By FRANCO PANIZO
Christmas has once again come early. At least, for soccer gamers it has.
EA Sports released its much-anticipated FIFA 15 video game on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles in North America on Tuesday, giving fans the chance to get their hands on the latest installment of the popular franchise. FIFA 15 comes equipped with all the favorite game modes that soccer aficionados across the globe have come to know and love, and also offers an upgrade in several departments.
Along with the customary updated rosters for clubs and country, FIFA 15’s gameplay has been refined to further resemble the world’s most popular sport. Passes, crosses, runs and shots are a lot less perfect than they have been in years past, making for a more realistic and enjoyable experience.
The artificial intelligence of goalkeepers has had a drastic makeover, thanks in part to Tim Howard. Goalkeepers react much better, make smarter decisions in terms of coming off their lines, and tend to avoid the type of frustrating in-game brain farts that made gamers want to hurl their wireless controllers through their TVs in years past.
The very popular FIFA Ultimate Team is back and so is Seasons, complementing all the other well-known offline modes to give the $60 video game the type of replay value that will have fans playing for many months to come.
SBI got its hands on a copy of FIFA 15 over the weekend, and spent some time playing it to offer up a review for those who might be on the fence about getting the game. Here are some good and bad things that were noticeable during the initial hours of gameplay:
Right off the bat, you will notice that FIFA 15 is nowhere near as “perfect” as its predecessors. It feels a little heavier and you have more control of how the players respond. It seems like the developers have pushed the game in the direction of being more manual than automatic.
That is a good thing, as the game plays much more like its real life counterpart, with subtle slight touches and barely overhit passes killing promising attacks or spells of possession. There are still moments when the dreaded ping-pong passing works too effectively, but for the most part everything is harder to execute and makes it feel more rewarding when you do piece together an impressive attacking sequence.
Speaking of harder, scoring goals is not going to be easy in this version of FIFA. Along with the improved goalkeepers, shooting has been tweaked so as to be less accurate. Shots tend to go high and wide more frequently, and it matters now more than ever if you have your player kicking with his preferred foot.
You’re going to miss attempts that you’re used to making, but you will not be too frustrated because it will feel a bit more real and games won’t end in a 5-4 shootout in regulation as often as they have in the past.
The graphics are incredible like usual, but it still does not feel like players have individuality aside from their body shapes and sizes. Speed is the only real distinguishable trait, and you still cannot really tell apart the styles of play of, say, a Landon Donovan from a Thierry Henry, which is a shame and something that Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer has done better than FIFA for many years now.
There are also still times during gameplay when the defense and midfield inexplicably fail to connect, especially after kickoffs. It is too easy, too often, for opponents to bypass the midfield and have a favorable matchup with numbers against the back line, which will leave you aggravated.
FIFA 15 does do a lot right, however, and this game feels different enough from its predecessor to warrant a purchase. Yes, it has its flaws, but overall it is another step in the right direction by EA Sports.
FIFA 15 away, folks.
Will you be getting FIFA 15? What system are you buying it for?Anything in particular that has you really excited about this year’s edition? Which teams and players are you most looking forward to play with? It has not happened yet, but would you be interested in an SBI FIFA league?
Share your thoughts below.
enjoy the game. only played 4 games (2 wins, 2 draws, 13 goals scored, 4 against). i didn’t really notice the shooting be THAT much harder. granted, i floated around divisions 1-3 in ’14 and they start you in division 8 in ’15. so we’ll see…
I had a chance to play one game before work, each year it’s always a lot more difficult at first, but as the article stated it is MUCH harder to shoot. I sent about 4 or 5 shots way wide to the right and a couple more way over the bar. Player movement is heavier, but I can already tell I like it way better.
Only scored one goal, and it was a tap in by Jozy…shocking eh?
God I hope they fixed the nonsense kickoff glitch made popular by KSI, that was such trash last year.
ive seen Ksi folks all the time on FIFA and never lost to them once. they actually are pretty terrible. what’s this “glitch” u speak of? scoring off the kickoff? that happens in real life……
its where you play a long through ball right after the kickoff and the CBs dont react at all and the striker gets through on goal every time. sometimes the goalie will try to get it and just run right past the ball or overrun it. its an issue with the games programming
picked it up at lunch, looking forward to checking it out.
Who Cares? Why do does SBI waste our time with these nonsense articles about video games?
Why do you waste our time commenting on video game articles?
I find it interesting to read what people who have nothing better to do than sit in front of a TV play games all day. Go outside, burn some calories. Maybe actually play the actual game with your feet, not your thumbs.
Lets see here…im a full time Aerospace Engineer, i hit the gym for weights and lunch, I hit the gym for cardio after work, and i still play video games, i wonder how i do it? Oh i also play in a local league
for weights at lunch***
I liked it better when you were eating in the gym. No working out oh no eating.
I’m a project manager, lift weights three times a week, play on a semi pro rugby team, have kids, but still love to play FIFA.
I’m in a prison and lift and run as much as I can before the bag guns go off for climbing the fences, and then I have to spend 3 days without sunlight in the hole…AND YET I STILL HAVE TIME TO PLAY FIFA
Pretty sure “Rico Suave” just laid down one of the more epic trolls in site history.
Congrats to all of you on your chest-thumping disclosures of your professional responsibilities and overall personal greatness. Matt and Bean in particular sound like an ITT Tech commercial. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much like “Hello” said.
Play the games or don’t. Right now, you’re already a goal down to freakin’ Rico Suave. Trolled hard.
I care. A lot.
Do you have 4 kids, too, Rico Suave?
I have 2 brothers, 3 sisters and a maid named Alice. Alice likes to hang out with Sam the butcher.
Add me on PS4 Luiki89
Interested to check out the goal keeper improvements.. although I will miss those “brain farts” when my opponent just hits the pass button while his keeper has the ball and it passes it to my striker.. that was always fun
Yeah, picking the ball off from a goal kick to the defender, during a critical game, won me more than one trophy….embarrassingly enough it cost me a few too.
I can’t wait to get home and play FIFA15!
I miss the indoor option. That was fun.
Isn’t this an advertisement?
Open your eyes, man! This whole website is an advertisement for soccer and american soccer culture! Ives is such a sellout!!
Don’t be dense. Where are the articles about PES?
maybe they’ll have a review when PES drops, but it wouldn’t be following their normal rules, of only reporting on EA and FIFA, and it still doesn’t make your comment anything more than hyperbolic snark.
I just want clarity whether or not these two FIFA game articles on SBI this week were sponsored or not. I don’t care if they were, but I’d like transparency either way.
For what it’s worth, I know some of the people who market PES in the US here in LA. Don’t get your hopes up… they are lost at sea as far as getting the message out there (for example, I’ve no doubt SBI would love to give them the same treatment if they were to reach out, but they are too clueless to do so).
Which is sad, because they do seem to understand the differences/comepetitive advantages between the franchises.
It’s no scarfgate, but it is a bit of a travesty.
You guys are not buying this game, are you?
the corruption, the dead slaves, the humanity!!!!
What a bunch of hypocrites.
Great…I sucked at finishing chances on FIFA14. It looks like that will continue in FIFA15. I can’t wait to leave the office, and pick up my copy. May have to go to a “meeting” early this afternoon. haha
Five to four shootouts. More like 8-3 when I play. I play a high line and I would get burned in REAL LIFE but in FIFA, a pressing attack works way too easily.
I play on the Wii, using a numchuk controller. It’s much easier to control your crosses and it is less stress on my hands which cramp up using a regular controller.
Are they releasing a Wii version of ’15?
Let’s get out there and buy the game. FIFA needs our support.
Give us a Concacaf champions league so there’s something to win with a MLS Club. Either just a quarterfinal start against Mecican clubs or slot us in the South American tournament
Rediculous there is no CCL. I wonder what percentage of the game is sold in the US ?
My guess is pretty large, but it should be very small if they are going to ignore that.
Concacaf champions league in a video game is pretty funny to me. There’s no money in it, MLS has never won it, and the games are barely televised let alone televised LIVE and nationally.
Also, keep in mind all of the pointless latin leagues/teams you’d have to then add to the game.
Start by adding every national team in the game before you bitch about a pointless tournament that was invented as a cheap gesture for North Americans
I weep for your soul if you find Joe Public F.C. to be a pointless team.
Ha Coach Jurgen sent me a copy for my good report card just like he said. but I think mine’s broken cause I can’t figure out how to do any of the fatalities plus they got my hair wrong.
My favorite Starburst is yellow (ha just kidding it’s dark red duh)
1hr 58 mins, stupid clock wont move.