FIFA 15 promised to be the most authentic football experience to date and whilst that is a bold statement it’s one it well and truly delivers on.
Like many fans of teams outside the top four I’ve endured years of playing out games with identikit players in generic stadiums. But this year I get to play at my beloved Selhurst Park in all its glory, which has been painstaking captured right down to the porta cabin offices attached to the side of the stadium. It’s not just Selhurst that has got the upgrade from “Ivy Lane” as FIFA 15 features all 20 Premier League stadiums. Although none of this affects the gameplay, it gives you an impression that EA so confident with the game that they are now focussing on the small things which make a big difference.
Every year FIFA seems to switch between evolution and revolution when tweaking the gameplay and at the moment FIFA 15 feels halfway between the two. The big two things you’ll notice straight away are Goalkeepers and defending. Goalkeepers have been reworked from the ground up and so far I’ve found it a mixed bag, whilst they punch away more long distance efforts, they are beaten at the near post more than ever. Goalkeeper positioning has massively improved and now pressing Y (or triangle) often costs you a goal. Defending has also been made much harder/realistic as you wait for the perfect time to make a tackle or risk facing leave big gaps in the defence for your opponent to exploit.
FIFA Ultimate Team has also got the makeover treatment. For those of you know have never played Ultimate Team the best way to describe it is having a Panini sticker album where you cherry pick your best players to take on the world, complete with In-form “Shiny’s” based on how players play on the pitch in real life and its own ebay-esque online swap shop. The biggest addition is loan players which allows you get the likes of Messi, Bale and Robben even if it is only for a few matches at a time.