FIFA 15 Look at me! - Games Weekly

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

FIFA 15 Look at me!

Another year, another FIFA. For FIFA 15, though, it’s the second iteration to arrive on the latest platforms. This means that developers have had a bit more than a year to get to grips with the intricacies of the PS4 and Xbox One. And it shows, particularly in terms of presentation. FIFA 15 looks and sounds good; lively crowds pack detailed stadiums as players tear along the pitch, the grass getting damaged and stains appearing on once pristine kits. It looks and feels very much like an
exceptionally well produced live broadcast of the real thing.


And that is where FIFA 15 starts showing cracks. It seems, as times, that the development team were so keen on showing off how good the game looks and sounds that they forgot to pay enough attention to how it feels. And while it certainly isn’t lacking in substance, one cannot help but get the impression that this year the developers thought style was all important. Like when a zinger lands itself in the back of the net the player will be treated to numerous replays which take far too long to dismiss. Sure, if you land a particularly sweet goal you may want to see it once again. But not everyone does. And if it’s a goal against you, all the good looks in the world couldn’t remove the sting from the wound. You don’t want to relive it.


This game is an extremely accurate simulation, and fans will likely enjoy most f what they find. Improved physics are, of course, the order of the day, and there are numerous tweaks that make the game better than what we saw before. But there are also a few chinks.

One is in the form of the AI. It manages to be both really clever and absolutely daft, almost at the same time. Players will perform brilliantly in one moment, but when no-one understands the intention of your telegraphed pass, it shows a weakness that really shouldn’t be there.

This may well be the result of the improved emotional responses put into the game these are more of a double edged sword than a chink, really. While this emotional element of the game goes a long way to make everything more believable, there are moments when it actually feels invasive. For example, blazing down the pitch, an attacker tries to tackle you. He goes down, and your player instead of sprinting along as you’re directing may well pause to throw up his hands in a “no foul” gesture. That’s really realistic, yes, but if this does happen it could well open opportunities for the opposition to capitalise. And with goal keepers that alternate between smart and overly twitchy, that could lead to problems. Add to that the fact that the game seems to prefer long shots to smart, crossing play, and you have a title that manages to get a lot right, but slips in some fundamental principles.



FIFA 15 is by no means a bad game. But it is more frustrating than last year’s version, and it does have a few weird eccentricities that simply don’t gel well with the overall experience. It almost seems as though this year’s title is more of a spectator sport than a simulation, and the player may sometimes feel a little marginalised in favour of the developers showing off.

Still, the great moments are there, and FIFA 15 remains as one of those games that players will get truly involved in and passionate about. 

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