GAMER’S CORNER: IT’S A BALL

I’ve never been a huge fan of the FIFA games and not just because I do not follow club football but also due to the extreme rarity of changes that FIFA brings in its yearly updates, and its failure in making an impact in the way I feel about soccer games. But, with a new engine and redefined graphics, EA promises to deliver a game that will change the way we play football on your console or PC.

Does FIFA 15 actually deliver anything new? Let’s find out. Now, while the game is available on all consoles, not all of them run the same engine. So while the PS4, Xbox One and PC run the game on the ignite engine, those who get the game on last-gen consoles will be disappointed to find out that it misses a lot of the features that the next gen version has.

Since EA hasn’t revealed all the features it has held back from the last gen versions, it’s hard to point out where exactly the game lags behind in those, but there’s a tremendous difference in the gameplay that the two offer. If you’re picking up the game for PS4, Xbox One, or PC, here’s what you’re in for. Starting with the graphics.

The game uses the capabilities of next gen consoles to deliver players that look a tad better than in FIFA 14. Another improvement is in the character animations – slides, blocks, interceptions, passes and even goals are much more realistic and have a variety of different executions.

For example, slide tackling now doesn’t always mean watching the player slide on his knees to intercept the ball or to tackle an opponent. Depending on the situation, he may either just put out a knee to catch the ball in mid-air, or may even dive towards the player to make him lose possession. A major improvement, and one I personally appreciate, is the environment of the stadium. No longer do you have to watch similar looking fans jumping up and down in the stands, and roaring only when you enter the penalty area with the ball.

The fans look much more human and cheer at appropriate moments like after a perfect pass, or after dribbling through the defense on the opposite side. All in all, in terms of realism, FIFA 15 sets itself apart from other sport games. Now we come to what really matters in a sports game – the gameplay.

Retaining the ignite engine, introduced last year in FIFA 14, EA takes things a step further this time by introducing not just one or two, but several new improvements that can help in making your footballing experience much more fun.

First, the players do express many more emotions than before. Each player on the field has an opinion about every other player, which constantly changes over the course of the match and decides how the characters interact with each other.

This feature is well executed, but not to the extent that could woo or surprise us as most of the built-up emotions are expressed only in short cutscenes. Something that annoyed me every match was how susceptible players are to getting booked by the referees, triggered even by the slightest tackles and accidental bumps between players.

Another feature that EA has bragged about is their completely rewritten goalkeeper AI. They are more than 50 new save animations, and the goalkeeper is now more responsive, and thinks and reacts according to the situation at hand.

While this all works well to counter long shots, when the opponent striker enters the penalty area with the ball, the goalkeeper starts panicking and it’s almost certain that a kick from up close will go into the goal. But that doesn’t affect the overall footballing experience. It only adds more depth in terms of realism.

Verdict

If you plan to pick up a copy for a last gen console, expect to receive a game that is very little different from its predecessor. But, if the PS4, Xbox One, or PC is your choice for gaming, then you are definitely in for a treat.

With improved game mechanisms, upgraded graphics and a load of new features that help in making the game a tonne more realistic, FIFA 15 will definitely not disappoint, and will only give an impression of what to expect from next gen football games over the coming years.

Final score: 8.4/10

Pranav is a 17 year old whose passion is writing reviews and articles on technology and gaming. He also likes anime, books and is an avid Dota player. His gaming tag is Fleet Admiral

SOURCE: MUSCAT DAILY