FIFA World Cup has an elec­tric at­mos­phere

Bray People - - ENTERTAINMENT - WITH CHRIS HAYES

EA SPORTS have man­aged to, yet again, cap­ture the essence of a World Cup al­most flaw­lessly. The flashy, car­ni­val-like the­atrics of the im­mi­nent World Cup in Brazil have been de­scribed bril­liantly in EA Sports lat­est FIFA ti­tle, and al­though some core me­chan­ics have been tweaked, it's the over­all pre­sen­ta­tion that makes 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil a ti­tle worth pick­ing up.

As op­posed to the per­fectly formed ef­fi­ciency of the yearly FIFA ti­tles, it seems that vi­brant and flashy pre­sen­ta­tion is to take cen­tre stage in this years World Cup game. Tick­er­tape cel­e­bra­tions, low cam­era swoops and gaudily dressed fans will make reg­u­lar ap­pear­ances through­out the ti­tle, whilst scor­ing goals will prompt cut­away shots to scream­ing fans watch­ing on big screens around the world.

Even the menus man­age to cap­ture the elec­tric at­mos­phere of the Brazil­ian tour­na­ment. Daubed in splashes of trop­i­cal colour, it does well to mimic the gen­eral theme of the me­dia cov­er­age of the world cup and is vi­brant enough to draw in even the most ca­sual foot­ball fan.

In many ways that fits with the tar­get au­di­ence - the play­ers who may not be in­vested enough in the sport at a do­mes­tic level to buy the an­nual edi­tions of FIFA, but wish to en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing the tour­na­ment, to re­play matches that have just fin­ished to get a dif­fer­ent out­come, for the em­pow­er­ing sen­sa­tion of hav­ing rewrit­ten his­tory.

Fun­da­men­tally, it re­mains much the same ti­tle. Penalty tak­ing has, how­ever, been sim­pli­fied - prob­a­bly a sen­si­ble change con­sid­er­ing the tar­get au­di­ence, but still a lit­tle bit of a cop-out for hard­core fans. You can now ad­just set-piece tac­tics to put more pres­sure on the goalie, or guide run­ners to the near post for flick-ons, though the re­sults are in­con­sis­tent.

One of the par­tic­u­larly wel­come fea­tures in­cluded in this in­stal­ment is the World Cup Qual­i­fiers mode, al­low­ing you to ei­ther play your en­tire team or cap­tain in­du­vid­ual play­ers as you guide your coun­try of choice through the qual­i­fy­ing rounds and on to World Cup great­ness.

An­other wel­come in­clu­sion is EA Talk Ra­dio, which gives you a choice of pre­sent­ing duos who'll idly chat about the tour­na­ment and the sport in gen­eral while you nav­i­gate through the menu sys­tem - this adds to the im­mer­sion of the game in a big way and is an ex­cit­ing fea­ture.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil might feel like a step back to any­one com­ing from the next-gen ver­sions of FIFA 14, but for those who haven't yet up­graded, it rep­re­sents an im­prove­ment on the an­nual re­lease, and a shoe-in for any se­ri­ous FIFA fan. Even non-FIFA fans can feel at home in this re­lease which adds a healthy dose of style over the usual sub­stance.

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