Another year comes another virtual iteration of the beautiful game. However, FIFA 15 is more of a step up than a leap forward. For those of us who sunk hundreds of matches in last year’s game, the action on the pitch feels weightier and more realistic with less exploits. However, from a mode perspective, not much has changed.

Let’s start with the good which is the on field action. Gone is the infamous kick off glitch but also gone are the obscene amount of goals from crosses and corners. Headers just don’t happen as much anymore for better or worse. This forces play centrally focusing on quick and accurate passing rather than having a fast player run in a straight line down the side of the field and crossing it. Unfortunately this diminishes the role that wing players have in the game. A good player will be able to cut in from the sides and skill with quick wide players but, more often than not, I find myself ignoring formations with them at all which seems a bit too extreme in the opposite direction from last year. How the 4-3-3 and 4-1-2-1-2 formations were incredibly popular last year, formations such as the 4-3-1-2 or 4-2-2-2 seem to be popping up frequently this year.

On field action is much improved in most aspects from last year.

On field action is much improved in most aspects from last year.

FIFA 15 also allows players who have good balance and agility stats to finally excel a.k.a. Messi actually feels like one of the best players in the game at long last. Players like him can weave in and out of tight spaces to get to the goal and finish. And, for those of you who play Ultimate Team, you can loan him and other players for a set amount of matches from the in game catalog. This is a great feature to allow players who don’t pour real life money in the game to try out some of the best players for a limited time.

But everything surrounding the gameplay has not evolved enough. Some big marketing points from EA this year had to do with the authentic presentation for Barclay’s Premier League matches, player emotion on field and updated goalkeepers. It is impressive at how the presentation looks exactly like its real life counterpart, but it is only for the BPL. If you are a diehard fan of another league, not all real life stadiums (or increased amount of player model faces) are there. The emotion on the pitch is new where after a hard tackle, the two players might shove each other, but that is about the extent of it with so few animations to support this feature that listing it as a standalone bullet point on their site seems suspect. And goalkeepers . . . oh boy. Yes they do have quite a few new animations this year, but oftentimes miss easy saves which can be immensely frustrating.

This is a concept squad. It is better in design than in execution.

This is a concept squad. It is better in design than in execution.

Game modes have not changed noticeably with Career Mode, from both managerial and player perspectives, being nearly identical which is incredibly disappointing. Ultimate Team is the same as well with the new ability to make Concept Squads mapping out a possible team before committing the coins to buy the players. Unfortunately it is somewhat clunky and it is much faster to just make it on community websites like Futhead.

Unfortunately, there is not much more to say. If I have sounded overly negative, it is only because I have come to love the franchise so much. There are obvious upgrades in the graphics and audio department especially when it comes to stadiums, but there is not enough new here to recommend to anyone except the diehard fans who are going to buy it anyway. Will this be the game that I sink the most time into this year? There is a good chance. I just wished that more had been done to differentiate it from last year.




About the Author

A recent college grad who just loves playing games. Hopefully I can help you save some money (and possibly spend more than you would like).