FIFA 15 (Xbox One) Review
Ryan Bloom / Oct 20th, 2014 No Comments
All sports gamers have experienced it. You’re playing a game, and your parents begin to watch thinking they are witnessing a real-life sporting event. After a few loud button presses and some not-so-realistic close up sequences, your parents realize that it’s just a video game. Such is the dilemma of the modern sports sim.
Sports titles continue to inch eerily closer to their real-life counterparts, but there always seems to be something that reminds players this is just a video game, even when it’s difficult to determine exactly what that is. FIFA 15 bridges that gap with a presentation that mirrors the TV experience while gameplay continues the franchise’s annual tradition of greatness.
Live and In Color
Last year, FIFA made the transition to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and the results were admirable. However, some aspects of the game felt like they were built with something greater in mind. If FIFA 14 laid the foundation for the franchise on new-gen consoles, FIFA 15 adds the first layer of complexity to it — with an emphasis on the experience.
The presentation has been revamped to feel more like watching a match on TV. Player models are slightly improved and animations are much smoother. Ghosting, which is when characters go through each other, rarely occurs, although it sometimes leads to awkward animations in order to avoid it. The most obvious enhancements are seen with the goalkeeper, who dives through the air realistically and uses every inch of his body to ward off shots.
While some aspects of presentation have been upgraded, other features are more realistic simply because of the way developers use it. Post-play cutscenes — which now feature entertaining reactions from players — and close-ups use camera angles that are much more reminiscent of a television broadcast. Stadiums are brought to life by faithful crowd reactions and a living pitch that is affected by the on-field action more than ever.
If It Ain’t Broke…
The rest of FIFA 15 is mostly the same as its predecessor. Myriad game modes offer a deep, rich gameplay experience, and slight improvements in some game modes go a long way in enhancing the experience.
FIFA Ultimate Team now includes loan players, a strategy borrowed from real-world football. Rather than purchasing cards at auction or whole card packs, players can be contracted for a set amount of games. This cheaper option can help fill rosters with good players at a discount rate. Coupled with EA’s efforts to combat cheating, this makes Ultimate Team much more accessible, although it is still not as easy to jump into as Madden Ultimate Team.
Much of FIFA 15 aims to recreate the real-life football experience, but Match Day Live brings players closer to real-world football than any other game mode. This hub keeps gamers up to date with news, rumors, and headlines ripped from Goal.com. Players can simulate the latest games on the schedule, and watch the storylines play out. A friendly interface makes Match Day Live easier to follow, and the new presentation style brings headlines to life.
FIFA 15 is not huge leap forward for the franchise, and that’s OK considering its championship pedigree. For years, EA Sports has preached improved systems and seemingly incremental improvements to gameplay, but for the first time, these small pieces come together to make matches feel more like the real thing, creating a deeper level of immersion. At its core, FIFA 15 is much the same great game as it was last year, but a renewed focus on presentation highlights the game’s best elements while masking its flaws.
tags: ea sports , fifa , FIFA 15 , FIFA 15 Review , review