Monday, 15 September 2014

Preemptive Previews: FIFA 15


Image from www.fifasoccerblog.com
Look at that grass. Beautiful, isn't it? It's as if, even if the game was horrible, we'd all still be longing for it. Well, that isn't the case: however wondrous the grass may be here, the metaphorical grass just isn't green enough. As the demo starts, one thing immediately hits me: FIFA 15 is striving to not be a football game, but a football matchday simulation. This means that there's a mighty focus on presentation; good for the first couple of matches, but soon it gets infuriating, and just becomes another thing to skip through. I don't want to watch two cutscenes concerning a goal kick.

Presentation is also an issue in the Team Management menu, too, but on the other end of the scale. EA are trying to make the menus for streamlined, but are oversimplifying things. In important matches, the right substitution is essential, and instead of the stats for the players, we are treated to a graph concerning a player's five abilities. Sure, it looks nice, but hardcore stats just aren't accessible enough.

EA have also stated that they want to capture the emotion of the game, but despite the player's faces being ever the more detailed, scanned with EA's GameFace tech, they always express the same "emotion". They're about as passionate as Vicente del Bosque on a rainy day in Stoke. Even when a goal is scored and players start to do whatever stupid celebration EA have added that concerns the latest dance craze of the youth.

Image from fansided.com
3 paragraphs in and I haven't analyse the gameplay yet. Tells you something about the focus of the game...

FIFA 14 was criticized for having too much of an emphasis on pace and speed, and in FIFA 15 EA have reversed that emphasis, but unsuccessfully. Even the quickest of players feel sluggish when dribbling, and tackling has now become more powerful, meaning that this new iteration has a bit more excitement, but equally has more frustration. 

Shooting has also become a lot harder to do, with goals scarcely coming. Ratings for players and teams also have more of an effect on a matches' outcome, too, with results only ever seeming to go one way or another depending on which team you choose: as Manchester City, I beat Liverpool 3-0, but as Liverpool I lost to them 1-0, even on Semi-Pro difficulty. It's a nice touch, to be honest, as difficulty has always been a problem for me in FIFA.

Overall, this year's iteration of the footballing giant looks to be a little too focused on looks, and, as it aims to be more realistic, has become a more frustrating and less fun game to play. Just focus on the grass and you'll be alright.

1 comment:

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