When the next generation rolled around FIFA was always going to be one of the first games I tried. The series has been a big part of my gaming life for as long as I can remember and while I may not always be happy with the latest version, it still hooks me in and has my waiting in anticipation for the next one.
Now FIFA 14 has hit next generation consoles and with it comes the brand new Ignite Engine. Given that the PS3/360 versions are barely a few months old, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the real changes for PS4 and Xbox One won't come until next year, however there are some significant differences on the next generation consoles which are worth your attention.
First up the obvious. FIFA 14 looks great on the new consoles. Not only are the player likenesses' improved, but grass textures and weather effects also add in a little more realism. Gameplay not only feels smoother, but animations feel much more realistic and any slow down and stuttering has been practically eliminated. The stadiums look fantastic too, not only do you get a view of the outside, but inside the crowd has come to life, adding a whole new level of realism, while there is also a lot more going on in the background, with reporters taking photos, subs warming up and the police making sure no-one streaks across the pitch in their birthday suit.
Load times have also been eliminated, so when the ball goes out of play there is no waiting, unless of course you want to watch you players collect the ball. The matches also seems to load up quicker, although challenges are still present, so if you enjoy these, then this won't matter much anyway.
On the pitch the action is slightly improved thanks to players now striking the ball in a more realistic fashion and defending feeling more refined. Slide tackles must now be timed to perfection, while players now seem to battle in a more realistic fashion while battling for the ball. Heading and aerial challenges are also improved thanks to more than two players now being able to challenge for aerial balls, although there are still a few of the issues present that current gen FIFA suffered from when in comes to headers.
As far as the menus go, most of the gameplay modes seem to be there, although strangely the ability to create your own tournaments seems to be missing, which is surely a blow for those who enjoy play-at-home leagues with friends.
In all, next generation FIFA seems a decent improvement over the current console version. The fact that it looks better and plays better sees to that. It may not be until FIFA 15 that we see Ignite Engine's true potential, but this seems to be a decent start.
Words by Joe Anderson.
@_wotta | PSN/Xbox LIVE: wotta
(Version Tested: Xbox One)
+ Looks stunning
+ More flow to the action
+ Improved headers and animation
- Not a huge leap ahead in terms of gameplay
- No Tournament Mode
We have already reviewed FIFA 14 on current generation consoles. This review is simply to highlight the differences between the current and next generation versions.