FIFA 14 Review

FIFA 14 Review

FIFA 14’s new controls for iPhone, iPad and Android are far from pitch perfect

The excitement among football fans builds up every year around the time of the latest FIFA launch. The chance to try out famous football club’s new signings for themselves and take advantage of the latest graphic and gameplay updates is enough to form queues outside shops at midnight for console versions. In the past few years mobile owners have also had a reason to get FIFA fever, thanks to EA Sports bringing the game to smartphone and tablets as well.

This year’s edition has had a complete overhaul of the control system, replacing the on-screen d-Pad with ‘Touch Flow’ controls that are designed to add to the precision of gameplay. You can now use swipe and drag gestures to move players around the pitch, and tap teammates to pass to them. In theory it sounds like an interesting move, however in reality it’s hugely frustrating to work with, and leaves users feeling all fingers and thumbs. Swiping actions to control the movement of the ball are a nice idea, but having to tap other players to pass them the ball is a laboured task, making player movement feel like a secondary priority – definitely not the case when it comes to the Beautiful Game in real life.

On the subject of player movement, not only do these controls feel like they’ve been pushed down the priority list, trying to move players and close down the opposition using gestures is a task you wouldn’t wish on anyone, such is the awkwardness of it all.

EA Sports has also now made FIFA 14 a free download – but don’t get too excited, as an in-app purchase is required to play more than a single introductory game to show off the new controls. Online gaming is open from the very moment you fire it all up, although we had a few issues actually getting online to play.

Of course comparing FIFA 14 to console versions of the game would be unfair, and there is no doubt that visually the game has taken another step forward, with more polish in player movement and likeness. However, they continue to be more beauty than brains. Scoring is still too easy, with any on-target shot from within 40 yards finding its way into the net. For now FIFA on mobile still feels like a Championship match rather than a Premier League game.

Rated 3 out of 5

FIFA 14 has taken steps forward visually but the new control system leaves rather a lot to be desired.