EA’s FIFA 15 Game Review
Electronic Arts has had a rough year when it comes to their credibility among the gaming community. Titanfall did not live up to the hype and was rushed to release. Their flagship title Battlefield 4 was released with so many bugs and net code errors that it was unplayable upon release. Even recently, Sims 4’s release has been scrutinized for dumbing down the franchise and severely limiting the gameplay that has been a staple of the title for years. While Electronic Arts continues to ruin their credibility in the eyes of gamers, their sports brand, EA Sports, remains a sure thing. Much like Apple with the iPhone, EA Sports has created a format that has become a staple of the industry and mimicked for decades by other sports game developers. Each year instead of reinventing this formula minor tweaks and improvements are implemented to further evolve the franchise and keep it fresh. FIFA 15 lives up to this formula by adding more style and flair to the game, creating the most polished soccer experience to date.
In FIFA 15, EA has spent a great deal of attention capturing the emotion and drama that makes professional soccer so epic. The slogan this year for their sports franchises is “Feel The Game” which in turn adds a wide variety of cut scenes to convey the emotion of participating in a soccer match at this level. These vary from players falling to their knees after missing a scoring opportunity, yelling at each other when mistakes are made, and other physical altercations after the play. While this does nothing to enhance the gameplay, it makes the game feel less monotonous and makes the player feel as if they are participating in a real life soccer match.
Most of the controls in the game are the same as its 2014 counterpart and therefore fans of the series will not feel much of a learning curve when moving on to the new version. The goalkeepers have also been upgraded for the next-gen consoles and are better than they have ever been before. Keeper’s will change directions in mid-air and react more realistically in certain situations. Upgrading the goalkeeper AI also means that they will make more human errors when defending the net. In past versions it was possible to juke the goalkeeper in the same way every time you are going in for a point. However, in this game every point you score can be different based on the goalies unique reaction. This creates a more genuine experience than past versions and forces players to utilize more strategy when striking the net.
By no means is the AI perfect in FIFA 15 and many times the pace of the game seems to be flawed because of this. Long crosses up field happen regularly and cause the pace of the game to not feel like a soccer match at times and seem closer to a basketball game. The AI also gets very cocky during matches and many times will not pass the ball even when in trouble by defenders. Even though in my experience playing soccer this is actually pretty realistic depending on the ego of your teammates. While these flaws in the AI are annoying at times, NPC’s have always been one of the main issues in regards to sports games and is expected to a degree. This is why most players seek games online to bring the human element into play.
All things considered FIFA 15 is a very solid game and continues to be the most solid sports titles that EA has along with Madden. The beautiful graphics complemented with many new cut scenes, as well as the addition of newly enhanced goalkeepers and AI, make this a must have soccer game for the next-gen systems. Whether or not you have lost faith in EA, their ongoing dedication to the EA Sports brand continues to produce the best sports experience in video games.
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