Developer EA Sports
Platform Xbox360 & PS3
Release Date Out Now.
2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil is a spin off designed to recreate the excitement of the biggest sporting event of the year. This summer will see the world’s top international teams heading to football mad Brazil to compete in footballs most illustrious competition but is this a welcome addition to the long running series or just an excuse for a tie in?
The truth lies somewhere in between, surprisingly this is a full priced product and although it has seen a number of cleverly implemented improvements (and nothing quite matches the excitement of the World Cup) it does lack the scope and depth of FIFA 14 as of course it lacks any clubs teams or competitions.
This is a standalone product so you do not need to have FIfa 14 and is only releasing on PS3 and Xbox360, there is no next gen version but considering the sheer numbers of current Gen machines still in circulation and especially in Latin America this was perhaps their target market.
The game itself has received a Brazilian makeover, the menus and the presentation is very much designed in the spirit of the competition. Of course all the new stadiums have been created (even if the real world versions are still a little bit off completion) and even the crowds are getting into the spirit of the tournament. During dead ball situations the game cuts away to scenes of crowds dancing in the sun drenched stands, and gathering around big screens in the parks.
Gameplay is essentially the same base as seen FIFA 14 but the studio have had time to take on the feedback from the community and make small but much needed improvements. Headers for example are much harder to score from and passing in behind defenders is much more difficult meaning the two easiest ways to score have been tightened up. Games as a result are much tighter. This does mean much more 1 nil or 2-1 victories rather than 6-5.
There are some new game modes such as Captain Mode which allows you to pit your skills against your team mates in the race to secure the privilege of leading your team out but the main mode is of course the competition itself.
You can play the straight up world cup tournament as it will be in the summer or you can go all the way back and take on the qualification rounds as well. Mixed in between games are skill games that allow you to boost your player’s skills but for the most part this is an annoyance rather than a welcome addition.
One of the more enjoyable new additions is a kind of “podcast” that you can listen to while you play. You can chose between teams of presenting duos who will natter on about the competition in a relaxed manner and it actually does help build the overall feel of the World Cup Tournament.
Overall: Not a huge leap forward from Fifa 14 but there is enough to please the biggest of FIFA fans. If you have not picked up 14 yet then this is the best version out now but of course it does lack all the club teams and competitions which makes its full price release puzzling. Hopefully there are some exciting tie ins on the cards while the competition is in flow to make this a more connected experience.