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REVIEW / FIFA 15 (X1)

 

FIFA 15 is a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL of a game! What makes it that way? Easy. It’s all in the details. Literally. Even the smallest details in FIFA 15 can cause players to say, “I see what you did there. And I like it.” It seems unbelievable that a series that has seen a release every year since it began in late 1993 can still bring excitement and entertainment to the virtual pitch, but that’s exactly what Electronic Arts has managed . Prepare to be made a believer.

 

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Though it’s hard to tell in this small image, each player has their eyes on the ball or an opponent.

 

Visually, FIFA 15 has very impressive, realistic graphics – down to the nitty, gritty details – as every good sports game should. Notice you can practically count each blade of grass in the image above. Speaking of grass, the pitch will begin to wear thin as the match goes on or will get muddy when it rains. Players’ clothing have creases and folds in them just as they would in real life. Even their socks are bunched up appropriately. Let’s not ignore the shadows either. Each object in motion in the image above has corresponding (and accurately shaped) shadows.  It’s flawless and wonderful.

As far as gameplay goes, FIFA 15 offers nothing too groundbreaking this go around. The game feels and plays identically to its predecessor with a few exceptions. Details. EA went above and beyond adding small details that make the game so much more rewarding to play.

 

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The crowd in the background is MUCH more stylized, unique and interactive. You can almost make out the individual faces of each fan in the stands. They also cheer, jeer and move according to the current state of the game. They will erupt in excitement when their team steals the ball or scores a goal. In contrast, the opposing crowd will cheer when you lose the ball, miss a shot, etc. The crowd is essentially another element of gameplay. Several times I found myself trying to impress them. I felt like I let them down when I missed and was filled with joy when they applauded for me.

Another detail added to FIFA 15 is what EA describes as “emotional intelligence.” The emotional intelligence feature causes all 22 players to react accordingly to in-game actions and narrator comments. Players will use one of over 600 animations to show their frustrations or excitement. They’ll perform animations of annoyance, happiness, anger, and more, all of which is based on how the game is going.

 

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The little things all add up to the most realistic soccer experience realized in video gaming. You can push and pull other players’ clothing, stumble and fall when you bump into an opponent, and overall simply move with more realism and fluidity when compared to previous years’ iterations. Even the commentators are more lifelike, commenting not only on the players but but fans as well. The ramped up realism makes for a more engaging, exciting experience, really putting you in the game which in turn makes the stakes feel higher.

As finely detailed as this game is, it isn’t perfect unfortunately.  FIFA 15 does not include every soccer team, which is a downer for those wanting to play as their favorite team or use certain players. Dribbling is pretty irritating in my opinion as well. Once you choose a player to dribble the ball with, it feels like your teammates move a whole lot slower and get left in your dust. You end up not being able to do a lot of plays until your team catches up to you. Scoring is also SUPER easy. I’ve chipped a keeper from half the court before. In accordance this, defending is really difficult. You think you’re going to block the ball and end up missing. It gets frustrating at times but I’m sure with more practice I’d get used to it.

 

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FIFA 15 could very well be named FIFA 14: Details Edition. Not that that’s a bad thing mind you. EA just kept what was already solid in FIFA 14 and improved upon what wasn’t. With its fluid, fast paced gameplay and great details to boot, the end result is a game that delivers a phenomenal next-gen sports experience.

Grab it today from Amazon for only $59.99/€47.32.

 

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