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FIFA 15 Review | Thrilling Pace

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 15, Foootball games, PS4 games, Sports Games

FIFA 15 Review | Thrilling Pace

I long one day to have a FIFA game that truly encapsulates what that title suggests, although that would probably be a House of Cards-esque, murky, political adventure title, or a bureaucratic take on Crusader Kings II -- all backstabbing, corruption, and intrigue.

The limited edition set would come with a watch that you'd have to return to the store, naturally.

Instead of that, however, here we have another buzzword-stuffed game wherein you take control of teams of players from a side-on perspective, stringing together intricate passes, laughing at the foibles of player impacts, and cursing when your player tries to volley inside of heading the pinpoint cross you just floated into the box.

FIFA 15 Review | Thrilling Pace

This is really the first true new-gen FIFA title (we're not counting the graphical scrub up of FIFA 14), and it's clear that a number of things have changed on the pitch. Perhaps the most noticeable tweak is that pace is back in a big way. In the real game, a player with pace, someone who runs at defenders and looks to take them on, is a huge asset. FIFA has finally managed to recreate the thrill of having someone like Bale or Sterling or Di Maria really take on opponents at speed. No longer will full backs conveniently be able to catch up, it seems like teams with pace have a real edge that's finally realised thanks to expert balancing to go along with the precision control that has been standard for the last couple of years.

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FIFA 15 Demo Impressions | Let's Talk About Our Feelings

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Demo, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 15, Football games, Games previews, Sports Games

FIFA 15 Demo Impressions | Let's Talk About Our Feelings

The FIFA 15 demo has been out for around a week or so now, and I've been dipping into it in amongst swathes of Destiny, Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 (do check out Carl's review of Bungie's FPS, and my appraisal of the Zelda/Warriors mashup). As per usual, EA Canada have been showering us with buzzword-heavy promotional sentences largely devoid of any real meaning, and the biggest of the lot for this year's release has been "emotion" -- that is to say player and crowd reactions, presentation tuned to deliver the theatrical and entertaining, and a boost in dynamic atmosphere when it comes to the in-game environment.

Has it worked? Are all of the footballing feels writ large upon this new, super-shiny canvas? Here are a few thoughts are several hours spent playing the demo:

Emotional behaviour is a thing: FIFA's always been a rather emotional game for me, in much the same way as any multiplayer game that you love can be. When winning and bragging rights amongst your friends (or the rest of the online community) are onthe line, matches mean more, and the peaks and troughs of a game matter more than they really have any right to. But this is now reflected on the pitch. In one game where I was playing as PSG, Lucas skipped past several defenders, Ibrahimovic shook his man, but I wanted to get the winger a goal so I ignored the Swede and promptly ballooned a sitter over the bar. Ibra then launched several unintelligible insults Lucas' way.

Players will shove and barge more than they used to, they'll clamour and cheer when you do something awesome, but they'll also let you know when someone's been an arse. After unclean tackles, if those involved are not injured, they'll leap to their feet and start mouthing off and pushing one another. If anything, FIFA 15 has most gloriously captured the notion that footballers are whinging prima donnas, who'll get uppity about anything.

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PSA: FIFA 14 Demo Arrives Tomorrow

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 14, Game demo

PSA: FIFA 14 Demo Arrives Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder for you footy fans out there that the FIFA 14 demo goes live tomorrow for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

We'll have a little impressions piece from our time with the game at Gamescom and the demo itself later on this week. [via]

Have Nearly 40 Mins Of FIFA 14 Footage And Assorted Gamescom Banter

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 14, Gameplay footage, Gamescom 2013

Have Nearly 40 Mins Of FIFA 14 Footage And Assorted Gamescom Banter

A new video from EA TV has emerged that delivers over half an hour of FIFA 14 gameplay footage along with some insight from the team (in English and German), and some feedback from pro FIFA players.

Check it out after the jump.

Click here to read more...

FIFA 14 Video Is A Load Of Balls

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 14, Football games, Sports Games, Trailers

FIFA 14 Video Is A Load Of Balls

The latest video for EA Sports' upcoming footballing mega-bonanza FIFA 14 deals with ball physics and how the science of shooting has been tuned up to allow for extreme precision in the upcoming game.

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FIFA 13 PC Patch Live, PS3 & Xbox 360 Treatment Coming Soon

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Football games, Patch, PC games

FIFA 13 PC Patch Live, PS3 & Xbox 360 Treatment Coming Soon

EA Sports dropped a fat patch for FIFA 13 on PC on Saturday, fixing a number of issues with the game engine, invisible balls, a few physics-related bugs, and connectivity problems.

Already available on PC, the patch will be coming to the home consoles soon, though dates are yet to be confirmed.

Click here to see the full list of updates >>>

FIFA 13 Review | Still The Ultimate Team?

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Football games, Sports Games

FIFA 13 Review | Still The Ultimate Team?

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Developers: EA Canada

Publishers: EA Sports

If Konami's mission over the years has been to strive towards giving the player an unprecedented amount of control over the on-pitch action (something that they finally, satisfyingly achieved with this year's iteration), the EA Canada's insanely popular, and vastly more expensive series has always been one aiming to capture the spectacle, the drama - making everything around the player feel utterly authentic.

Two different approaches have produced two very different, and equally impressive games this year. FIFA 12 saw the arrival of the Impact Engine, which had an immediate effect on the way matches played out. Although the physical properties of the players now led to more realistic encounters, too often we'd find games bogged down in the middle of pitch, with players often falling over one another in a heap. Though still not perfect, the amount of swearing at the Impact Engine has gone down with reference to this year's game.

FIFA 13 Review | Still The Ultimate Team?

If EA were mainly focused on overhauling the defensive side of things last year, then this year it's all about attack. Indeed, we actually rather wish they'd spent a little bit of time tweaking Tactical Defending to allow players to vary the distance between the oncoming player and the controlled defender, but it's a small quibble. Impressively, the offensive AI has been noticeably improved. Creative options going forward are more varied than ever before, thanks to overlapping wingbacks, teammates moving into channels automatically, bended runs attempting to break the offside trap, and wingers scything into the penalty area on the diagonal. It's still frustratingly difficult to score across the face of goal, but moving the ball around is a joy. And we've not been able to say that about a FIFA game in a long time.

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New FIFA 13 Dev Diary Reveals Audio Overhaul

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Dev Diary, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Videos

EA Canada have dropped a new developer diary for FIFA 13 dealing with the revamped audio in the new game. Commentary has long been an issue in football games, but the dev team on FIFA 13 are looking to expand the audio with real-life reflections mid-match, sideline reports from concurrent matches, and a Final Score-esque results overview in the career mode menu.

The game drops tomorrow in the US, and this Friday over here.

FIFA 13: EA Canada "Can't Ever Envisage" Cross-Platform Play

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Cross-platform play, David Rutter, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13

FIFA 13: EA Canada "Can't Ever Envisage" Cross-Platform Play

We're shattering some dreams this afternoon!

Were you hoping that one day in the future, football fans of all platform backgrounds might be able to come together and play in  harmony? Well, you're clearly a shoegazing nutter, and it's time for you to get back to reality, as FIFA executive producer David Rutter has poured cold water all over that beautiful lie of a dream.

Click here to read more...

FIFA 13 Video Shows Off Mo-Cap And Balotelli's Hulk Out

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Football games, Videos

Mario Balotelli's Hulk celebration has made it into FIFA 13. A new behind-the-scenes video from EA Sports shows Jay DeMerit and Alain Rochat doing all sorts of nifty things whilst wearing ridiculous mo-cap suits, including pulling a Mario.

We're not sure if Balotelli's legendary strops have made it into the game, mind.

FIFA 13 On Wii U At Launch

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Sports Games, Wii U

FIFA 13 On Wii U At Launch

New Modes, Controls & Features

FIFA 13 will be a Wii U launch title, complete with a host of unique features including asymmetrical five-player multiplayer and gamepad functionality.

Click here for the FIFA 13 Wii U screenshots and details >>

New NHL 13 Trailer Focuses On The Last Man Standing

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, Ice hockey, nhl 13, Sports Games, Trailers

Goalies sometimes find themselves a little unloved in sports games. Not so in this latest trailer for NHL 13, which focuses exclusively on the Last Man Standing.

The game's out on September 11th in the US on PS3 and Xbox 360, with the European release set for September 13th.

Fifa 12 | £9.85 | ShopTo | PC

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
EA Canada, Electronic Arts, Games deals, PC games, Sports Games

Fifa 12 | £9.85 | ShopTo | PC

I think it's safe to say there's plenty of football going on at the moment, but if you just can't get enough then this might be the deal for you. This one's best enjoyed with a friend and unfortunately if you're playing through by yourself the career mode's not particularly deep. ShopTo are parting with PC copies of the game for £9.85, which should make you a saving of over £5 on the next best offer coming in from Game. Thanks to Syzable @ HUKD.

FIFA Football | £23.95 | The Hut / Zavvi | Vita

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
EA, EA Canada, PS Vita games, Sports Games
Discuss:
Playstation Vita

FIFA Football | £23.95 | The Hut / Zavvi | Vita

The Vita’s first footballing effort has managed to retain its price rather well, so this deal from Zavvi and The Hut is a welcome one. The reduction means there is a saving of just over £3 currently available.

Despite lacking some features from the latest home console instalments, FIFA Football demonstrated that a fully-fledged version of the franchise is possible on the Vita. Precision shooting with the rear track pad is incredibly useful once you get used to it, although flailing fingers may make you scream as you unintentionally shoot from the halfway line. Thanks to LJF21 @ HUKD!

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | Attacking Intelligence & Tactical Free Kicks

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Attacking Intelligence, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Football games, Games previews, Sports Games, Tactical Free Kicks

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | Attacking Intelligence & Tactical Free Kicks

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: EA Sports

Having taken a look at the improved Impact Engine, and gotten to grips with Complete Dribbling and First Touch Control, the final instalment in our FIFA 13 spotlight preview miniseries focuses on the changes that EA Canada have been making to the attacking aspects of the game off the ball.

"One of the biggest bits of feedback we got from the community was that they wanted more options in attack," Gameplay Producer Aaron McHardy tells me. "Our focus has been on making things more realistic, and improving the AI to an extent where it will take things into greater consideration and react to ball position, player position, the flow of play, the defensive line, those sort of things."

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | Attacking Intelligence & Tactical Free Kicks

That all sounds rather nice, but what does it actually mean? Well, we're told that entire chunks of code have been rewritten when it comes to player positioning and the reactions of AI players relative to those around them. Videos of the game's development testing software show off players bending their runs to avoid defenders, looking for gaps, and hunting for space.

One of my own personal grievances with the series for a while has been the headless chicken nature of triggered runs. You tap the left bumper and the players ahead streak off in straight lines, not really mindful of their surroundings. It's something that McHardy admits has been lacking somewhat in the past, and stresses that the team are working to really allow for a fluid attacking game this time around. Part of this, he says, is down to the fact that the AI will now analyse the entire length of a run.

Click here to read more...

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | First Touch Control & Complete Dribbling

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Complete Dribbling, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, First Touch Control, Football games, Games previews, Sports Games

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | First Touch Control & Complete Dribbling

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: EA Sports

In our first FIFA 13 preview we focused on the upgrades that are going to be coming in for the Impact Engine, and their effects on defensive tussling, jostling for possession, contact areas, and fixing a number of issues to do that cropped up in FIFA 12 (and launched a swathe of YouTube compilation vids). Today, it's all about the changes that EA Canada have made to the game engine to shake things up a bit once you're actually on the ball.

The second big buzzword phrase that the developers are touting this year comes in the form of First Touch Control. "When we brought in Tactical Defending last year, it really changed the way you played the game," says Gameplay Producer Aaron McHardy. "You had to think about timing a lot more, when to go in for the tackle, when to shadow and track the player in possession. It was a huge success for us, and we were really grateful for the positive feedback we got from that.

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | First Touch Control & Complete Dribbling

"This time around, we feel that First Touch Control is the game-changing element to FIFA 13."

So what's new? Well, in order to demonstrate, McHardy ran us through a YouTube clip of Ronaldinho taking a 50 yard pass coming in over his shoulder perfectly. "There are only a handful of people in the world that can do that," he says, "and even they would struggle to be consistent under pressure. So what we've tried to do is make ball control a lot more realistic, to factor those skill stats in, as well as the state of play, and create outcomes that are more physically believable."

Click here to read more...

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | Impact Engine 2.0

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Football games, Games previews, Impact Engine, Sports Games

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | Impact Engine 2.0

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: EA Sports

Sat in an auditorium listening to EA Sports pitch FIFA 13, I'm forced to concede a certain amount of admiration for the sheer honesty of the presentation. They didn't have to, of course. FIFA is such a massive force in gaming (one glance at the charts for the last few months will tell you that) that the developers at EA Canada could simply have focused on this year's buzzword-heavy collection of “gameplay innovations”.

But they didn't. Instead they held their hands up and acknowledged that there were a number of things that certainly needed changing from last year's rather revolutionary effort.

FIFA 13 Spotlight Preview | Impact Engine 2.0

Of course, the evidence is there for all to see. The much-touted Impact Engine was erratic at best, and hilarious at its worst, with players often falling over for no good reason, enormous bundles of mannequins forming near the centre circle, referees ignoring hideous fouls or blowing for the slightest bit of friction, and who could forget that kiss?

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EA Sports Announce New Innovations For FIFA 13

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Aaron McHardy, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13, Football games, Sports Games

EA Sports Announce New Innovations For FIFA 13

Now we're allowed to talk about all of the new things EA Canada are planning for FIFA 13! Woooo! Football fans will be pleased to know that a swathe of new buzzword-heavy gameplay features are being planned to try and improve upon last year's defensive upgrades with Attacking Intelligence, Tactical Free Kicks, First Touch Control, and Complete Dribbling all in the mix.

Click here to read more...

UEFA Euro 2012 Review | Be Careful What You Wish For

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
DLC, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 12, Football games, Sports Games, UEFA Euro 2012

UEFA Euro 2012 Review | Be Careful What You Wish For

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: EA Sports

The nature of sports games, with annual seasons, transfer updates, and the quest for better and more brilliant ways to capture the various games that captivate crowds around the globe, is one of an iterative nature. These are games that release every twelve months, with fresh new rosters, fresh new features (hopefully), and a fresh coat of paint. Of course, when special events roll around, we've seen that yearly trend bucked, with full games released mid-season.

Such happenings have been somewhat controversial in the past, with specific games and full releases for the European Championships and World Cups dating back over two decades. More often than not, changes seemed almost entirely cosmetic, and detractors cried foul for being made to pay full price for what seemed like little more than a makeover.

UEFA Euro 2012 Review | Be Careful What You Wish For

But we should perhaps be careful what we wish for.

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Fifa Street (2012) | £24.85 With Code | ShopTo | Xbox 360 & PS3

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
EA Canada, EA Sports, Games deals, PS3 games, Sports Games, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Fifa Street (2012) | £24.85 With Code | ShopTo | Xbox 360 & PS3

Fifa Street is a pretty good game, it's just a shame it's not a great one. Offensive play is where this one shines, but sadly the defence is incredibly poor which'll more than likely lead to you shouting a long list of obscenities at your screen. With the MCVWINNERS voucher code you can get a copy of the game on the 360, or the PS3, for £24.85 which should save you £3 on the next best offer out there.