The closest you can get to being Lionel Messi, without actually being Lionel Messi.
FIFA is back and includes a whole host of new features, as well as some fan favourites that have returned for EA Sports’ most recent football simulation.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Price: £42.00 (Amazon.co.uk) – $59.96 (Amazon.com)
What I Think
I’ve played every game since FIFA 06 so I’m nine years in and I can safely say that FIFA 15 is the most realistic football game that I’ve played, though it’s far from perfect. The most notable changes are the visuals and the impact engine.
Playing on the PlayStation 4 I instantly noticed that players look almost life-like, weather affects playing conditions on the pitch, and even the stadiums are more vibrant, though they can be a little over-exaggerated; for instance a low-league team having 50,000 supporters. Speaking of stadiums however, a deal has resulted in all 20 Barclays Premier League stadiums being included in the game.
These are all subtle changes which could sum the game up perfectly, although it is up to you if a yearly subscription to EA is worth it, as many people simply see the games as a seasonal roster update with slightly crisper looking grass.
Features & Improvements
FIFA 15 is a notable progression on its’ predecessor though. The controls are a lot smoother making movement feel good, and players react realistically to goals, missed shots, tackles and fouls. Also lesser skilled players like myself will be happy to know that Defenders and Goalkeepers have been improved and are now considered ‘next-gen’ with their own behaviour and abilities, and will react to certain situations as the match unfolds. Don’t worry they’re not overpowered they just respond better than before, but you’ll probably still be scoring 40 yard screamers.
The most notable game mode that FIFA 15 has to offer is the ever popular Ultimate Team, recognised among various EA Sports games as letting you build your dream squad. One of my criticisms of this however, is that if you don’t plan on parting with more money prepare to play endless matches to get the players you want, as they go for quite a lot on the in-game transfer market.
Other modes include Pro Clubs, where you can get your friends together and play as a team, Online Friendlies, where you can play your friends directly, and Tournament Mode which enables you to set up custom tournaments.
Same Old FIFA
There are some things that just haven’t changed, and that the game does badly. Starting off with what has followed FIFA 15, the menu. It seems like I’m nit-picking here but the menu is quite complicated (although it looks cool) with some game modes on ‘home’ appearing also on ‘play’ and so on. Also weird issues like lag and some game modes not working properly have been reported as they were in the previous title, though I haven’t come across many problems yet. Finally a returning concern of mine is EA’s Ultimate Team ‘pay to win’ ideology which basically means if you pump enough money into the game you will beat the people who don’t.
The newest issue that has arisen is with the player impact engine – which I actually like. These new animations have appeared to mess with refereeing as I seem to get red carded for perfectly fine tackles nearly every game, and this has never been the case before.
Overall FIFA 15 is a decent football game considering that it has next to no competition and nothing really to compare it to, with the likes of PES dying out in recent years. It is still one of the best games to play on the sofa with your mates, which is why I’m happy that they have included Tournament Mode this year as it helps to decide who the true Messi of your friend group is, in a fun way.
FIFA 15 Game Modes:
- Match Day Exhibition – Play offline with friends or AI
- Ultimate Team
- Online Seasons
- Online Friendlies
- Co-op Seasons – 2v2 matches (New)
- Practice Arena
- Pro Clubs
- Tournament Mode (Returning to FIFA 15)
- Skill Games
- Match Day Live – follow your favourite teams
- EA Sports Football Club
- Ultimate Team App for Android and IPhone (New)