2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review: different enough from all the other kids with their pumped-up kicks

Games in Asia

FIFA games have been around since the age of dinosaurs, and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil doesn’t bring anything huge to the table, but does it need to?

Released as a complement to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which kicks-off June 12, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was released on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, while FIFA 14, the previous iteration in the series, was released on both those consoles as well as on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.

This might seem strange to some, but it appears that EA Sports, the developer behind the series, intends to reach a large number of audiences worldwide with this title, and that they feel this game will be played more widely by people on previous gen consoles.

While that does not explain why the game could not have been on both past and present gen consoles, we can only assume it had something to do with them trying to get this release out in time for the actual FIFA soccer championship.

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Gameplay

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil plays almost identically to its predecessors, and it’s such an age-old control system that it would make as much sense for me to talk in depth about it as it would be for me to tell you how to perform a jump in Super Mario.

Nevertheless, you don’t have to fix what ain’t broke, and it’s that very control system that has captivated fans worldwide. EA Sports seem to understand that the control system, although good in design, may prove too complex for beginners, and as such they have included two more simple control settings.

The problem with those settings is, however, that you won’t be allowed to use those simpler controls in the online arena, so if you’re interested in mounting a global soccer conquest then it’s probably better to throw yourself off the deep end and learn the harder, classic controls from the start.

There have been minor tweaks to mechanics, such as an improved dribbling and passing system, improved ball physics, and new penalty kicks, but casual players probably won’t even notice these changes, and professional players will take them in and adapt to them within a negligible period of time.

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Gameplay Modes

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil features some key modes not found in the earlier iterations of the game that are worth mentioning because they tie into the theme pretty well.

The Road to FIFA mode lets you pick a team and play through an entire fantasy tournament right from the qualifying round as you try and win a virtual FIFA World Cup. The second new mode, Road to Rio de Janiero, pits players against each other in a bid to gain dominance over the 12 officially-sanctioned FIFA World Cup 2014 host cities.

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Graphics

Is this game graphically superior to FIFA 14 on the PS3? No. Is it graphically inferior to FIFA 14 on the PS4? Of course it is. But frankly these minor graphical differences only really grab your attention when you see closeups of players or instant replays. When you’re looking at the classic top-down football game camera angle, it all looks pretty much the same.

You can see, however, that EA Sports has put a lot of work into making the audience fit the venue and theme, which brings me to my next point, and really the only reason you would get this game if you don’t already own FIFA 14.

Things just got Rio

This is pretty much the only niche that FIFA 14 did not fill— giving players a good feel of that Brazilian samba spirit. Save for making the players wear samba pants and carry maracas, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil really pulls out all the stops to make a player feel as Brazilian as possible.

The Brazilian-themed background music in the menus puts you in the mood to party, and even the shots of the crowd have been completely reworked from previous games to reflect how they get down in Rio.

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The menu screens have bright splashes of yellow and green, and it’s quite simply one of the most gorgeous in-game menus I have ever seen, while simultaneously being one of the most difficult to read as the text is white on very, very bright colors.

All 203 teams that took part in the World Cup qualifiers in real life are in this game: no more, no less. The game will also only feature all the real life venues that the 2014 FIFA World Cup has been to and will be played at.

Conclusion

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil really doesn’t bring anything game-breaking to the table, but you really didn’t need me to tell you that, did you?

However, if you’re looking into hyping yourself up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, then this game is a great way to do so. You may also feel the impulsive need to pick this game up mid-season when you feel like you want to relive an epic match that you just saw on your telly. And you really wouldn’t be wrong in doing so either, because if there’s one thing this game does really well, it’s capturing the raw emotions and vibes that you can really only experience during a Brazilian World Cup match.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is out now for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 home consoles.

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