"Visually, Fifa 14 is a massive step up on next gen consoles, although it doesn't add too much in the gameplay department."
When we recently reviewed Fifa 14 on the Xbox 360, we scored it an enthusiastic 9.5 and felt it was one of the finest soccer games to date, even besting the excellent PES 2014. While much hadn’t changed in regards to gameplay innovation since last year’s release, it was the fine-tuning and overall polish that made EA’s latest Fifa offering so superb. Now that we’re revisiting Fifa 14 on the newly released Xbox ONE, we can clearly see where the developers’ efforts really went into. Fifa 14's immersion on next-gen hardware is unparalleled. From improved visuals to more responsive and precise controls, Fifa 14 is a must-have for fans of the sport whether you already own the last-gen version or not.
Since we already reviewed the core experience of Fifa 14 on Xbox 360, this review serves as sort of a comparison article to see whether the upgrade is worth investing in or not. In short, it absolutely is. The silky smooth visuals are unbelievably stunning and booting Fifa 14 on Xbox ONE for the first one has that exciting wow factor that sucks you in from the get go. Everything onscreen is so much more vibrant, so much cleaner, and more responsive. The menus are snappier, the framerate is buttery smooth, the folds on the players’ clothing move with their bodies…little touches of finesse are everywhere and it oftentimes feels like an entirely different game.
I usually skip the game intro videos after a few matches, but here I found myself watching them over and over. The stadium crowds in the 360 version were already impressive, but now they are fully three dimensional and seeing them in motion is spectacular. It’s not just eye-candy either, it’s far more immersive making you feel like you’re part of a living, breathing world. Once you’re on the playing field, Fifa 14 really starts to shine. Movement is so much more precise and you can literally feel the ball as you dribble your way through defense. It’s even more exciting to watch the replays, which are now completely stutter free and can sometimes look like real-live TV clips. There’s still the occasional odd animation where a player’s leg will clip and distort in weird ways, but the hiccups are so minor and far between, it’s barely noticeable.
"Despite several odd mode omissions, fans of the series will appreciate the overall smoother gameplay experience and extra layer of polish."
But not everything is perfect. EA had to make some compromises by nixing Tournament Mode, Creation Centre, and Head to Head, so some gamers might be disappointed by those omissions. Secondly, the load times don’t feel any faster and sometimes appear to be a tad longer than the Xbox 360 version. While these issues may seem like a big deal, they ultimately don’t impact the overall package by much. Migrating to the next-gen version of Fifa 14 is still highly recommended and the improvements in aesthetics and smoother gameplay are more than enough to justify the asking price. I’m sure that EA still hasn’t tapped into the hardware’s full potential, but considering that this is their first entry on the new shiny consoles…they’ve done an excellent job of bringing us one of the best soccer games in years.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Xbox One