To be honest Fifa 15 is a difficult game to review. They’ve been developed and pushed out year after year as the pinnacle of football simulation titles. Pro Evolution doesn’t touch it anymore and Konami has let it lag far behind in comparison to EA’s Fifa 15 each year. With a distinct lack of competition for Fifa 15 it is easy to write a review and say, it is the best and you just need to buy it again. It is a given, if people have played the last few iterations of Fifa it is safe to say they are going to buy the latest version too.
My biggest gripe I have with Fifa is that each year you pay the full retail amount for a new release and in my opinion for very little change in gameplay. In some cases EA could just release a DLC pack to update the transfers, kits and player profiles. In Fifa 15 the biggest change comes with the goalkeepers. The next gen goalkeepers trailer showed a series of new goalkeeping animations and in game you can see they have definitely improved. It is harder to score, the goalkeepers finally sweep well and pull off the world-beating saves we know and love. That said, they do concede because they are simply wrong footed or the ball squeezes between the smallest gaps, this captures the essence of goal scoring and keeping extremely well. For me Fifa 15 next gen goalkeepers is a welcome innovative change.
In Fifa 15 it is easier to create chances compared to it’s predecessor, but it has been made more realistic, player stats and fitness seem to have a bigger impact on the players. There isn’t much else by way of revolutionary gameplay change though. Most of the changes have come in the form of tweaks. Are the game modes changed? In short no there isn’t much change in these either. The title menu looks different to navigate and is definitely easier however the game modes themselves haven’t really changed.
Ultimate team and Career mode all do make an appearance:
Ultimate Team is the usual limitless bombardment of in game transactions and consumables. Heavy pushes for you to buy Gold packs, contracts packs and upgrade packs for your team. I’ve ploughed in some serious hours and actually Ultimate team is possible to play without spending a single penny of real world currency. Fair play to EA for making it possible and not a completely unrealistic grind fest. However those of you that can succumb to this hard sell or you are a parent with kids try not to get encouraged to buy Fifa points, it is a slippery and unnecessary road to travel. I would encourage those of you who haven’t played Ultimate team to give it a go. Honestly, it is pretty fun minus the aggressive advertising, cash cowing and relentless bombardment to spend Fifa points. I’ve managed to achieve a team chemistry of 100% and my team consists of predominantly English and Republic of Ireland nationalities and Premier League players which ends up with a 4 star rating. All without spending money and actually just playing the game.
Career mode is a complete cut and paste from the previous iteration of Fifa, there is literally no obvious changes to the mode. Players still continue to retire alarmingly early and transfers still are ridiculous to achieve unless you submit to the players demands entirely. There are absolutely no changes that I can see to the previous career mode. If you enjoyed it last time you’ll enjoy it again. Although I feel this is a bit of a missed opportunity from EA to improve the franchise further it still is the best career mode available in football simulation at the moment unless you’re playing Football Manager. A few more leaves from Sports Interactives book could help reinvigorate the Fifa career mode.
If you like Fifa already you’ve probably bought this, it is the best on the market at the moment and has all of the updated transfers and kits you would come to expect. However if you don’t like forking out full whack for a game that doesn’t really change that much Fifa 15 isn’t going to feel worthwhile. Alternatively if you don’t give a monkeys if it has changed that much and you want to line EA’s pocket with your hard earned gold pieces feel free to do so, Fifa 15 will do it’s best to help you achieve that.