Tag Archives: FIFA

UEFA Champions League coming to FIFA 19

EA’s E3 2018 press conference has started delivering reveals and, to no one’s surprise, FIFA 19 is coming out later this year on September 28th. However, what was a surprise was the reveal that the next instalment will include the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

FIFA 19 will embed the UEFA Champions League in Career mode, Story mode and Ultimate Team, allow you to experience the thrill of chasing that cup anyway you fancy.

Beyond this, FIFA 19 will feature the usual refinements we’d expect from the annual sports title, but this year EA have made a point of mentioning that they have taken feedback from the community and FIFA pros to create a better, more fluid, responsive and intuitive experience. We’ll find out how this translate to play in September. Check out the trailer below:

FIFA 15: Messi versus Hazard

With Christmas only a few weeks away, developers and publishers are beginning to push their marketing campaigns in order to entice more sales for the Christmas period. EA Sports have decided to push their Christmas FIFA 15 campaign with an online head-to-head football match between Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard – who will win? Check out the trailer below, it’s mildly amusing!

There’s also a new “Holiday” edition of FIFA which comes packed with FIFA points to be spent in Ultimate Team, although the “Holiday” pack is only available digitally. The edition also includes a Messi FUT loan player (available for five games), a bundle of popular EA SPORTS Football Club catalogue items, the adidas all-star team and “more”.

EA are also launching 15 Days of FIFA (see what they did there) and are giving away all manner of FIFA related goodness from December 11 until December 25 – keep an eye on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

FIFA 15 Review

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Being a massive football fan, this time of year is special to me; maybe just that little bit more at the moment! The Premiership season is well underway, Arsenal are currently unbeaten and are flaunting stars like the German playmaker, Mesut Ozil and Chilean attacker, Alexis Sanchez. United on the other hand are doing pretty bad, which is quite nice! Not only that, but it is that time of year when EA release their obligatory football game and one that I’ve actually been dying to play since tinkering with the demo for a brief period in the build up to launch on Xbox One.

I know the non-football fans out there will be saying “FIFA 15, surely just FIFA 14, with updated squads, kits, etc” – I have exactly the same conversations about another one of my favourites, Football Manager, too (but that’s for another time) – to the non-Football/FIFA fan, yes it is. But, for those schooled in the art of ‘FIFA’ you’ll start noticing that every FIFA title is different to its predecessor, and FIFA 15 being no exception to the rule.

When you load the game up you can immediately see the improvements made from the last addition of FIFA because the intro has more wow factor, the menus (albeit based on FIFA 14’s) are slicker, and there’s even a news feature that gets updated for your preferred team. I was blown away before I even kicked a ball. Though, after flicking through the menus for a while to see what goodies EA had in store for this year, I decide to play a few Online games – nothing teaches you the game quicker than playing someone else online and I instantly found the passing way more precise than previously. Additionally the shooting is a lot harder and the goal keeping is a lot better – I noticed this despite the first goal I conceded was complete fluke air shot that just managed to dip under the cross bar at the very last second.  Also, it seems that EA Sports have listened to the fans with the player’s behaviour on and off the ball. For example; players now make more realistic forward movements when attacking and will point to where they would like the ball played, rather than just loitering around the oppositions centre backs. When defending, the computer controlled players automatically position themselves better so when you change to that player you are set to close down or cut out a pass. The horrible first touch mechanic is still in the game, but it is not as harsh as FIFA 14’s, and it is more realistic.

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When playing FIFA 15 I couldn’t believe how realistic the player models were. In my opinion it is normally Konami that get the player models spot on, but this year – well, move aside PES, FIFA 15’s models are more realistic than ever!  Even the squad players look more like who they are supposed to be – rather than the generic created players that you often see while creating your own pro. Though, they have still not quite mastered the players smile when they score – something for you to work on for the future maybe, EA? I also really enjoyed the stadium models before each match as it is a very pleasant addition to the game to see the Stadiums of teams (mainly the bigger teams) around the world.

You often hear professional footballers say “every goal is special”, well with the shooting being a harder skill to master, and the goal keeping being much better than previous games, you can totally believe them. Even those little scruffy goals that hit 3 defenders on its way to the onion sack look, and feel great to get.  EA previously came out and said that previous FIFA titles were set up for those who want to play ‘football’, with everyone’s philosophy of footballing being different to the next, this game feels more for my philosophy (as an Arsenal fan) of keeping the ball on the ground and passing the team to submission. Obviously, this doesn’t always work in reality, nor does it work all the time in the game, none the less with the pitch being wider and the passing being even more precise it allows me to play my own game.

There are added features in FIFA 15 that help you score the perfect goal. They have removed the option to create your own set piece – which felt ‘broken’ in FIFA 14 – and have added a more innovated way to attack the ball, and get the jump on the defence. Simply press down on the D-pad and a small option menu appears you can then select what you want to do, whether it is attacking the back post, making a run to the front post, or just crowding out the goal keeper making it near impossible for him to come and gather the ball from the set piece. I recommend practising set pieces as much as you can because they could be the difference between a W, or an L on your record when playing online.

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All the usual modes are back and pretty much work the same as they did in previous FIFA titles, but why fix something that’s not broken, right? We buy this game because of the innovation and updates in the game play, not for the different modes. Though, I did notice that FIFA 15 doesn’t have the lobbies anymore, or at least I couldn’t find them on the game. Which comes as a great shame to me if they have been removed as enjoyed playing the 11v11 “Be A Pro” game modes on certain websites like YourFifaLeague.net where the website was based around that game mode, and was just about to re-launch after missing FIFA14.  It’s worth having a crack at the ‘skill games’ also, as you will learn neat little tricks that will help you doing game play. You also get rewarded for spending your time playing the skill games with Achievements, which is always a good thing. Ultimate Team returns for all you out there that enjoyed playing this little game mode in previous FIFA titles. No doubt this will consume some of my hard earned cash when I get into it as I strive for a better team to compete online – My wallet hates micro transactions, as do I…But I just can’t stop myself when it comes to UT game modes – DAMN YOU EA!!

Overall FIFA 15 is brilliant; it can get frustrating at times, but then so does real football. It’s a game where emotions can run high, and EA have captured that perfectly in this instalment of FIFA. Unlike its predecessor, when you’re being out played on FIFA 15, it feels like you’re being outplayed not just being mugged off by the games ‘broken’ mechanics working against you. Though, there are a few things in this game that could use a little tweaking, it is by no means a perfect experience. Compared to last years title FIFA 15 is a massive leap in the right direction.

Thank you to Xbox for providing the review code

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FIFA 15 Demo Available Today!

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EA today announced that the playable demo of FIFA 15 is available to download for Xbox One & Xbox 360 owners with a Gold membership. The demo on Xbox 360 will be available to Xbox Live Silver members beginning September 16.

Fans will be able to play at Anfield as Liverpool FC, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, SSC Napoli, Manchester City, and Boca Juniors, or as one of five unique squads in FIFA Ultimate Team.

The launch of the FIFA 15 Demo is like our pre-season and the first chance for millions of FIFA fans to get hands-on with the game. The demo is an early representation and taste of this year’s game, and we welcome the chance to get fan feedback on our innovations and new features.

said Nick Channon, Senior Producer, EA Sports FIFA.

FIFA 15 brings football to life in stunning visual detail so fans can experience the emotion and intensity of football like never before. Fans are encouraged to send their first impressions of the game by using #FIFA15Demo on Facebook and Twitter. Fans across the world have already played FIFA 15 and praised innovations made to gameplay responsiveness and heightened player control; the FIFA 15 team continue to listen to fans, refine gameplay and improve the fidelity of goalkeepers on Xbox One.

FIFA 15 will be released on 26th September.

Eden Hazard on the cover of FIFA 15

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EA SPORTS has today announced that last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Team of the Year, Eden Hazard, will make his debut on the cover of EA SPORTS FIFA 15.

The 23 year old Belgian had an outstanding season for Chelsea in the 2013/14 campaign with 14 goals, seven assists and 92 chances created from his 35 appearances. The midfielder had a pin-point 83% passing accuracy, including 1,055 passes in the opposition half – one of just ten players to top 1,000 in the Barclays Premier League last season. Hazard also completed more successful dribbles than any other player in the division with 132. In comparison, the second ranked player completed just 93, making Hazard the Barclays Premier League’s most dangerous player with the ball at his feet.

On seeing the FIFA 15 pack, Eden said: “I have played FIFA all of my life and it’s a huge honour to be asked to be on the cover of FIFA 15. Now I have played the game I can say it’s the most realistic football game I have seen, so I cannot wait to challenge my friends and team-mates with FIFA 15 and show off the new moves.”

Eden Hazard Stats:

International debut: 2008
International appearances: 50
International goals: 6
Barclays Premier League appearances: 70
Barclays Premier League Goals: 23
Barclays Premier League Assists: 18

The deal coincides with EA SPORTS long term partnership with Chelsea Football Club as the Official Video Gaming Partner, which will bring exciting digital and social content for the fans, alongside experiential activation at Stamford Bridge throughout the upcoming seasons.

EA SPORTS FIFA 15 is due out September 25th in Europe and September 26th in the UK and Ireland.

EA Sports FIFA 15 – With Emotional Intelligence

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EA has today announced that EA SPORTS FIFA 15 will be released in September 2014. The top selling football franchise is bringing football to life in stunning visual detail for the new generation of consoles so fans can experience the emotion and intensity of football like never before!

With Emotional Intelligence, FIFA 15 models the emotional state of all 22 players on the pitch, giving fans a chance to experience first-hand the attitudes and personalities of the world’s best football players during a match. FIFA 15 players now have a range of emotions that evolve contextually throughout the game based on interactions with opponents and teammates. Each player has an attitude or feeling towards everyone else on the pitch and will react accordingly during the game’s events – frustration after missed passes, anger with hard tackles, and excitement when chances are taken are just some of the over 600 reaction animations that could tell the story of the game.

“We want our fans to feel the highs and lows of the drama that is football, and experience the emotional rollercoaster that plays out during a match,” said David Rutter, Executive Producer, EA SPORTS FIFA. “We’re now able to immerse you in the game and let the story of the match unfold based on new commentary, crowd activity, and the natural reactions of the players, which make every game unique.”

In FIFA 15, Authentic Player Visuals come to life on a Living Pitch where everything is alive and the turf evolves at every step, plant, or slide. For the first time ever, the FIFA development team utilized physically based rendering to bring atmospheres and players to life, further blurring the line between the virtual and real world of football. The new rendering works in combination with a new player model and rigging system to make every athlete look and feel athletic, lean, and true to their natural form. FIFA 15 is played on a Living Pitch where boots and hard slide tackles will leave their mark as each match progresses; players will get mud and dirt on their kits. Other visual details including animated LED ad boards, corner flag and goal frame movement, and realistic atmosphere conditions will keep fans immersed in the game.

“Visually, this is the biggest step the FIFA franchise has ever taken,” said David Rutter. “We set out with the goal of creating atmosphere, players, crowds, and pitches that not only look like they do on match day, but also feel like they do when you play or watch football – it’s a level of immersion we’ve never been able to bring to the game before.”

Agility & Control builds on step-based locomotion and delivers an all new level of responsiveness and control to FIFA 15. Tuned player biomechanics cause players to react and move with balance and closer control when in possession of the ball. Precise steps and turns at low speed, and closer control at high speeds will give FIFA 15 fans more control and increased mobility when commanding players on the pitch. New stutters and strides let you cut, sprint, and explode out of turns, and run touch dribbling gives players’ personality that reflects their real self. A new ball physics system models ball movement depending on the spin and the precise contact with the ball. The accurate movement of the ball, combined with the control of the player brings a new level of realism to dribbles, touches, passes, and deflections in FIFA 15.

Off the ball, Man to Man Battles transforms defending in FIFA 15. Players now use full-body defending to separate their man from the ball, while possession tackles will reward great defending, helping defenders keep the ball close to their feet when a challenge is made. New shoulder barges, shirt pulling, and big fall physics allow fans to feel the battle making dispossessing opponents more rewarding than ever.

Opponents and Teammates in FIFA 15 now make decisions just like real athletes. New to FIFA 15, players now have short, medium, and long term objectives that they decide upon as a team and execute using Team Tactics. If a team is up by a goal, they might park the bus, or if they are down a goal, they might try to get it in the mixer to be more direct in attack and secure a last gasp winner. This, along with other Team Tactics and mentality choices, creates emergent and realistic gameplay moments that become part of every game.

A trailer showcasing FIFA 15 can be viewed below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnTYVT6lwB

Play EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil This April

With the World Cup looming this Summer in Brazil, surely you didn’t think some sort of official tie in was on the cards? Today EA confirmed the release of EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the only officially licensed game of this major sporting event! Featuring the deepest set of game modes ever in an EA SPORTS tournament title, all new gameplay innovations and improvements, and a rich presentation that captures the color and vibrancy of Brazil, EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will put fans in control of their nation’s fate.

EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil features multiple innovations and improvements to the award-winning gameplay of EA SPORTS FIFA 14, putting players in control of their nation’s fate. From the ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction quickly on and off the ball with Explosive Movement, to the new World Class Control feature that uses Response Dribbling and Pinpoint Passing, fans will feel the athleticism and skill of their national football heroes. And one hundred new animations, including passing, saves, and penalty kicks, help play on the pitch explode with the drama and unpredictably of the official tournament.

With 203 national teams, 7,469 players, 19 officially licensed managers, and 21 new stadiums including all 12 authentic stadiums from Brazil, the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes to life with more detail and authenticity than ever before. Feel the support of a nation with all-new crowd scenes including banners, flags, and seat cards in the stadium, and from Live City events in all corners of the globe. Score a goal with England and see fans react live from the center of London.

Now everyone has a chance to write football history. In Road to the FIFA World Cup™, the most immersive tournament mode from any EA SPORTS title, players can choose from 203 national teams and play with one to 32 players locally through the qualifying rounds, and on to the group stages of the FIFA World Cup. Along the way, fans can get tournament updates from EA SPORTS Talk Radio*, featuring Ian Darke and Andy Goldstein, or Roger Bennett and Michael Davies (Men in Blazers), with over 50 hours of recorded content to stay up to date on all the action. For those who want to celebrate the tournament online, Road to Rio de Janeiro™ is an all-new mode that lets players win their way across a map of Brazil’s 12 host cities in licensed and authentic stadiums.

The game hits stores beginning April 15th in North America and April 17th in Europe for the Xbox 360 and PS3 !!! Wait what… not a mention of Xbox One!

FIFA 14 – Xbox ONE Stability Patch Now Available

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Football hooligan’s on Xbox ONE can now download the latest patch for Fifa 14. The fix which has been available on the PS4 for some time has now been made available for Xbox ONE gamers. Below is a list of improvements.

  • The new title update addresses the following:
  • Some stability issues when entering Online matches.
  • Some cases where users with large friends lists can’t access certain Online features.
  • Allows the Goalkeeper in Clubs mode to change camera angles.
  • Modifications to a couple of camera angles in specific stadiums to improve playability.
  • Ensures the Brazuca match ball appears properly in FUT once redeemed in the EAS FC Catalogue.
  • Resolves some Online issues regarding match invites.
  • Improvements to some Kinect Global Speech Commands.
  • Occurrences of mismatched roster names in Seasons matches.
  • Virtual Pro Ball Skills varying from match to match.
  • Random list appearing instead of Friends Clubs list in Pro Clubs.

Fifa 14 on Xbox ONE scored an impressive 84% in our review which you can read via this direct link.

Thanks: EA

FIFA 14 Xbox One Review

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Tis the season for the next generation. What this means is that the Xbox faithful have an entirely new version of FIFA to dive right into. FIFA has been available on the 360 since September, but with the promise of gameplay improvements that aren’t on the previous generation, I and many others have been excited to see how things panned out. Now there are improvements to the game. But it doesn’t really change that much to be honest. Read on to find out how it all panned out.

Let’s jump straight into what matters most, the gameplay. I’ve been very vocal about the fact that I feel they may have ruined what they were getting so close to with last year’s game, even since I played FIFA 14 on the Xbox 360. The game is trying to become as real as a football sim has ever been. Not to say it’s not realistic, it’s just that some things have been thrown in that do not compliment what made FIFA 13 such a great game. For example, rubber-banding appears to exist now. Rubber-banding is a term that would only be familiar to avid fans of racing games. What it means is that when you, the player controlled driver is way out in front with no chance of ever being caught up, the game will automatically make trailing cars speed and turn outside of their capabilities to constantly make it a close race. EA Sports have adapted this to the defending. Defenders as slow as say Per Mertesacker will blister towards a player with lightning pace like Theo Walcott from out of nowhere. Essentially what I’m getting at is, if you initiate a through-ball to an extremely fast player, he will fumble his first touch slightly and do a light jog no matter how hard you hold the sprint button. Whereas the defender will Usain Bolt this newly crippled gentleman right down to the ground. It’s all in the name of balance, but if EA Sports want to go for realism, balance just doesn’t exist in football. There’s only skill, momentum, and luck. It’s still a very, very good game. I just feel that it has taken a step back from FIFA 13.

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Those are my thoughts on FIFA 14 in general. Let’s talk about what’s specifically new to the Xbox One version. The very biggest in terms of gameplay changes are the amount of players that can now challenge for a header. It’s no longer attacker vs. defender. I have even been anticipating a header and had my own CPU players nab my chance from the air for a goal (not that I’m complaining). You can even beat goalkeepers to the ball now. It has been a pet peeve of mine for years that a keeper would automatically win the battle if he went up for it. EA Sports have remedied my concerns in this aspect, and I hope it’s a feature that stays forever. When the player impact engine arrived in FIFA 12, I was very excited. Finally players would react as they should and fall over when they should. Of course it was a mess that had the Fus Ro Dah effect. It has however been perfected here. Players completely react to every collision as they should. You might wonder why I’ve highlighted this since it was apparent on the Xbox 360 version. There is absolutely no clipping whatsoever in any challenge in the game. Not one arms slips into another player’s arm. No legs sinking into the opposition player’s stomachs. It’s just perfect and is quite wonderful to watch. The game also boasts hundreds of new animations motion captured by players such as Gareth Bale and Robert Lewandowski. The only ones that I frequently see are a new long ball that is executed when you attempt to switch flanks. I have noticed some new clearances. But with the literal thousands of situations and angles that you might find yourself in, you’ll certainly see many of these animations on your journey.

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It’s strange that the absolute best improvement in this game is one that I would hear about and shun immediately. Ah hell, it’s not just the best improvement, it’s the best part of the game, period. EA Sports’ new Ignite Engine adds so much to the beautiful game that you cannot even imagine. It truly needs to be experienced to understand how amazing it really is. Ignite is an engine that claims to make the sport feel ‘alive’. Crowds are no longer pasted cardboard drones. They are living 3D people who will react to every situation with cheers and boos. The sound that it gives out is astounding, the booming roar when you score an important goal in career mode is especially gratifying. It’s not just the crowd that reacts, the players themselves do. Let me throw out a situation. You’re losing 1-0, and have just equalised to make the score 1-1 with ten minutes to go. Your players will put in the extra effort, they will run themselves ragged to get a goal. If the ball is out of play, they will sprint to take the throw-in or corner to get the ball in-play as quickly as possible. EA have even been working with Sky to configure how the camera angles should work for replays. Man is it ever beautiful. I actually find myself watching almost every replay as I hear people scream through my Kinect to skip the little scene. The cameras will highlight important players, more so in career mode than anywhere else. It will even show another replay of a goal you’ve scored way into the match, just as it would in a real game. EA’s presentation in FIFA 14 for the Xbox One is the best it ever has been, for any game, ever. Have a look at the Ignite trailer to see just how good it is.

One big question that was on everyone’s lips these past few months is will it actually look any better on the Xbox One than on the Xbox 360? In short, yes and no. If you’re expecting the players likenesses to look any more realistic, you will be left disappointed. However, with most of them now being scanned with the new Starhead technology, they look as real as they ever will. Now that it is rendered in 1080p and at 60fps, the game finally looks as it should. It’s a beautiful, glossy, ultra-realistic affair that shouldn’t be missed. I’m way more invested in the story being told on the pitch than the actual game itself. If I sign a player on career mode, I want to see that highlighted during the pre-match presentation. I want to see the close-ups of my new star as Alan Smith gives his terrible opinions on any and everything. I mean, god damn everything about the presentation of this game is so spot on it even makes me want to try out Madden and NBA Live which is certainly not my bag.

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The rest of this review will be focused on the features of the game that are already available on the Xbox 360 version. So if you’re familiar with FIFA 14 already, just skip on down to the summary. Career Mode makes a triumphant return to the foray. It’s more or less the same, except for the way transfers work. Now there’s the Global Scout Network. This is a feature that enables you to send your scouts out to certain countries and look for players with the credentials that you need. You can no longer see player ratings before you bid on them unless they are prolific stars such as Lionel Messi where everybody knows the talent that he beholds. The scouts give a prediction of the players stats and will even give an estimation of the amount you would need to bid on them to have a bid accepted. An annoying feature returns from previous years. If a player is 30 or over, it takes but one season for them to lose every bit of skill they ever had. I understand players declining in talent as they grow older, but the amount that they do in FIFA 14’s Career Mode is far too drastic and unrealistic. The way that the Ignite Engine uses the cameras to focus on players in Career Mode is particularly titillating. It will focus on players who might be making a debut, or have cased disruption in the changing rooms, or even just players that are currently in-form. It then accompanies this with a quick quip from the commentary team. This all adds to the experience and makes it feel more real.

Ultimate Team is another entry that makes a return to the FIFA franchise. Of course it would, it is the cash cow of the entire game. There are only minimal changes to this mode but they are definitely for the better. You no longer need to have matching formations for your players to have better chemistry. You can also now invite your friends to an online friendly to play their Ultimate Team squad. Why this was never implemented in the first place is beyond me. That is where the changes in the mode lie, it doesn’t require much to improve it to be honest. There is another new entry that is exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One version, however. Legends are now present in the Ultimate Team. Amazing players like Dennis Bergkamp and Gianfranco Zola are now a part of this wonderful, soul-draining game mode. I do think it was a little bit cheeky advertising the legends as such a big deal for the console exclusivity as the rarity in achieving the players is extreme. As rare as getting a Ronaldo or Messi in a pack if not more.

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To sum up, there are many improvements to the next generation iteration of FIFA 14. It’s definitely better than the previous gen version. Some of the gameplay has taken a dive from FIFA 13’s excellent play. In the words of Paula Abdul, it took two steps forward, and two steps back. This doesn’t stop it from being a top notch game, however. I think that EA Sports will have achieved the dream of having the very best ultra-realistic football game that has ever and will ever exist by FIFA 15. I definitely recommend this one to the legions of fans that follow the sport. Its value is also lowered by the fact that many hundred thousand day one editions came bundled with a free copy. So pick this one up for a price as cheap as chips. Chips in Central London that is.

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