As you can see, I was one level short of giving this an abysmal rating. One would think that after several years of releasing a game, the company in charge is supposed to get better at it. With fifa this just cannot be the case. I have played most of the releases including this so, yes, I know what I'm talking about. I am also forced to wonder if those in charge up there pay attention to any of the numerous bad reviews out there.
First and foremost, defending in this particular release is almost non-existent.
- I've been in situations where the only logical thing to occur is for my defender to grab the ball that is right beside him and clear it or at least attempt to do that, but yet, fifa does the unimaginable. The player does some weird rotation and immediately goes the opposite way (most noticeable with lobbed through passes), giving an attacker a clear shot at goal. Either that or my defender just plain refuses to respond or jogs along until an attacker is past before he starts to obey his master.
- In many cases, I may have predicted exactly what my opponent is about to do and in anticipation, switched players to try to prevent it. I then try to run towards where I expect the ball to go but my player keeps looking backwards (while jogging) until either an attacker gets past him or I manually switch to someone else. (Someone is thinking about lobbed through passes).
- I may have also got past the defensive line by giving a neat pass and given the speed of my attacker, NOTHING (well, except maybe cramps) is supposed to prevent him from getting to the ball before the goal keeper. But NO, fifa has to make my player run away from the ball rather than towards it allowing the keeper to get to it first.
- I'm also not sure if it's just me, but my defenders seem to want to collide with each other each and every time that I happen to snatch the ball away from my opponent in the 18 box. The same goes with the goal keeper - he either collides with a player causing me to lose the ball or he just plain runs past the ball. I've even had a situation in which there was no pressure on my goal keeper and then I made a pass to him. He clearly ignored the ball and I was forced to watch the bull slowly and painfully roll into my goal post.
- I understand that the creators wanted to add a little more life to the game by allowing us to use the square button (or circle depending on your configuration) to press attackers in other to win the ball but the implementation is awful. I could have a clear chance of clearing the ball away but when I press the button, my player does the pressing animation rather than trying to clear the darn ball. The same goes for attacking. Most of the time, pressing results in a foul anyway, so they may as well remove this and just revert to the former.
- Naturally, defenders are meant to be aggressive (I once was a CB, I know). Its not natural for the ball to be beside a defender but because I have not switched to him, he simply ball watches or happily jogs away. Even if it has been calculated that the ball will go past the line, I want my players to keep running for it until I release the stick. Another aspect that was greatly destroyed in this release is one time actions. Yes, it works sometimes, but when you need it most, nope. When I press the square button to clear the ball, I expect my defender to do it first instant he is in contact with the ball unless I choose to do otherwise. Also, in the same way that attackers carefully position themselves to make an attack, defenders should be made to the same rather than wonder aimlessly until the ball gets close to them. We shouldn't have an attacker run past a defender along the side-line but because I didn't switch to him, he simply ignore the attacker and allows the run.
- Having made a pass or a cross, there are some situations in which I could have two players who can get the ball. However, the player that I control is 'locked' (for lack of a better word) and I am not allowed to switch players until I lose the ball.This is totally unnatural and unacceptable.
- The undoubtedly most annoying feature of all is headers and crosses. Football is not a calculated sport. You should not expect to cross the ball and have your player not only head it, but score a goal about 90% of the time. My defender could be in the box, but the instant the ball is about to get to him, he runs away from it or doesn't jump (why?). During corner kicks, the player that stands beside the keeper doesn't also seem to be on my side. Rather than head the ball away or at least try to, he always heads it right in, or just stands there watching the ball go in.
- I'm sure every fifa 14 player will support me on this one - the "most stupidest" of things lead to penalties. I could have a player run into my defender and fall and that is called a foul. I've even had my goal keeper try to throw the ball to my player and because one of the opponent's player was in the way, he was awarded a penalty. This does not just apply to penalties, but the entire foul system in general. A player shouldn't be running backwards and then collide with my player and be given a free-kick because of his own recklessness.
- We have lost control of the goal keeper. It used to be that when you press a button, an action is performed. Evidently, fifa has evolved beyond that.
I could press and hold the triangle button in an attempt to force my goalkeeper to rush the ball to either prevent it from going over the line or to try to get it before an attacker does but he just plain refuses and stays where he is. If we are no longer allowed to do this at will, then it may as well be done for us automatically rather than nothing.
- It also seems to me that once you switch away from a player, he "resets" in order to fulfill some predetermined condition. Take for instance a goal kick. While waiting for the goalkeeper to kick the ball, i switch to the player by the wing and move him forward. Once I switch to another player to do the same, the previous player runs back to his previous position. We should be able to set our players running along a path and have them keep that path (while defending for example) even when we switch to a different player. Yes, I know that there's tactical defending but its implementation is poor.
In what world is a team supposed to play a football match and the team is not allowed to know the opponents formation and starting players?
In the same way, why are we not allowed to create our own formations in Seasons and some other game modes? I see that the option to perform a mutual quit was added, but why does it last for only the first few minutes of the game? Isn't it supposed to be mutual? I could be winning a game and want to step out without having to lose by the accursed 3-0. Don't you think my opponent will happily, "mutually" accept the offer? I play seasons a lot and it annoyingly updates itself every now and then. I then tried a Head to Head once and noticed that the my team was long overdue for an update which I had to manually perform. What's the point of the constant checking for updates before every match if the updates are not applied across the game?
Will I advise you to get this game, No, unless you have no other choice. The next one will be coming soon and most likely most of these problems will remain but will some added visual tweaks.