pre-game cutscenes as youíll want to marvel at the work theyíve put into them. Maybe thatís the shine of the new tech sitting under your telly, but I think thereís more to it than that. When playing FIFA
games I want them to feel authentic, and theyíve absolutely nailed it with this.
The crowds themselves are incredible. They're absolutely jaw-dropping, and although your focus will be on the matches themselves, youíll always find your eyes drifting to what is going on in the stands. The fans are now AI driven, and although when you look closely itís obvious that there are repeated models, there are moments when they look completely real. Especially when watching replays.
When scoring a "lucky" goal against my brother I had a wonderful moment when I hit the post only for the ball to drop right in front of my drooling striker to tap it past the line. The fans behind the goal reacted perfectly. Jumping to their feet with the ball flying at the goal, only to sink their heads in their hands when it hit the woodwork and finally go crazy at the ripple of the net. Wonderful stuff.
I would still have liked to see them leave at half time for their beers or walk out if youíre getting thrashed, but itís clear that by the time this generation is done, weíll have exactly that.
is full of moments like this that try to detach you from the pad in your hand. From things youíd expect like improved player and ball physics to ball boys chucking balls back in when taking a throw. It even has moments when two balls are on the pitch and play is held up until one player knocks it off.
I swear I can also read the lips of the players too. After a foul one of my players, while receiving a yellow card, clearly mouthed ďI got the ballĒ. Itís little touches like this that will leave you with a big silly grin on your face.
In-game action feels more sluggish but less controlled. Players no longer act like magnets to the ball. When it arrives at their feet itís no longer simply under control. It feels more real when a player stumbles a bit with an awkward ball and claims some of the magic that PES
With the increased processing power also comes better player AI. I found the most of my players made more intelligent runs when on attack and the defence rarely went AWOL during crucial moments. Itís also really noticeable with crosses when more than two players sling themselves at the ball, sometimes creating comical goals but hey, thatís football.