The demo of FIFA 14 has totally took over my mind like a storm and to start, I don’t know where to. But let’s get down to this, FIFA 14 Demo looks like a top notch demo product to say the least, it’s almost in co-relation with the previous edition. But after you’ve gamed for like an hour at stretch, you will feel the co-relation growing even more strong. Which is, good and bad in so many ways.
INTERFACE, GRAPHICS AND LAYOUT:
Let’s come to the fresh and appealing bit about FIFA 14. Coming from the demo, FIFA 14 is coming with an all new Windows 8/Tab inspired Actions Screen. Which means you can access your Kick Off, Manager Mode, FUT and EAFC from one single home screen. Thank you down panel I was so done with you. You may say that the whole look and feel of the new FIFA has been synced with the pre-existing layout of the FIFA Ultimate Tournament Mini Screen.
Speaking of the FUT from FIFA 13, nothing has been much changed. Except for the fact that now you can compare your FUT standing with friends logged in and signed up for FUT alongside. The layout and rules remain the same, as far as the Demo goes. There are online as well as offline matches and leagues, conquer them and explore the strengths of your team to progress.
The addition of a television commentator may have replaced the post match analysis that used to stand out in FIFA 13 Manager Mode. The commentator basically takes you through the match details, I think he will also tell you about injuries and player morale just like in FIFA 13. The halftime and fulltime as well as goal replays have been retouched for good. In FIFA 13, the replays used to happen within the same broadcast camera angle, but with FIFA 14 the celebration moments focuses on players with extra zoom in. The celebrations, as far as my date with the demo went, will consist of the FIFA 13 essentials as well as the trademark styles that some players have coined (like Balotelli’s Muscle Man celebration, Ronaldo’s Keep Calm celebration). The trademark celebration is now activated using the pass button while in celebration stance.
The halftime/fulltime analysis menu and the whole drop down in matches have been completely replaced by the same Tab style screen. And it is actually nicer than you’d think. With the flick of the right analogue stick you can switch to a different formation, depending on whether you’re chasing a mammoth scoreline or securing a marginal win. Check the best players on pitch and in-depth stats.
Even the EA intro is revamped and looks stellar, not that it is crucial to FIFA 14 in any way. But where I’m not happy is the part that FIFA focused so much on in Gamescom, the theatrics of the spectators and fans inside the stadium. They still looks like stiff human placards served on a plate.
The reason why people would buy FIFA 14 is to see and experience how they’ve evolved and raised the standards of their existing engine in the newer version. If this was the brief, EA Sports has strategically chosen to abide by it with lesser major advancements in gameplay. The player structure is almost the same as FIFA 13, but the movement is slightly altered. I’m an open minded person, so I believe the changes are quite person-to-person depending. I liked it because it surely triggered me to stick to basics and the engine will figure out the rest for itself. Let me explain.
The basic controls remain the same, including the chip/overhead through pass and the finesse shot, but the precision has been changed a lot. Your chips won’t reach the desired area, neither will your finesse be a perfect Thierry Henry far post finesse. When you have the ball, and unluckily if you are a dribbler, you will have to make sure that you control the ball right, or it may simply slip past you. Receiving a ball on the chest has been made a little pro, now you will bounce it on your shoulder/chest and anticipate the landing space. If the opponent reacts quicker, then the ball is his.
Defensively FIFA 14 is tactically improved to such an extent that it almost becomes a walk in the park, unlike in FIFA 13. There is better communication between two blockers, which means if one halfway succeeds in tackling a player with the ball, the other will make sure that he has the ball. If you trigger the double blocker vs one attacker button (R1 on PS3), it becomes even easier. Wait…. This changes completely if the team is attacking you inside your D. The defenders needlessly panic and kick the ball into each other’s faces.
Attacking anywhere outside the D is an uphill task, but if you get inside the D you can almost dribble your way into the goal. Or score from a 30 yard screamer outside the D (which was close to impossible in FIFA 13) The dribblers can dribble at will, even with the skill button inactive, I just got a taste of El Shaarawy’s skills on/off the ball and I think this will give me more creativity in that short span of seconds before scoring a goal.
What I really liked about this demo is the fact that judging player moves is key to building up to a goal. You will easily spot either of your players shifting the play, escaping the defenders and reaching for the mouth of the goal. With the FIFA 14 grounded through pass you can reach exactly at the receiver’s feet. The crosses can now be manually curled. And that makes the game plan easier and more tactical. Set Pieces are relatively easier, as I can now reach for the ball four out of five times. The one thing that bugged me from FIFA 13 was the fact that players would crash into each other, it doesn’t now. There will be balls bouncing off your players but that is completely your fault if you can’t power your shot properly.
I’m a bit let down by the fast paced player body movements in FIFA 14 demo, hope these can be manually fixed from the game screen in the game edition. Now it looks almost animated. The defense mechanism also occurs automatically as a result of this. Rest of the bits from FIFA 14 are clean, the grass is definitely greener and Zlatan’s ponytail hangs like a Wavin’ Flag all through the demo. I just pray that the EA servers do not throw terrible game lags my way because the engine so far has bettered the previous one and has added the professional stint in its own limited ways.
This isn’t your shooter game wherein you need fresh storytelling and maps with every new edition, this is football and with most of the aspects still borrowed from FIFA 13, I don’t feel disappointed, at all. In fact I’m happy because it will hardly take 3-4 games for me to know the changes, understand the basics and get ahead. This is a new season, with some amazing transfer stories, so kick your guts out this 24th of September when FIFA 14 comes out for PC and Consoles. Take it from me, if you are a die hard FIFA fanatic, you surely cannot miss this one out.