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2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Review

  • First Released Apr 15, 2014
  • Reviewed Apr 15, 2014
  • X360
  • PS3

Samba to victory.

There are people out there who are more jaded by FIFA's yearly release cycle than they are by the schoolboy "tactics" Roy Hodgson employs as England manager. Year after year we're asked to part with our hard-earned cash in exchange for a game that, on the surface at least, changes little with each iteration. Stand-alone tournament editions, such as 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, are sandwiched between releases of full FIFA games and do little to quell such negative opinion.

However, perhaps even more so than the criminally forgotten gems like UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup South Africa FIFA, World Cup Brazil comes with more than enough content and ideas to justify its existence as a game in its own right. Although, to what extent depends on how you're currently fulfilling your FIFA needs. If you've already made the step up to FIFA 14 on either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, then you're going to be disappointed by what's on offer. With World Cup Brazil available only on previous-gen consoles, the absence of the slick animations and upgraded physics system of the next-gen versions is very much visible here.

While there's a nice array of new passing, shooting, and jostling animations, the core mechanics driving the action on the field lack the finesse and depth of the PS4 and Xbox One FIFA 14 experience. This rings especially true when you're defending, with the AI largely unable to deal with players boasting a combination of raw pace and accuracy of shooting. Time and time again, the greatest defenders on earth (the likes of Vincent Kompany, Thiago Silva, and Giorgio Chiellini) are made to look the fool by mediocre strikers packing just those two attributes.

This may all be part of the plan, though. These tournament editions have always been seen as a chance for the FIFA design team to let loose and have a bit of fun, so the favouring of attacking flair over defensive nuance is very likely a case of intended design over inferior AI. In practice, this creates a game that's more fun than realistic, offering an experience that is markedly different from that of FIFA 14.

Captain Your Country sees you compete against teammates in a bid to wear the armband on World Cup Final day.
Captain Your Country sees you compete against teammates in a bid to wear the armband on World Cup Final day.

Shooting, in particular, has been made much more accessible. A well-struck ball flies through the air as though tethered to a guided missile, making the taking of long-range potshots a more viable option than it has been in recent years. Invariably, this leads to some spectacular attempts on goal, which naturally lead to spectacular goals. These kinds of goals, from the audacious to the sublime, very much belong in a game that so heavily features the vibrant backdrop of Brazil and its football team--a team that is seen as the embodiment of exciting, attacking football.

In a bid to counter the venom of shooting, goalies seem to have been given an ability boost and are thus able to prevent the scoreline from getting out of hand. They don't always catch the ball or knock it into a safe area, but they are more likely to push it away for a corner or punch it to the edge of the box and give their defenders a chance to clear it properly.

Additionally, it's now much more difficult to score from corners thanks to the new over-the-back headers players can employ. Rather than simply standing limp and lifeless as an attacker cuts in front to score with his head at the near post (a trick that could be ruthlessly exploited to great success in previous FIFA games), defenders can now jump up using the shoulders of anyone in their way in a desperate bid to head the ball first. This new trick helps, perhaps more than any other element, in keeping the number of goals to a believable tally in the face of the improved shooting.

Much more focus has been spent on making each and every match feel like a genuine spectacle. Hopefully this will carry on to future FIFA titles.
Much more focus has been spent on making each and every match feel like a genuine spectacle. Hopefully this will carry on to future FIFA titles.

Any and all of these gameplay tweaks would be rendered useless without sufficient content within which to make use of them. Captain Your Country and Road to the FIFA World Cup are the most robust and exhaustive game modes to conquer, joining the obvious inclusions of the World Cup tournament itself and the essential set of online and offline exhibition matches. Captain Your Country sees you take control of a single player as your team sets out to qualify for, and win, the World Cup. As its name suggests, your goal within that framework is to distinguish yourself and become national captain along the way.

Road to the FIFA World Cup allows you to rewrite the course of history and take a team from the qualification rounds, on to the tournament proper, and into Rio's Estadio do Maracana to contest the final on 13 July. All 203 officially recognised FIFA national teams are included and available for selection, allowing you to undo the injustices associated with the likes of Sweden and Poland failing to qualify for this summer's carnival. If you prefer to take your game online and compete with other human players, then Road to Rio De Janeiro is the mode with the most staying power. There you're promoted and relegated through different divisions in a bid to match you with players that are roughly your equal, which makes for some compelling matches.

What makes World Cup Brazil a different proposition to other recent FIFA games is the care and dedication that have gone into the little details. You've got the option of choosing between two prerecorded radio stations as you navigate menus, both of which are excellent and add colour to events by way of dissecting your future opponents and commenting on the journey teams took to reach the World Cup.

Over-the-back headers do a lot to prevent strikers scoring easy goals from corners, free kicks and crosses into the box.
Over-the-back headers do a lot to prevent strikers scoring easy goals from corners, free kicks and crosses into the box.

Then there are the little visual presentation touches: managers that shout and command from the sidelines, cutaways to fans celebrating goals in front of screens in their home country, and goalkeepers who can perform dances and shuffles to unnerve penalty takers, and there's even a digital Sepp Blatter who attends important fixtures. Unfortunately, the graphical quality of the crowds remains as terrible as it has ever been on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but at least there's more variety to their celebrations this time around.

It's best to consider 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil as a less serious, more accessible accompaniment to the main FIFA series. Focused more on giving you a good time than on advancing the quest for realism in sports games, this is a football game that's perfect for fans who are looking for a way to pass the hours between World Cup matches this summer. Beyond that, it may not be as exhaustive as the likes of FIFA 14, but with its own distinct feel and modes to explore, there's more than enough to keep you distracted before FIFA 15 lands later in the year.

Back To Top
The Good
Focus on attacking play makes for exciting matches
Over-the-back headers make it more difficult to score from corners
Unique and engaging audio and visual presentation
All 203 FIFA-recognised national teams are included and fully licensed
The Bad
Crowd animations are still awful
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

John has been playing football games for over two decades, experiencing everything from the glories of Sensible Soccer to the horrors of David Beckham Soccer. Ten hours were spent in (digital) Brazil for the purposes of this review.
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Avatar image for mr_slazz

Who the hell is the scrub playing in that clip???? Nice defending running right at the AI with the ball. Nice pass into the box at the end of the clip... My 9 year old nephew would destroy you.

Avatar image for gruber23

This time EA has taken FIFA 15 to a whole new level. I seriously believe that those who don't play FIFA are really missing some amazing things that today's video games have. The amount of realism is simply astounding.
Hats off to the designers & developers of the next-gen consoles, too. It is these mean

Avatar image for fitriulina11

@gruber23 Not surprisingly (but sadly) there is no PC release and even worse it's not even on next gen platforms (of which I don't own either anyway). I wonder how much different it is from FIFA World Cup South Africa considering it's on the same platforms. There are so many developers content to copy and paste on the 360/PS3 that the One/PS4 aren't seeing many new games. The PC actually has a much larger selection available.

Avatar image for Bomba360

I dont know if its just me but the gameplay mechanics seem really bad... delay when not playing online? ive never experienced that with any other fifa game and the shooting is too easy i can score from half way with any shitty player... they should have just copied the mechanics from fifa 14 ps4 or 2010 world cup game it would have been perfect

Avatar image for expeditopaz2008

I've been playing this since last month, and enjoying the game. The reviewer could focus on more good points of the game which may improve the experience, like the training grounds really influencing your ratings on a long game. The captain your country mode is really, really longer than 2010's version, etc. etc.

Avatar image for gruber23

World Cup's and Euro Cups should also be released as a DLC's to the newest version of FiFA that is out in that time and they should sell at least half price less compared to as when they released as stand alone version.
So that people who buy the FiFA games every generation, could actually afford playing the Cups too.
Otherwise I just rather wait for FiFA 15 and skimp on the Cups.

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Avatar image for grommmmmm

You gotta love how so many of the hardcore gaming demographic are almost Marxist in their their contempt for "money grabbing" "sell-out" companies. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, and by all means, if you feel this title doesn't offer sufficient added value to warrant paying premium, don't buy it. Simple as that.

So what if FIFA series are a surefire cash cow for EA? There's billions of football (that's right, |Americans, that's what it's called, not soccer) fans around the world, a sizable subset of which surely own gaming consoles. It would be commercially stupid of them not to get a slice of the pie.

And really, so what if the yearly titles are too similar to warrant buying every single one? No one's forcing you to buy them all, and what's more, they're rather good games in their own right. Unlike so many other sporting event tie-ins. They're a right laugh with a bunch of mates. Seriously, I can't begin to understand the rage. There's plenty of money grubbing companies to get angry at. A software company scoring an open goal, in an industry plagued by exploding development costs, would seem a trivial one.

Avatar image for AlvMar

No, sorry, but i hate this game. I try to play it and convince myself that i suck at the game but i just can't take it anymore.

- I don't feel i control my team. I really don't. Most of the time they just run out of reach or the stay still where they are useless. The reactions are too slow and sometimes it takes way too much time to do the action i command trough the controller.

- The defense system is like 30% useful. When i start tackling on a player, it's not that i retrieve the ball, it's more that the other player loses it. It may sound similar, but the second option means that even if the player loses it, there is always another from his team to get it back behind him. And when i do a sliding tackle, the ball ALWAYS goes to someone of the other team… or outside the field. When the ball bounces, it always ends up in the CPU's team.

- It did bothered me that this review showed clips on amateur mode, since in professional, world class and legendary, it's a whole different(and frustrating) experience.

- It's weird that sometimes they say that the game is more realistic. I have my reasons to believe otherwise and why it's bad for it to be realistic. First, the passing system has become waaaay too precise. There is a big difference between some passes that can either work ok or ruin your whole plan because the player passed the ball to someone you never intended. It happens way too often.

Second, the CPU's teams are the most clean and foul-less teams ever. Sometimes they can make your player fall on a penalty and it's never a foul. Other times you barely touch them or clearly touched the ball but the system detects it as a penalty and for some reason, sometimes a glitch in the replay doesn't let make take a closer look, so i think to myself that the computer just gave itself a goal. It has happened a few times.

Third, i don't want these football games to be too real. I'm from Peru and i know my national team sucks but i don't want this game to make me remember that. I want to be able to qualify to the world cup without restarting the same match over and over and with it being a fun experience more than a frustrating one. It's supposed to be hard, yes but as a game, it's supposed to help me escape from reality for a few minutes. I love the challenge but i hate that i'm not able to enjoy it not because i don't know how to play the game, but because the game doesn't help me understand how to play it. I sometimes think some passes work but they never do. Sometimes, the CPU's player just runs and no matter how hard i tackled him or how many players are around him, he still scores. And no, that player doesn't need to be Ronaldo or Messi, it can be anyone from any team. It's infuriating because the CPU is realistic for it's own advantage but not for your gaming experience.

And yes, you can go and tell me i just suck, but really, these football games need to be improved into a fun and challenging idea, not a "your country sucks, better play with the same teams over and over" one. We love football, i love football so that's why i get these games from time to time, but each year, they make me regret it.

Avatar image for Bomba360

@AlvMar I know EXACTLY what you mean, I bought the game yesterday and i absolutely hate it after fifa 2014 on PS4, the mechanics are horrible, worst than FIFA 2009... There is huge delay between when you press pass or shoot on the controller and when the console actually responds, and I dont know if you have noticed but EVERY player shoots the same, i can score with any random Armenian player from the edge of the box into top corner... 2010 South Africa game was muuuch better this is a disgrace! Not to mention the occasional drop in frame rate and lag, the only reason i bought this game is to play with my country, the world cup in fifa 2014 on PS4 that comes free with update is amazing unfortunately only teams that actually made it to group stage tho but this game....

Avatar image for y3rb4t3ro

PES >>> fifa

Avatar image for crognalsen

Not surprisingly (but sadly) there is no PC release and even worse it's not even on next gen platforms (of which I don't own either anyway). I wonder how much different it is from FIFA World Cup South Africa considering it's on the same platforms. There are so many developers content to copy and paste on the 360/PS3 that the One/PS4 aren't seeing many new games. The PC actually has a much larger selection available.

Avatar image for HuSSaR83

You mean its not a DLC to Fifa 14 but a new game for 60$? WTF you gotta be shittin' me!!! **** you EA

Avatar image for daabulls23

"...and there's even a digital Sepp Blatter who attends important fixtures."

Does it show him accepting bribes as well?

Avatar image for ben_rowbottom

am in the mood for a more arcadey FIFA. a preferred the FIFA games on SNES, and N64 where it was mainly about scoring goals. it was more fun. av not played a modern FIFA since FIFA 11, as it's more about simulation these days

Avatar image for alenth

There is absolutely ZERO reason to get this game if you own fifa 14 or even PES14, this is only a blatant and outdated cash grab.

Avatar image for chechak7

stupid game copy past from fifa 13/14 + new Audience clips = World cup 2014....

Avatar image for quaker04

There is a legend that says about a Easter Egg. Hitting shift + 4, 8 times shows Dilma's face, with a label: R$ 30 billions of public money wasted. Your $ 60 would be included.

Avatar image for AuronAXE

I just want FIFA to start recognizing the PC as a legit platform.

Avatar image for DeadManRollin

@AuronAXE It's actually the other way round, they have been recognizing PC as a legit platform till 2010, but since then they forgot about it.

Avatar image for Sound_Demon

Look at the pros lol...

First of all, there is no "UNIQUE" and "ENGAGING" audio and visual presentation, it's the same exact garbage as last year with a minor gfx update. Secondly, the rest of those are just describing how game is meant to be played, Yes you ARE supposed to attack the other team and yes it might be exciting the first 2 times. It's like saying a pro of Assassin's Creed is that you get to kill people! YAY! OH WOW, LOOK all 203 FIFA recognized teams are included and licensed. That just makes the game SO much better. I'm SO going to spend 60 dollars for a game that has no real pros being the same game as last year, oh right. This is world cup edition. It's DIFFERENT! Lol, go to hell reviewer, you and the sum EA paid you. Learn how to review from Kevin...
Avatar image for NinjaGaz

I've not read the review, but EA continually do their bit to show they are money grabbers and I just wish the gaming population would just say no to them. How much different is this really going to be from FIFA 14? Why is anyone buying it unless they've skipped a few editions?

EA are infuriating that they offer full priced games (ie the max possible!), almost always add some sort of deluxe edition, which means you £50 for the full version does not give you the full game. Then it adds in-game items to buy too!

Yet I guess, like how players dive in football because the refs give them free kicks, EA will just keep churning out full priced mini-upgrades because people will keep buying them.

Avatar image for oneEnigma

Fanboys keep buying this arcade football game so they can keep renewing their FIFA license and annihilate any form of competition and get away with selling a pathetic attempt at simulating the real deal and force $60 out of you. The NBA fans are so lucky with the NBA 2k franchise being so vastly superior to the latest NBA Live games that EA were so ashamed to release it a coup years ago and today its pretty much a dead franchise. If you fanboys didnt buy these pathetic excuses for games just because it has a good presentation& packaging we could maybe see another developer make a great football game although its prob unlikely by now due to so many of them selling great by now.

Avatar image for naryanrobinson

Looking for a review that can tell me if there was as much corruption, greed and death behind the making of the game as behind the real thing. Link?

Avatar image for pcty

@naryanrobinson The World Cup has nothing to do with the fact that the brazilian goverment is incompetent.

Avatar image for fursecu

it hurts to see how this review was made playin on amateur

besides that, 60$ really? EA thinks we're stupid?

Avatar image for Johny_47

Whenever I see a 'new' football game come out I always think of recycling, like recycling toilet paper. It's even worse than call of duty(and that's borderline impossible).

I think it's a marketing plot to see how brain dead people really are because all their doing is buying something they've already got, absolute f**kin' cocks, wake up.

Avatar image for Sound_Demon

@Johny_47 Atleast in call of duty you have different weapons and stages (and trust me im no CoD fan) but this shit is even worse... What am I supposed to expect out of a game like this? where did those 8 points of rating come from?

Avatar image for hitomo

I hope noone died during the creation of this FIFA Product as well

Avatar image for Zacmaccraken

What's wrong with the weather in the game!? The season option is locked and every stadium seems to have sunny weather! Is it a glitch or something!?

Avatar image for hitomo

@Zacmaccraken its called Brazil

Avatar image for chemicalegypt

Let me bring out some gameplay flaws, since there is none in this game according to the review. Just because the game is dumbed down (accessible) doesn't mean it can get away with minor tweaks with a full pricetag.

-The header backpasses to the goalkeepers are still overpowered. 20 yrds out and still an easy cake back passing to the keeper.

-The 45th and 90th minute handicapping and scripting is still evident specially online. Can you please explain that?

- L1+ triangle or just triangle is still the only and major offensive tactics.

- Even on ultra defensive your team is prone to counter attacks, how?

-Long range shots getting blocked by defenders, ''blocking'' is still overpowered.

- No explanation why its not on next gen and PC. Oh i know, because fifa 15 will look like another tweak if they release this tweak on next gen so making it not look like a tweak fest.
-Just because they have more mode doesn't justiy the full pricetag. People arent paying for modes.

At most this game is a good game of football, not a ''great new gameplay and amazing modes must have fifa'', as the review suggests.

Avatar image for renger6002

guys settle down the clips in the video were clearly on low difficulty as defenders literally backed off in the box and allowed a shot to be taken. He says the goalies have been boosted and scores remain respectable so maybe trust him...

It's a typical add-on game, which I might get just for the sake of being able to play as random-ass countries.

Avatar image for Deaho

I watched the demo version on youtube,man this game is so bad and so unreal as always.I haven't seen a good world cup game since 1998.From world cup 2002 to world cup 2014 all what I see is unrealistic soccer games,the match entrance is not real at all,the fans celebrating in the cafe and dancing every where in the stadium is not real,yah some fans in real life do that but not all of them!!!!! .I wish EA stop these kind of games and bring it as an add-on to fifa but I hope they keep the match entrance of fifa instead of that.

Avatar image for scorpioisrising

Only in UK and in some european countries this crap sells good

Avatar image for thorn3000

@scorpioisrising fifa players, especially UK ones are people who play only one game whole year around - Fifa...for them, this is a must buy and it's something new in addition to the game they have been now playing for 7 months...they are not like normal gamers who play different games, Fifa caters to a pretty specific crowd, especially in europe

Avatar image for Sound_Demon

@thorn3000 @scorpioisrising You are telling me they waste 500$ or euroes or whatever for a console for in which they buy 1 game a year for and that game is the same game over and over?

Avatar image for turbojugend16

@thorn3000 Specific crowd? You mean paraplegic grass fairies?

Avatar image for hotwog21

2010 better than any game since :)

Avatar image for prodigy_69

Do we get a digger driving mini game before it starts

to help get the stadiums finished before kickoff?

Avatar image for SJGSpook

Time to let go of the old consoles. Seriously getting irritating now and it will not do the gaming industry any favours.

Avatar image for Caldrin

So i guess this is just a cut down version of the latest Fifa game

Avatar image for scorpioisrising

@Caldrin This is EA and they are just "milking this cow" for the fanboys of this sport

Avatar image for saloysiusness

@scorpioisrising @Caldrin ya milking the most popular sporting event in the world... bad biz EA lol

Avatar image for Caldrin

@saloysiusness @scorpioisrising @Caldrin certainly not bad business.. but shame on the people buying it.. I mean the standard fifa games have a world cup option just play that :) why pay so much for something you basically already have :)

Avatar image for redknight80

I laughed out loud when the reviewer stated "The goalies seemed to have been given an ability boast, thus not letting games get out of hand" with the previous clip showing a 14-0 Argentina vs Brazil...while he just scored with England in a 10-0 game in the 70th minute while saying that comment and then the next clip after that shows a 7-0 lead (again with Argentina, probably in the same match as that 14-0 rout) in the 47th minute. about poor time to be showing those clips, hahaha, so dumb.

Avatar image for Tr2et

Is the top image captured in game? If it is true, then it is the most successful FIFA ever!!! That player can play on a concrete field with obstacles like rubble, stone,... under a rain of junk thrown from the mobs.

Avatar image for ez054098

$60 for a makeover? Ah, no. And we aren't talking about the PS4 or One. $19.99 is my price point.

Avatar image for diego_corleone

Where is the street riots and the unfinished stadiums? No way this is a simulator to the World Cup.

Avatar image for ohjtbehaaave

If this game drops to $40 it will gain some interest. $60 is just to much to fork over for those other than the soccer fanatics out there.

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2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil More Info

  • First Released Apr 15, 2014
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil brings Rio de Janeiro to your living room.
    Average Rating55 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
    Developed by:
    EA Canada
    Published by:
    Electronic Arts, EA Sports
    Simulation, Soccer, Sports, Team-Based
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    No Descriptors