Title: FIFA 15
Genre: Sports Simulation
Developer: EA Canada
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Reviewed On: PS4
Every year EA releases another installment in their long-running football simulation franchise and there is a 50/50 chance that there will be a radical change that makes it seem like a new game. It seems like this year is one of the good years.
FIFA 15 begins with the final match of the Barclays Premier League, which pits the player as Liverpool against Manchester City at Anfield for the championship. This match shouldn’t be missed as it showcases many of the great new features of FIFA 15 including the emotion system and the now fully licensed Barclays Premier League complete with authentic TV graphics. The level of detail that they’ve put into this particular league is staggering. Chants are authentic and well-timed, each of the 20 stadiums have been faithfully recreated and the players’ faces look realistic too through the magic of face capture. Simply put, if you are a supporter of any team in the BPL and you own a supported console, this is the only football game you should get.
Another thing that EA Sports had reworked is the goalkeeper AI. The goalkeepers now move realistically and make instinctive saves. The slew of new animations help to make watching the goalkeeper save your shot with an outstretched hand a little more bearable. Unfortunately, the system is not perfect and the goalkeeper just stands there like a tree while the ball goes into the net.
The first thing that EA revealed about FIFA 15 was the Emotion system. According to EA, each and every player on the pitch has some sort of emotion towards each player. This means that if a player who is already angry with someone tackles him they would start to push each other and try to pick a fight. EA boasted as that they had added 600 new animations for this system but frankly I haven’t seen much variation. This system is also practically nonexistent if you are playing a short game. But it is a welcome feature and adds another layer of reality to this game.
The User Interface of the game is amazing and probably one of the best UIs I have ever seen. Going through the menus is easy and fluid. The core game-play of the game is mostly the same but they are still some new features. The fact that you can control the receiving player while taking a free kick or corner kick is a welcome change. The shooting system is a bit overpowered but not enough to hurt the game-play. My only gripe with the game-play is the fact that your entire team stays put for a few seconds after kick off and if the opposition has a pacey player like Bale, then they could easily run through the defense and score. This was a problem with last year’s version too. The graphics on the current-gen version is still great but there are a few improvements like realistic pitch wear.
The best part of the game right now for me is Ultimate Team. They have included all new features like concept squads which allow you to bring in a player that you don’t already have into your team and see how he fits in or create your own dream team without needing to go to sites like FUThead. Overall the game mechanics of UT is largely unchanged. Seems like EA followed the policy of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” here and I don’t mind that at all. They haven’t neglected the Career mode either, and it feels more fresh with more choices than last year’s version.
Overall this game is really fun to play especially when you have your buddies around and if you don’t have extra controllers you could always play great online modes like Pro Clubs and Ultimate Team which are almost always a blast. Going solo isn’t that bad either – Career mode and Skill Games can keep you addicted for a long time and as with every sports game it has immense replay value. Despite all the flaws it is one of the best football games out there right now if not one of the best sports games. There is no doubt that there are things that need to be fixed , but they aren’t huge important things. Taking the few flaws into account I have decided to give this game an 8.5 out of 10.