The annual release of the latest incarnation of the FIFA simulation is a highlight of the gaming calendar. This year’s version, FIFA 14, has been received with the requisite fanfare. In fact, many fans have expressed the opinion that FIFA 14 eclipses its keen rival Pro Evo 14, making it the top dog when it comes to football gaming. But what are the differences between this and the new World Cup game for Xbox 360 and PS3 - and which one is better?
The circus surrounding the latest version of the full game each year means that quite often, the standalone FIFA productions, such as the recently released FIFA World Cup Brazil, go forgotten. But there are plenty of reasons why fans should check out this version, timed to coincide with this summer’s FIFA World Cup. In fact, in many ways, World Cup Brazil is a superior game to FIFA 14.
Now if you’re expecting World Cup Brazil to be a technically and graphically superior experience to FIFA 14, then you may well be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for a game that is simply a lot of fun, this is where World Cup Brazil has the definite edge. For a start, the game play itself is more entertaining. There is a range of new shooting and passing animations and features, which makes for a football game with enhanced attacking flair. Perhaps this is all in keeping with the Brazilian World Cup theme. The result is strikers who unleash fearsome and acrobatic shots on goal which are a joy to both produce and watch.
Sensibly though, the game creators have also enhanced the abilities of goalkeepers and defenders. Keepers are now more adept than they are in FIFA 14 at palming the ball away or punching clear. Defenders meanwhile, although often outstripped by their attacking opponents for speed and skill, are now able to flick the ball behind when defending a corner and jostle for position with opponents, giving them a real battling edge.
Although the animation doesn’t perhaps replicate reality as effectively FIFA 14, there are some excellent features which you won’t find elsewhere. Coaches can be seen prowling the touchline, gesticulating to their team and urging them to victory. Meanwhile, the action periodically cuts to a scene of fans celebrating in a town square in front of a big screen back home.
With 203 national teams, 7,469 players and 21 new stadiums including all 12 authentic stadiums from Brazil to choose from, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to personalising your game with World Cup Brazil. There are also some great modes of play at your fingertips. The “Captain Your Country” mode sees you take on the persona of a single player, with the aim of distinguishing yourself to become captain as the tournament progresses. Meanwhile, “Road to the FIFA World Cup” allows you to control the destiny of a nation’s fortunes throughout an entire tournament, from the qualifying phase right through to the final at the famous Maracana Stadium on July 13th.
Another great feature is the two radio stations which you can listen to while you play, giving you the latest news from the tournament. It features over 50 hours of recorded content from well-known commentators and pundits. The only real downside to World Cup Brazil is that it’s not available on next-gen consoles such as PS4 or Xbox One. That aside though, this is an excellent production which can only enhance your World Cup experience.
Second opinion from Leet editor Dom Sacco
This is a guest post and I thought I'd share my two cents on the game. There's no doubting FIFA World Cup is a fun game but of course don't forget it lacks the online Ultimate Team mode found in recent versions of the annual FIFA games. Then there's the fact that it obviously has no club teams. For a full-price game, this is a little disappointing, but if you're in the mood for some World Cup fun and you're happy to pay the price, World Cup Brazil won't disappoint.