FIFA World Cup has an electric atmosphere
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.