17-23 October 2014 #728

Kicking balls

FIFA 15 is a true showcase of the computing power and capabilities of the next-generation gaming consoles.

If there was ever a game that has football fanatics salivating in wait every year, it has to be the EA Sport’s FIFA series. Since taking over the reign from Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series as THE football simulator game, the FIFA titles have never relinquished their top billing as the highest selling, and highest-rated sports game. Last year, FIFA 14 became the first in the series to be available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms, making many of us gamers extremely happy.

FIFA 15 tops that glee. The latest in the series, FIFA 15 is a true showcase of the computing power and capabilities of the next-generation gaming consoles.

EA Sports has always strived to make its FIFA series as real as possible, and the visuals don’t get any more life-like than what is played out on the FIFA 15. Yantrick had a good laugh misleading clueless friends and family into thinking they were watching the real deal many-a-time.

From pre-match routines to stadium shots of jam-packed stands pulsating with chanting fans, from the half-time highlights to the cutaways and replays, the sublime animations reflecting on-pitch battles and the wearing down of playing surfaces, and the post-match analysis, FIFA 15 has left no stone unturned to make games feel like they are actually sitting among thousands at a Chelsea-Arsenal London derby.

So besides the anticipated improved visuals, what exactly is different in FIFA 15? Well, dribbling and turning are more gratifyingly responsive, and overall there is a more natural feel to each game: the loose balls, the interceptions, the deflections all make it more unpredictable and thus more gratifying.

One of the major gripes of FIFA 14 were the dumb goalkeepers and animations. FIFA 15 corrects those errors. The way goal keepers react to deviations in the ball’s flight path, twist their bodies in mid-air when it takes a deflection off a lunging defender’s knee, jabb out a leg to turn aside a shot that seems to be squirming past them is like marvelling at Petr Cech’s skills in real life. Players now also respond to big moments on the pitch as they would in real life, courtesy of what EA Sports calls ‘Emotional Intelligence’. Old favourites like Manager Mode and Ultimate Team remain, and online play is better.

There’s little else you’ll do once you have got your hands on this beautiful game, so I suggest waiting until the Tihar holidays for a one-on-one with your buddy.

Yantrick’s Verdict: Retailing at round Rs 7,000, FIFA 15 is the game your PS4 was built to showcase.

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