FIFA 14's next-gen tweaks and improvements are largely aesthetic, but then this is a title that, barring some balancing issues, was always as close to the beautiful game as virtually possible.
With FIFA 14, EA Sports has the reigns of the soccer industry firmly within its grasp, delivering a prominent title that will appease the large majority of fans of The Beautiful Game.
Updated graphics and player visuals are what make FIFA 14 worth picking up. The stadiums and fields look spectacular, though some minor issues with gameplay elements can bring the game back down a notch. For a title that may not have been rushed, but definitely hurried for launch, EA Sports did a good job in getting soccer fans their fix.
Several small gameplay niggles and the unexpected absence of a couple of modes prevent FIFA 14 from attaining the perfection of Barcelona's passing statistic – but that doesn't stop the series' PS4 debut from sitting at the top of the league in terms of atmosphere, immersion, polish, and attention to detail. This is not only the most well-realised soccer simulation on the market, it's also one of the best launch titles available for Sony's next generation system.
Its few flaws aside, FIFA 14 is a great game and an even better soccer simulator. The improved EA Sports Ignite physics engine makes a world of difference, and allows for a very realistic and enjoyable experience that all types of gamers can find some enjoyment in.
We've already reviewed the main game and as such the game gets the same score. FIFA 14 on the Xbox One is great but there is absolutely no reason to buy it so close to the FIFA 15 release. Doesn't make it a bad game though.
With its extensive licenses, bold and complex yet accessible gameplay, unparalleled online offerings, excellent tutorials, and clean presentation, FIFA 14 may only be a small step up from last year's game, but it remains a fantastic offering overall.
Another change I found in this version of FIFA was the amount of shoulder to shoulder combat happening all over the pitch. Lose your step for a second and you have someone bearing down on you and shouldering you off the wall. The soccer ball also sees a change, as in years' past it felt attached to a players' foot. In this version however, the ball rolls off your foot a lot easier and bounces around between players with greater frequency. This causes a lot less static play, with a greater sense of battle and strategy to be found at a quicker pace.
FIFA's first outing on next-gen is a solid effort that isn't likely to disappoint the casual or hardcore FIFA fan. Between the two, the Xbox One version includes voice command support via Kinect and legendary players in Ultimate Team, so I give it a slight edge as otherwise the gameplay is identical.
Fundamentally there are improvements, but the game doesn't feel completely balanced as a whole and the pace of matches is sometimes uneven. It happens often between console generations and while FIFA 14 on Xbox One is certainly no cheap port of the current-gen edition - I can't help but think that the next rendition will truly take the franchise to the next level.