The FIFA 2014 World Cup is approaching and that means it's time for yet another new football game from EA. Surprisingly this latest FIFA spin-off is not arriving on PS4 and Xbox One, but is instead destined for PS3 and Xbox 360. What this means for owners of the new systems is that either they step back into the old generation and take the graphical hit that this title brings with it or they sit and watch everyone else enjoying the footballing festivities.
As you'd expect, FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil is dedicated in every way to FIFA's premier competition, however it also has some new and nice surprises which failed to make an appearance in FIFA 14. For instance, when in the menus you can switch between two chat radio teams, who'll talk all about the build up to the World Cup while you go about your business. There are plenty of ways to play the game too, whether you want to rewrite the Story of Qualifying by playing through different scenarios or take your own team on the road to the World Cup, starting from qualification all the way through to the finals itself. Other options allow you to play in the finals, Captain your Country or even re-write the story of the World Cup once the real-life matches have taken place.
While some of the above options did not work in our review copy for obvious reasons, I was still able to test out the main gameplay modes. First up was Road to the World Cup. Taking control of Scotland I took part in qualification, trying to succeed with my team where the real life managers failed. Doing so presented me with quite a few options, such as the ability to play in the same group Scotland had in the build up to the World Cup or begin with a completely new group. Other options include the ability to play friendlies and even train with the squad in a variety of training scenarios which are present to help the individual players improve. Road to the World Cup seems a pretty decent mode, although like I say, the on-field action is slightly less impressive than when playing FIFA 14 on Xbox One and PS4.
Another mode I enjoyed playing in this game was Captain your Country. In a way it's much like Road to World cup in that you play friendlies and qualifying matches. The main difference here is that you are competing with other players in order to become captain. During a match you will only control your own player, this means that you can keep an eye on your match rating and those of your teammates to make sure you make more of an impact on the match than they do, although you must not forget to play as part of the team. Another interesting part of this mode is that when training you'll be competing against your teammates, so you'll need to make sure that you perform better in each scenario than they do. Ultimately your goal is to become captain and lead your team to the trophy, which is my teams case was probably always going to be mission impossible
Obviously online is a big part of FIFA these days and multiplayer is well catered for. Taking things online will give you access to all manner of options, such as the Online FIFA World Cup and Road to Rio de Janeiro, the latter of which allows you compete in an online tournament across the 12 venues of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
As far as presentation goes 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is a carnival of colours. As soon as you hit the menus you'll be met with some eye-bleeding bright colours. It's a fun looking menu which pushes thoughts of Brazil, carnival and fun right in your face. The menu presentation is certainly a far cry from the usual game, although at the same time still has some familiar options such as online play and FIFA Football Club.
When it comes to the matches, FIFA feels as familiar as ever, except of course for the added World Cup atmosphere. There have been some in-game improvements such as tweaks to dribbling, passing, first-touch mechanics and (off the pitch) to fan celebrations, but as with most FIFA games you really need to play for quite a long time or at least load up the previous title in order to notice them.
Overall, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is exactly what you'd expect, a slightly improved footballing experience with a World Cup theme. If you want to get into the World Cup party mood and are a huge football fan then it's highly unlikely that you'll be disappointed with this title. You could of course stick to FIFA 14 and play as international teams, but then you'd be missing out on the carnival atmosphere that 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil provides.
Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: _@wotta | PSN|XBLA: wotta
(Version Tested: PS3)
+ Full of atmosphere
+ Some great gameplay modes
+ A few gameplay tweaks push FIFA one step closer to realism
- Sadly no PS4/Xbox One version and therefore feels like a step down
- More of the same, just slightly improved and with a different skin