Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Review Copy Provided By: EA Sports
Release Date: April 15, 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is, and does what you might expect. It plays like past FIFA titles (albeit with some minor changes to the game’s tempo and style), the gameplay is fun, the graphics are good and the developer’s love for soccer is apparent. Regardless, the game does little to stand out from past games in the FIFA franchise, and does even less to justify it’s $60 price-tag.
When booting up 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, vibrant, stylish imagery covers your screen. The game’s menu is filled with bright colors and interesting (though entirely unrelated to soccer) decor. Navigating the menu is simple and intuitive enough, once your eyes adjust and you realize what it is you’re looking at. You’ll have the option of choosing between various gameplay modes, including Road to the World Cup, the game’s most prominent single-player option. In this mode you take control of a team years prior to the World Cup, and are able to train your players, participate in international friendlies, establish strategy, etc., all in order to prepare your team for the chance to qualify for, and maybe even win, the World Cup.
Other game-modes include Captain Your Country, allowing you to control the career of an individual player, a mode that lets you jump right into the World Cup without doing anything prior, “skill games” (a collection of mini-games) and a mode called Story of Qualifying , where you can play over 60 real-life scenarios from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying stages.
All of these modes are fun, and the Road to the World Cup is particularly entertaining and deep. More options in controlling your team would have been appreciated, but soccer fans wanting to coach a team to victory, or failure, will be given the option to do so, and will likely be appeased with the options available.
At least for me, the game really shines when playing against others online. The game’s online mode features a couple different options, including allowing you to work your way through the FIFA World Cup, where victory is dependent on winning consecutive matches, and a 12-stage contest across Brazil. The online matches I played were lag-free, often intense, and finding a game always easy.
The game controls similar to past FIFA titles. Although the game’s tempo has been sped up a bit in order to bring a slightly more arcade feel, gameplay is still very methodical and at times quite slow-paced, though obviously this is to be expected from a soccer game. Those familiar with the FIFA franchise will feel right at home, and those new to the franchise will be able to quickly dive into the game, though the learning curve is a tad steeper than some sports titles.
The game’s graphics are acceptable and at times quite good, especially in regards to the character models. That being said, there’s nothing that makes the game standout as a graphical power-house, and a lackluster audience (which will have the same character repeated numerous times in the same closeup shot) is disappointing. The game’s sound quality is solid, with the on-the-field action sounding as it should; the game’s commentary is nothing to complain about, or praise.
Overall 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is a game that’s fun to play and will, for the most part, please fans of the sport, and the FIFA franchise. Still, at $60 it’s hard to say that the game is worth it for those who aren’t die-hard fans.
With 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, you get what you might expect; a fun and relatively deep soccer game that shines when playing with others. Still, there's little to justify the $60 price-tag for those who aren't die-hard fans of soccer, the World Cup and the Fifa franchise. Those who aren't expecting more than an enjoyable soccer game with a modest amount of depth will be pleased with their purchase. Those expecting the game to bring something to the table that FIFA 14 didn't, will likely be disappointed.