If you are like most of the world and cannot wait for the World Cup to get started this summer, you are in luck because you now have a chance to play the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil video game.
The latest installment in the FIFA franchise was released on Tuesday in North America and it already has a number of fans excited.
This game offers you a chance to play as any of the 203 nations that entered qualifying and lead them to victory in a number of different modes. With two months to go before the international tournament actually begins, this is a great way to build up your excitement.
Of all the reasons to purchase the game, that ability to get realistic feelings heading into the World Cup might be the biggest. Chris Scullion of Computer and Video Games discusses the subtle additions to help fans appreciate the excitement:
Given the colourful Brazil setting of this year's tournament EA has cranked up the saturation dial, with far more colour in the stands and some stadia baked in fierce sunlight. As superficial as this change may be, it does have a slight psychological impact and makes it clear this isn't just regular old FIFA with dreary mid-season slogs in the rain. This is a special summer football party where the grass is (literally) always greener.
Besides just the change in graphics, there are multiple modes that help you get the realism of a World Cup run. The best one of these is the "Road to the FIFA World Cup," which allows you to take your favorite squad and develop them into champions.
Since all of the competitive nations are available, so are all of the qualifying tournaments. Therefore, you can make a run through the mode as the United States before following that up with Egypt or anyone else you want.
The reality is that the experience will be completely different depending on which team you choose and how good you are as a gamer and a manager.
Nathan Ditum of PlayStation Magazine discusses the realism in this format:
What does capture that feeling of an unfolding campaign is the game’s basic system of team management and the cup format. A World Cup is defined by stories: the injury to a key playmaker, a last-minute formation change, the emergence of a untested youngster. 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil has all this.
The fact that you are playing the entire run throughout qualifying also allows you to enjoy the mode for an extended period of time, similar to a season in a regular FIFA game. Then again, the impatient can simply put their favorite team into the World Cup finals and play it that way, too.
Of course, this is just the beginning of the many modes available to make this version the most expansive FIFA World Cup video game yet.
Gamers can once again utilize the "Captain Your Country" mode that allows fans to create a single player and turn him into a star. This gives people the look of what it takes to be the best and lead a team to victory at an international level.
Besides these offline modes, there are also a few online modes, including "Story of Finals" and "Story of Qualifying." These two competitions allow fans to recreate the real-life action that occurred or do their best to change history.
Finally, fans can compete online in a "Road to Rio de Janeiro" that goes through a ladder system where you advance through every stadium at the 2014 World Cup.
As far as the gameplay itself, there are certainly good and bad aspects. For the most part, this is an extension of FIFA 14 with some changes, so players should not expect a completely new game.
Matthew Kato of Game Informer notes some of the improvements on the latest version:
Headers are improved both by defenders' increased ability to win the ball in the air as well as new strategic options for corner kicks. Developer EA Canada also worked on streamlining player movements after receiving the ball in order to make acceleration more fluid.
On the other hand, he also points out that the ball detection with the AI can still be lacking. The good news is that if you like the most recent games, you should not be disappointed.
Still, the biggest issue with this type of video game is the short usefulness. It is clearly built on the intention that fans will enjoy it for the summer, but it could definitely be forgotten about shortly after.
Jack Arnott of EuroGamer breaks down this issue:
Its value to you will grow and grow and then suddenly nosedive the day after the World Cup final. If you buy on release day, that's around 88 days of Rio-related fun and then it may as well self-destruct in your disc-drive. Online opponents will become harder and harder to find, the tie-in online content will suddenly become unavailable. And that's overlooking the fact that English readers will be pining for their club teams after a few hours spent in the company of Roy Hodgson's England.
Despite this negative aspect, there is still enough about this game to enjoy for months. This is not much less than many other video games featured around sports or otherwise.
Other than that, the only other problem is the fact that it is only available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The creators made a decision not to design anything for the next-generation consoles, instead leaving those gamers with nothing.
Lead producer Matt Prior explained this decision to Edgar Alvarez of Engadget:
We don't have limitless resources. We wanted to bring the game to as many people as possible and right now that was the 360 and PS3. ...Emerging markets were important to making this decision. We wanted to create the best game we could that could reach as many people as possible.
While it definitely creates a bigger market for the game worldwide, the advanced gamers cannot help but feel left out from this limited release.
Overall though, this is a quality game that is clearly a step up from previous versions. Fans who love the sport will try to avoid spending the money, but after a while the World Cup fever will be too strong to avoid.
Based on the reviews and the enticing features this version offers, they will not be disappointed.
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