Another year inevitably brings another FIFA. The demo was released this week and what has EA brought to the table this year with their best-selling soccer game. Thankfully the game has plenty of new features and gameplay tweaks and fixes to make the game feel fresh and new and not too much like a copy and paste of FIFA 14 and the demo only has only a sprinkling of the features that will be available in the full game.
The demo starts by putting you straight into a match between Liverpool and Manchester City, two giants of English football. Straight away you can feel the atmosphere in the stadium and the pre match presentation gets the blood pumping and it all draws you in to the spectacle of the beautiful game before a ball is even kicked. FIFA 14’s atmosphere on the pitch was quite lacking but now the roar of the crowd as the teams lineup and chanting before the kick off feels like you’re in the stadium and it isn’t just a generic video game crowd watching the match, they are waiting for you to show them what you’re made of. They react to every crunching tackle and near miss and you can hear the excitement grow as you build up to that all important goal chance, then as the ball hits the back of the net the stadium erupts in noise. The cameras shake from the crowds cheering, the people in the stands jump around and celebrate like crazy and you really feel like you have just scored a goal in front of 70,000 people.
The presentation in FIFA 15 really is superb. Players faces look identical to their real life counterparts, the wear and tear on the pitch after slide tackles and players running as the game goes on looks great as well as the players kits getting muddy if it’s a wet day. It all adds to the feeling that you are in a real game of soccer, without leaving your living room of course. The menus and especially team management menu which has a completely new look. Players also have a graph beside their names so you can see how they rate at a glance in comparison to another player instead of having to look through pages of statistics like last year.
Now onto the gameplay. EA are trying to deliver the most authentic game of football you can have on a console this year with FIFA 15 and going by the demo they are doing a great job. The ball physics themselves no longer have that floaty feel they had in FIFA 14 but instead the ball feels more like the real life thing when you pass or shoot with it. Players ball control is vastly improved and when you get one on one with a defender with a player like Messi you feel like you have more of a chance of out smarting him and getting through on goal unlike last year where 9 times out of 10 you would lose the ball. Some of the more skillfull players will even flick the ball over defenders into space if you time your interception correctly. Passing feels great especially when you string a few together and get your striker through on goal with that final defence splitting pass. Sometimes in last years FIFA I felt that sometimes a pass a player should be able to make quickly before they are closed down just would never work out but I find in this years FIFA players can make all the passes I know their real life selfs can make. Shooting has been improved too with players not able to score miracle goals every game but when you do rocket one into the top corner from outside the box or score a wonderful volley the feeling of accomplishment is much greater and the replay all that much sweeter to make your opponent watch if playing against a friend. Goalkeepers have also received some improvements although arguably one or two too many. Sometimes it just feels impossible to score on these super keepers but this may just be down to lack of gameplay by myself and my shooting skills are not quite up to par to get the ball by some of the best goalkeepers in the world and into the back of the net.
So in conclusion the demo version of FIFA 15 is an absolute joy to play especially for a massive football fan like myself as it really does feel like EA have captured the feel of a football match atmosphere and the gameplay to match. With plenty of other features still to come and the whole player emotions can only be seen sparingly in the demo the full game of FIFA is looking like a must have to add to your collection. The demo is available in the store now and the full game is due for an EU release of September 23rd.
Written by Blain O Neill