Kick off the World Cup a couple of months early with EA Sports aptly titled 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil video game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This new entry in the celebrated franchise and extension to FIFA 14 captures the excitement of the highly anticipated tournament with 12 authentically licensed stadiums throughout the host country, fireworks and scenes of fans celebrating worldwide, along with a variety of modes designed to immerse players in the experience of capturing the most coveted trophy in all of sports. Your decision to purchase the game heavily depends on your passion for football, the World Cup and system of choice.
Somewhat new football game, current gen FIFA
Being available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, FIFA World Cup Brazil looks and plays mostly similar to FIFA 14 on those respective platforms, so if youve grown used to the shockingly realistic visuals and IGNITE engine found on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 editions, you may have a tough time accepting World Cup Brazil into your home. Crowd animations dont feature noticeable improvements, while it appears EA did little if anything to enhance player detail. Of course, if you continue to play and love FIFA on current gen systems, this is less of an issue.
Modes worthy of the Cup
That aside, youll find a wealth of modes that propel World Cup Brazil ahead of its 2010 South Africa counterpart. Captain Your Country makes a welcome return, giving you the opportunity to join a club and rise from the bottom ranks to eventually captain the team and win the World Cup tournament.
If youre a history aficionado, Story of Qualifying presents 60 real-world events that took place during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds. This includes the match between Mexico and Jamaica from 06 February 2013, and the memorable snow match featuring the United States versus Costa Rica on 22 March 2013; the last one challenges you to win with a margin of five goals.
Perhaps youll prefer Road to Rio de Janeiro. Here, you choose from 203 teams and travel between Brazils 12 cities featuring realistic stadiums, from Arena da Amazonia in Manaus to Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
If you crave multiplayer, Road to the FIFA World Cup lets you choose from the same 203 FIFA-sanctioned national teams and progress through the tournament against 31 gamers through local play. Its the perfect way to get a small measure of pride for countries that failed to qualify for this years event. Conversely, if all you want is an online friendly, theres a mode in FIFA World Cup thatll satisfy that urge.
The most dramatic goals in FIFA history
The actual gameplay may or may not suit your tastes. It appears that EA spent more time enhancing the offense, and the result is the ability to make even the worlds premier defenders look foolish as you perform a variety of dribbles and stylish manoeuvres to beat them en route to the goal.
Speaking of which, players who struggle scoring goals will find World Cup Brazil more agreeable than FIFA 14. It doesn't take much to unleash a rocket kick that blows by the defence. On the positive side, this leads to more thrilling goals that ratchet up the excitement. Conversely, people who favour pure (and earned) skill over arcade-type feats of strength may scoff at the obvious change. To its credit, EA somewhat counteracts the offensive display with the ability for players to use their opponents shoulders as leverage when going for a header, and keepers who are more likely to punch the ball out of the box, but theres no denying the heavy emphasis put on scoring. You probably wont win matches 7-1, but there will be a more even playing field between opponents of different skill levels.
Party in Brazil
This action-heavy experience runs parallel with the pomp and circumstance. The crowd still looks pixelated and flat, but scenes of them celebrating in the stands, fireworks exploding and people partying in Trafalgar Square after something amazing happens combine to form one of the liveliest FIFA games weve seen. In addition, you have the option of listening to two pre-recorded radio stations (50 hours of audio) that make it seem like the World Cup tournament is in progress, featuring the likes of Ian Darke and Andy Goldstein, or Roger Bennett and Michael Davies (Men in Blazers).
Despite the pageantry, FIFA World Cup Brazil is somewhat tough to recommend, even for hard-core FIFA supporters. The game exists purely to capitalize on this summers events, and it will be out of date once the winning country hoists the trophy, and with FIFA 15 on the horizon. Theres also a real possibility of online lobbies becoming virtual ghost towns. If you cant wait for the World Cup and want a video game that captures the intensity of the tournament, this title delivers. People in search of the most realistic football offering (especially those with Xbox Ones and PS4s) should stick with FIFA 14.
GAME's Verdict: 8/10The Good
- A variety of excellent modes, Captain Your Country included
- Thrilling scenes and special effects capture the intensity of World Cup play
- Heavy focus on offense benefits struggling players
- Tough to play defence against increased offense
- No Xbox One and PS4 version
- Graphics look almost exactly like FIFA 14