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FIFA 15 Makes Its Big Next Gen Debut

fifa15Dempsey

As always, soccer fans eagerly anticipate the yearly iterations of the EA FIFA franchise and this year is different.  It’s only different because this year after so long, fans finally get a next generation version of the popular franchise and many are eager to know what’s new under the hood for the PS4 and X Box One.

If you want to get a quick idea of how the game plays, you can either download the demo or watch as I give it a run here.

To be brief, FIFA 15 has begun to feel a lot more like PES than it has in many years and this may be a sign that in some aspects, EA has finally listened to fans about the way the game plays and that will be touched on momentarily. However, let’s look at the key parts of the game.

Graphics

I have to be really honest here and say that EA still has some work to do in really making the graphics shine on the new consoles. In comparison between the re-skin of FIFA 14 that came out on the new systems’ debut and this year, not a lot of updating was done but the one noticeable thing I saw was a few more player faces have finally been fixed. For instance, Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia who in the past four games I have played, has never looked like his real life counterpart, finally gets some proper justice done to his facial model. And it’s not just him; there are a few others that get some much needed treatment. Some of the stadium models look a bit better as well as some of the lighting angles but it still feels ‘artificial’ in some aspects. What really does shine is on the field and gameplay. Players will notice more signs of the pitch being torn up during the game, players getting dirty and there is more animation during the course of movement and less like players are skating around.

Presentation

First off let’s get into the menus, which have seen a big overhaul this year. As I showed you in the demo, it’s much easier to find mostly what you are looking for and keeps you organized between matches especially if you are playing in manager mode. One of the touches I really liked is the ability to create and save your starting line ups so with a few easy clicks you can easily plug in your starting XI with little fuss. As far as in the game, EA has finally started to learn a few lessons from the 2K Sports Games series with how to actually keep commentating flowing prior to the start of matches, actually discuss prior matches in relation to the game being played and now even previewing upcoming matches. Announcing is concise as always and it does tend to repeat in some places but now it feels more dynamic to the game.

Gameplay

This is where players will notice the biggest improvement to the game. FIFA 15 feels more weighty and physical that it has had since maybe FIFA 13. Now instead of limited animations, you get to see more jostling for the ball, more realistic tackling, some shirt pulling and even some shoving. Players will even notice how the pace can pick up or slow down at certain points during the game especially if one side is more desperate to score or secure a lead. In one game I played, I was down 1 – o, heading into the 70th minute and noticed that AI began to get really stingy in possession ball and did everything in its power to keep the ball away. I eventually came away with a 1-1 draw. But that’s the joy with this new iteration is that in a lot of games, you really feel hard pressed to earn wins because the AI will not play the same way the entire game.   And by the way, I am not too sold on EA’s touting of the emotions engine.   You can see players get happy or frustrated during games but to me, it’s nothing that you haven’t seen before.

All in all, FIFA 15 feels a little less of a roster update and more of a full next generation game that we wanted last year. The graphics may not be a great improvement over last year’s version but it’s still nice to look at, the menus and in game presentation has improved and the gameplay is noticeably improved and it’s much recommended to the FIFA 15 fans.

It will release in the US on September 23, 2014, in Europe on September 25th, 2014 and in the UK on September 26th, 2014.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. CTBlues

    September 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    MLS made a big deal about how they worked with EA about getting the new logo in the game how about they get EA to put the MLS stadiums in FIFA? It’s not like they would have to do much for Seattle and New England since the stadiums are alerady made for Madden.

  2. CTBlues

    September 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    You forgot to list PC as well since it got the new Ignite engine like the PS4 and XBone version.

  3. David G

    September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Maybe I’m confused but this reads like FIFA 14 wasn’t one PS4 or Xbox One.

    Does the CPU controlled teams all play the exact same way? In the demo and in past years Barca play exactly like any other team. Get ball, sprint at goal.

  4. Jack

    September 23, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I agree that the graphics aren’t quite fully what they should be on the new systems just yet, but to say it’s not much different from FIFA 14 is a disservice. The graphics are a huge step up and look really incredible. Playing on my TV I noticed how amazing they are, but playing at a friends house with lesser TV it did look a lot like FIFA 14. Try the game on a newer TV and I promise you will see a huge difference.

    But the biggest part is that after so many subpar FIFAs this one gameplay-wise is incredible!

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