REVIEW: FIFA 15
By: Takudzwa Makoni
EA’s bestselling FIFA series is back again. With a reputation for solid gameplay, reliable mechanics and cutting-edge graphics, the FIFA franchise has solidified its position as market leader over the past few years.
Having developed a formula that straddles the line perfectly between simulated reality and fast-paced gaming, FIFA fans have long known that each new iteration of the game will present only incremental changes, and that’s just the way they like it!
Accordingly, most of FIFA 15’s changes are aesthetic. The detail-oriented design team has focused largely on things such as better-simulated crowd behaviour and interaction, and more realistic referee AI.
Many critics have pointed out that this sometimes slows the game down too much, as one has to sit through animations after virtually every significant action.
The counter to this is that FIFA bills itself as a simulation, and these incidental asides are part and parcel of any live football match.
Despite it’s near-perfect game-play, FIFA has tweaked goal-keeper animations, making goal-scoring tougher, with players having to be very deliberate about the angles they take on goal. Close ball-control is also tougher, punctuated when a top-tier club takes on a smaller club- the ‘touch’ and passing has been more reliably calibrated. Also, strategy is tied closer to formations.
The “registas” of the gaming world will be pleased to see that one/two’s and passing “triangles” make unlocking defences satisfying and calculated.
Off the field, the new interfaces and heads-up displays are slicker and cleaner, with a slew of options for customising game-plans and formations, an improvement on last years offering. Amateur managers will have the option of creating and storing tactical changes, ready to make the necessary changes to one’s approach at a moment’s notice. Fifa has always won points for its myriad game options.
This year’s perennially popular Career Mode comes with a revamped Global Transfer Network, improving the player scouting and talent projection abilities of each team.
FIFA 15 is unapologetically FIFA-ish. While this again is a must-buy for the millions of FIFA fanatics, casual fans who already own the FIFA 14 might want to wait for the retail price to lower before getting their FIFA on.