FIFA14 Xbox 360 Putting your thinking Cap on

fifahead Date: Feb/18/14 11:00:04 Views: 864

Firing up FIFA 14 as a FIFA veteran is like being a big-name signing at a brand new club. You already know you're good at the game, but you'll have to adapt to the culture and acclimatise yourself to a new style of play if your success is going to continue. That's because FIFA 14 is a significant departure from predecessors - more of a simulation than a fantasy, sporting a big thick moustache of maturity.


Players are now rewarded for keeping possession, winning the midfield battle and looking for the right ball at the right time. The more realistic player momentum system means sprinting down the wing and lofting balls to pacey strikers just won't cut it anymore. All but the best dribblers will take the odd heavy touch at high speeds, leading to more chances that they'll be dispossessed. Similarly, if you get your timing wrong while darting in for a tackle, the more patient and thoughtful AI will happily capitalise on your mistake - especially at higher difficulty levels on FIFA14 Xbox 360 coins.

The good news is that this extra level of realism doesn't mean FIFA 14 is less exciting. Take the time to adapt your game and you'll definitely be rewarded. Shooting feels better than ever, with a larger variety of ways to make the net bulge. Long shots are vastly improved with thundering strikes, dipping volleys and floating controlled shots guaranteed to bring you to the edge of your seat. Goals in general are more satisfying - whether they're the result of a superb piece of teamplay or a scuffed shot from inside the D, the greater fidelity is simply more rewarding. The new ball physics are key to this success, making each pass, shot and throw-in feel genuine.

There's also a fairer weighting on the importance of strength, which is welcome. By holding the left trigger you'll enable the 'Protect the Ball' feature, which tells players to use their physicality to fight for or maintain possession. It works well and gives you the incentive to use players like Andy Carroll, whose strength is far more of an asset in this game than last year's.

There have also been changes off the pitch, with Career Mode getting a few tweaks. It benefits from a new, sleeker menu system and now features the Global Scouting Network - a new way to identify transfer targets. The premise is good: you hire some scouts, send them off to a country and tell them what you're after (a tall attacking midfielder, a promising keeper, and so forth). They then report back with their findings and you can tell them to scout a player for longer to get a better idea of their skills and whether you might want to make a bid. The better the scout, the more accurate their reports.

FIFA 14 represents a difficult step forward for a very popular franchise, but a successful one nonetheless. The changes have such a significant effect, that returning fans may find them off-putting through the first five to ten games. But those that embrace them will be rewarded with perhaps the most satisfying, engaging FIFA yet.