Another year sees another FIFA hit the shops, but is it any good? We gathered a group of lovely MLG FIFA fans to give us their verdict. Let me introduce Site Editor Simon Stevens – (SiStevens) and community members Toby James – (tuds17), Barry Walls – (Basher Walls), Jay Fantana & Jason Langridge – (Jasonlan).
What are you enjoying most this year on FIFA?
Simon – I deliberately avoided purchasing FIFA 14 on next gen so I saw a bigger difference between FIFA 14 (last gen) and FIFA 15 (next gen) and the differences between those two are quite significant visually. However my Xbox One DID come with a copy of FIFA 14 and I succumbed to booting it up which has taken a little bit of the sheen off the polish there as the difference from last year’s next gen release and FIFA 15 is minimal at best; although with that in mind the realism once if you in a premiership game visual is excellent. The fact there isn’t a single generic face for any of the premiership teams makes my OCD happy but I digress. Career Mode. Seem pretty basic thing to be enjoying but normally I focus all of my attention on Ultimate Team just because of the nature of it. This year I have decided to really make a concerted effort to complete more than a season in Career as well as coupling this with some pro club matches with the community
Toby – I’m really enjoying the differences in controlling a world class player compared to others. Being on the ball with Leo Messi compared to Nickolas Bendtner actually feels worlds apart now. Gameplay and match presentation as a whole also have stepped up.
Barry – Single player Career / manager mode and Single Player Ultimate Team
Jay – The fluidity of movement, ball control and contextual shots/passes etc. are unprecedented compared to any football game before. Everything feels more natural and closer to the real game. It is incredibly exciting when you are a goal down with mere minutes to go and you push through on goal and the keeper gets something on to the ball, falling agonisingly wide of the post. In that sense the shooting feels much fairer to last years ‘on rails shots’ and rewards cute thinking, slotting to the near post past the goalie gives you a real rush outfoxing the opponents. Pro Clubs AI has been given a significant boost, from being (in 14) as useful as a fart in a space suit to competent in this update. Again with the contextual movement/shots etc. you feel far more in control of your player and adds much more variation in the balls movement, whether it’s a shot, pass or deflection, everything feels just right in that sense.
Jason – Pro clubs is really good fun and I love the loan players.
What do you not like? What needs improving?
Simon – A few things actually: – The commentary this year seems to have taking a little bit of a dip in quality and I can’t seem to go two matches without at least one repeated line. This may get better once my loan spells finish and I am back in the premiership but at the moment, not overly impressed. – The AI’s rage goal response to you scoring is quite annoying. Regardless of when you score the opposition will kick off and try to take on all of your players on route to the goal – a well (or badly, depending on your point of view) timed foul is normally the only way of stopping it. – Finally the biggest disappointment and all I need to say is that I’m playing on a PS4 for you to guess what it is. I find it ridiculous that a PS4 player has to turn off their uPnP settings on their router (official EA response currently) in order to stop the lag issue. This issue wasn’t fresh on day 1 as the video below was taken during the demo that was released two weeks before release date – a day 1 patch should have been in the works for this one. I also find it outstanding that not a single review mentioned this. Did every other magazine and website review an Xbox version?
Toby – I’m still unhappy with the distribution of elite players in FUT, I’ve opened over 100 gold packs… I have 1 remotely good player.
Barry – User settings – you should be able to set your own team time limit before next match in Clubs. Players like to check stats so the current time is too short. Having an agreed time before matchmaking would make life easier.
Jay – Speedy players. Speed is so far OP. It’s a real shame as defending encourages a more thoughtful approach then just steaming in like a bull at an OAP’s disco (carnage!). However when being faced with a stabbed rat on fire breezing past you, flicking the V’s as they smugly run right through your defence straight from a kick off, it certainly inflicts a fair amount of rage and self-Chinese burning.
Jason – The goalkeeper and defensive AI is horrific. After you score a goal the opposition can just go on a rage run and score almost every time as the defenders don’t really challenge the attacker.
What do you want to see added to FIFA 16?
Simon – As I said previously, I don’t see a lot of changes from last year’s iteration and with PES gaining back some ground this year I feel that FIFA has to rip up the rule book again like they did five years ago when they implemented Ultimate Team. In other words either a lot of changes has to come next year or they will be overtaken again. The two things I would like to see are: 1 – A proper Player Manager mode, not a manager mode where you control the team but a proper, player coming up for retirement, takes over the managerial reigns mode where if you pick yourself and play badly it affects morale of the team etc. 2 – Why does the clock have to stop at 90 minutes when there is say 3 minutes of injury time. The clock does not stop on Sky Sports or ITV so why on FIFA. I hope for this small but annoying thing to be changed every year and every year I am disappointed.
Toby – Not sure as yet.
Barry – More rewards for playing as lower starred rated teams. If you choose a 3 star team and play a 4 or 5 star team you should be rewarded for your efforts in ea points for the catalogue, same goes for playing better ranked players. The return of the keeper rush out in Clubs, it’s gone in FIFA 15, use to be the Y button.
Jay – I would love for the game to be slowed down a bit. I’d love a more thinking man’s version, Serie A-esque if you will style of game play. Able to pass the ball around a bit more, looking for that killer pass or sequence of movement that will unlock the opponents defence. Or alternatively have different styles from different leagues. A Spurs V arsenal game would be far more frantic and open compared to the Milan’s playing against each other etc. It would give a great level of tactics on who you chose to play against online and rethink the way you play if you play against a Serie A type team against a fast paced premier League team. It would also end the age old argument of if ‘Messi could do it on cold, wet midweek night game against Stoke.
Jason – Be good to have cross platform PS4 vs Xbox play. Be great to have the audio party open for both teams after a goal is scored so you can tease the other team!
Will you be putting the game aside for PES 2015 this year?
Simon – Absolutely not. As much as I am annoyed at the shoddy coding/testing with the lag issue and the fact that there is not much difference last year I just can’t bring myself to swap FIFA for PES. I never have been able to. Simply put my OCD will not let me. When I play a football game my OCD doesn’t want to see Dogbar of the London Blues cancelling out Wellbeaks opener for the London Reds, it wants to see Drogba scoring for Chelsea as they once again humiliate Arsenal at the Emirates.
Toby – NEVER – FIFA til I die.
Barry – No, the demo of PES 15 is really quite poor, not improved as animations just look wrong. FIFA has flaws but easily still the best.
Jay – Certainly not. PES15 does seem to have a slower pace and give that much needed breathing space in midfield and feels as if the pitch is bigger. However movement stills feels a bit laboured, shots feel fairly under powered anywhere outside of the box and licensing is a huge thing for me. Half the fun is, no matter what division your team is in, you’ll be able to play as them and right all the wrongs their real life counterparts are part of.
Jason – Not sure yet. Just downloaded the demo
What score would you give FIFA this year. The Choices are – Back of the net – highly recommend, Going into injury time – pick up when the price drops, or Early Bath – Avoid this Year.
Simon – Going into injury time – Pick up when the price drops
Toby – Back of the net – highly recommend
Barry – Back of the net – highly recommend
Jay – Back of the net – highly recommend
Jason – Going into injury time – Pick up when the price drops