Fifa 14 Xbox 360, PS3; EA Sports; cert: 3+
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Such is the nature of the annually updated sports franchise that any change to a successful formula is likely to promote debate. In Fifa 14, the talking point is Precision Control. A new gameplay system based around player momentum, it makes it much more difficult to perform a major change of direction, resulting in player movement feeling more realistic - yet a little less responsive - and quite different from Fifa 13. Ball retention and dribbling are more challenging, requiring players to use passing and off-the-ball movement to create space. While initially jarring to the Fifa stalwart, it soon promotes a more considered, strategic approach to the game.
Elsewhere, the new shooting mechanic impresses, adding realistic mid-air movement to shots, making for some spectacular finishes. But while gameplay changes feel largely positive, others do not. The new menu system feels cumbersome and irritatingly slow, and matches can be subject to occasional stuttering and slowdown.
Those expecting major evolution will be disappointed; Fifa 14's changes are hardly radical - and sometimes unwelcome - but its range of game options is unrivalled. With Career mode, online (including a new 2v2 co-op Seasons mode) and the wonderful Ultimate Team, it remains the most feature-rich football game on the market. Andy Alderson
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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