FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Edition - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

26 September 2014

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.5

Summary:

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Edition' was released onto the PlayStation 4 this past year and it was developed and published by EA Sports. The game immediately became one of the top selling sports titles on the system, and for good reason. We laced up our cleats to get a first hand look and we've brought back some good news.

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Posted:
2015-02-28

Dave_Finnigan

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PS4

7.4

'FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Edition' was released onto the PlayStation 4 this past year and it was developed and published by EA Sports. The game immediately became one of the top selling sports titles on the system, and for good reason. We laced up our cleats to get a first hand look and we've brought back some good news.

The 'FIFA' series has always stood tall as one of the few consistently good franchises in the world of sports. When 'Madden' dips in quality, as it does year to year, 'FIFA' continues keeping the course. And perhaps that is the nature of soccer fans in general. They stick with their game no matter what the course, knowing that it will treat them well in the end. And so far it has treated them well, but this is not the end.

Let the games begin..

'FIFA' has always been revered for the way that it brought playable, realistic soccer to the masses. The series has always been considered a top tier simulation over anything else and it has routinely been the glue that brings friends to the same console to play one another. Games like that are lacking these days so it is wonderful to see that 'FIFA' isn't forgetting its roots. With the 'Ultimate Team Edition' for the PS4, the guys behind the game pushed things further than they have ever pushed them. Both graphics and gameplay elements have been addressed and summarily updated, resulting in one of the smoothest sports experiences in the entire world of gaming.

Your first glance at the 'FIFA' exhibition mode will leave you stunned by the sheer graphical upgrade. While it isn't PS1 to PS2 impressive, the jump is still ultra noticeable. All of the players have their signature looks, hairstyles, and motions down pat. The players move across the field as if they were on the real thing and we merely spectators. No more insane glitches through the turf as our players get drug around like they were being pulled by some unseen Graboid.

The stadiums look equally impressive as they have been inundated with a multitude of new, little details. The crowds are still little more than animated cardboard cutouts, and that's fine, because our eyes will inevitably be drawn to the action on the field--which looks as crisp as ever. We want to take a moment to point out how especially great the animations have looked with our time spent playing the game. Watching our striker cut across the field, dribble around a defender, and lance a shot toward an amped up and ready to defend goalkeeper is as fun as things get. The whole sequences, breakaway goals especially, have been a joy to watch on the screen so far.

Before we jump too deep into the different modes and such, I want to take a minute to point out how well the AI has matured as the series has gone on. Too often we've been struck by how generally incompetent or hyper capable the AI has been in past entries. Adjusting the difficulty to fix the problems was like taking a sledgehammer to a wall hanging, never quite graceful enough to get what we wanted done. Out of the box this game is much more playable than any of the other prior entries.

Opposing goalies no longer have the wingspan of Calvin Johnson and they don't move to where you are going to kick it before you even swing your foot. The defensive AI on the rest of the field is appropriately scaled as well. You'll never run into a lead footed, mega slider that takes out your entire roster while somehow avoiding any sort of card. Having appropriately complimented this important aspect, we can jump on over to the rest of the game.

All of the classic modes are back with 'FIFA 15', including the hyper popular 'Ultimate Team'. Online mode has made this game type even more popular and the servers over at EA seem to be working overtime in order to keep everyone playing the way that they want to play. Players who loved the game mode last year will find themselves still in love, and probably spending too many coins drumming up their perfect roster.

Exhibition and online match play still rules the 'FIFA' realm, though. The game is accessible as ever and there is no reason even the most casual of soccer fan couldn't sit down and play a competitive game. You'll find your share of experts who seem predestined to outscore you, but they aren't as common as you might think. This is truly a game that appeals to the casual soccer fan. As well, we never ran into the issue of people dropping out of our games half way through. Whether we were blessed with a lucky experience or if this is truly the norm remains to be seen.

We've always been partial to the Manager mode when it comes to simulation sports. We love being able to take a club that is on its last legs in order to make some smart moves in order to bring them back to the top. 'FIFA 15' probably has the most effective manager mode in all of the current generation of sporting sims. That is high praise considering how far the 'Madden' and '2K' series has come for football and basketball respectively. There is enough depth and longevity to appeal to the hard core sim-ster in all of us.

At the end of the day the hardest question fans will have to answer is this: Is 'FIFA 15' a big enough improvement to warrant an additional investment? We hate ourselves each time we buy another year of sports titles because our backlog becomes obsolete pretty much immediately. Still, we can safely say that this game warrants the pick up for any fan of the sport. Not only is it a much better brand on the field, it will also be what all of your friends are playing anyways.

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Electronic Arts

Release Date:

26/09/2014

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