I’m going to just come out and say it straight off the bat, I hated FIFA 14. It was too slow and a very such a mid-field slog. I know some people will say that’s what football is, but I just couldn’t get my fun factor from it, all I got was frustration. Now making a sports game every single year or any game for that matter isn’t going to be an easy task, you must improve on last year’s version but not change too much. ‘FIFA 15’ does just that, though there isn’t anything here that screams “next gen football”. Despite a few minor issues FIFA 15 is of a high enough quality to warrant a purchase and spend hours online defeating your friends (and of course hours and hours and even some extra cash on Ultimate Team Mode).
Let’s talk new features and tweaks, so we can get the bad out of the way first. Goal Keepers were supposed to be FIFA 15’s biggest draw card according to EA. In FIFA 15, they are almost like Superman at times! One of the gripes I had with FIFA 14 was that while these guys can save some amazing shots, but on occasion an extremely simple shot can still find it’s way into the goal. This happens in FIFA 15 as well, but to a lesser extent. Somehow in FIFA 15, you also have the ability to successfully shoot 30m screamers more often than the last few years as well. Overall the goalkeepers feel inconsistent – something that should be addressed. Another small issue is the power has been slightly tweaked yet again for headers and shooting, making penalties and crosses slightly more difficult to achieve, you just have to be a bit quicker now with the power. I have missed shots I would of landed in FIFA 14 or or even FIFA 13 as they were too powerful, but after a while you will adjust to the new sensitivity.
One of the new features to FIFA 15 I particularly enjoy are the player emotions. While these are purely cosmetic, they make for a much more realistic depiction of the game. Sometimes a player will cop a spray from a team mate over repeated mistakes, other times a player may behave differently for the rest of a match after receiving a foul. There are over 600 of these emotions and it really does feel like you’re watching real game of football on TV!
Tackles have been tweaked and are more successful than FIFA 14; which is great as defenders like Nemanja Vidic have a greater chance at getting the ball from someone that frequently scores goals like Lionel Messi for example. The other big feature is the improved A.I for match situations, which enables the CPU to protect a lead or go all-out attack if they are behind. While this is a bit more realistic it’s also tends to be overpowered, in one match I was up 4 – 1 at half time, early goal in 2nd half to make it 5 – 1. The match finished 5 – 4, they went berserk in attack and they were almost unstoppable. Another game saw me losing by one goal, with my opponents trapping the ball and didn’t play any sort of attack at all, which made it difficult to get possession back and to score a goal to tie the match.
As most of you already know, most of your time with FIFA 15 will be spent playing multiplayer, in either online matches against friends, Career Mode or Ultimate Team. Ultimate Team now has loan deals and concept teams, which are a nice addition but getting those players you want might end up spending a bit of coin. Nothing here has really changed to be honest besides a new attribute for FUT players ‘PHY’ which stands for “Physical” which of course helps them be more aggressive and win physical battles on the field. The new match day presentations (which really are a nice touch) and the ‘Legends’ players are now exclusive to Xbox.
Sound-wise, FFIA 15 is just like any other FIFA title. The soundtrack is great as usual, but the commentary is still repetitive. Overall the audio is great especially in 5.1 you can hear a lot of calls from the pitch and the ball really makes a nice thud when it hits the cross bar!
- Fairly faster version than last year’s.
- Easier single player experience, less of a mid-field slog.
- Presentation is so gorgeous it borders on photorealistic.
- Solid Gameplay remains intact.
- Inconsistent Goal Keepers.
- Repetitive commentary gets annoying.
- Hasn’t progressed as far as series fans would have hoped.
It might seem as though I have a mixed opinion on FIFA 15, and while I’ve pointed out both the good and the bad features of this title, I still feel it’s a solid football game. It feels like a mix of FIFA 13 and 14, which is great as FIFA 15 shares their best qualities, but it doesn’t feel like a “true” progression for the series. This is one of the best football games in years (in regards to graphics and gameplay) but part of me still feels like I’m waiting for a football game that will truly utilise the power of the Xbox One and PS4. If you’re a football fan and you’re after a more accessible FIFA title, defintely check out FIFA 15.