Graphics:
8.8
Gameplay:
9.2
Sound:
8.7
Control:
8.5
Replay Value:
9.5
Online Gameplay:
9.0
Overall Rating:
9.0
Publisher:
EA
Developer:
EA Canada
Number Of Players:
1-22
Genre:
Sports
Release Date:
November 15, 2013


Beyond the obvious high score, there’s a further testament to this game’s quality: I really don’t like soccer. In fact, I basically hate it. And because of that, I have to do quite a bit of research in order to effectively and accurately review a video game based on the world’s most popular sport. I also have to talk to a few friends who enjoy the sport and have a lot more experience with soccer games. In other words, it’s a pain in the ass for someone like me to review FIFA 14 . And yet, it gets a 9. I learned a lot, I got into it, and, wonder of wonders, I had fun. The world must be ending.

I do have both the PS3 and PS4 versions to look at, and I can guarantee that there are noticeable visual upgrades in the next-gen iteration. The basic presentation and style is the same, of course, and there are the expected improvements in terms of clarity and detail. But the upgraded version features new and appreciated additions, such as more realistic stadium and fan depictions, and a myriad of subtle updates to the way players react in certain situations. In other words, while both versions look great, the next-gen version ups the immersion level considerably, simply by enhancing the overall atmosphere and embracing the spirit of the sport.

I’m not seeing the same significant jump in terms of audio, though. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the effects, commentary, and score are all fantastic in both versions. Perhaps the PS4 version has a bit better crispness but strangely, it seems the older installment has better sound balancing. I’ve noticed a distinct audio balancing issue in several PS4 launch titles, in fact; it was glaringly obvious in Killzone: Shadow Fall , for instance. But no matter which version you play, you’ll be treated to authentic fan roars, top-notch commentary work, and all the sounds that go along with an epic soccer match. If it isn’t so epic, that too is reflected in the sound presentation.

Despite the obvious similarities – and the fact that the PS3 version is perfectly solid – the upgraded PS4 version of FIFA 14 is clearly the way to go. When a sport hinges on the extremely enthusiastic, even manic, dedication of its fans, you need that atmosphere in order to accurately depict the sport. The better the depiction, the more intense the experience, right? Well, the PS4 version delivers all the extra gravy that’s missing from the older installment; there are more animations and everything is simply more fluid and more realistic. It also seems as if the extra power of the new console allowed the developers to produce more believable physics.