FIFA 14 Patches And Deflates Its Foot-To-Balls

By Graham Smith on October 14th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

A foot-to-baller, yesterday.

FIFA 14 came out last month, bringing with it the set of updates we’ve come to expect from the yearly foot-to-ball series: slower running, better balls, new types of kicking, some new names of millionaires, four new lines of commentary which don’t make sense at first but, through mind-penetrating repetition, destroy cherished memories from your childhood and replace them with an image of Martin Tyler’s face, rotating, his eyes on fire, his mouth chanting some secret language.

Now there’s a patch that tweaks all of the above in slight but significant ways.

On the EA Answers website, the FIFA team outlined the changes. The key bulletpoints are:

  • Balancing lofted through balls.
  • Balancing attacking headers.
  • Balancing finesse shots.

The main, no-foolin’ change FIFA 14 made to the series was to slow matches down. It did that by making it harder to control the ball while sprinting, and by tweaking player tackles and ball-shielding moves. It meant that games were more about tactically taking apart your opponent; drawing defenders out of position, and using the revised finesse controls to quickly move the ball around defenders.

Those three things above – lofted through balls, attacking headers and finesse shots – by comparison, felt significantly easier than in previous versions. Headers in particular were a nightmare: it’s always been difficult in FIFA to defend against crossed balls, but now foreheads were like Quake 3 jumppads but for foot-to-balls. Head-to-balls?

The problem now is that lofted balls and finesse shots, while easier, were compensating for the slower pace of the game in other areas. By nerfing those as well, what’s left is a game that’s no longer, slow, tactical and marked by sudden bursts of speed and skill, but which instead feels like a slog.

Or maybe I’m just bitter because I lost seven of the eight Ultimate Team matches I played yesterday.

If you play FIFA 14 on PC, Origin should already have downloaded the patch. If not, the game is still great and still the best foot-to-ball game on PC, despite the patch, the disparity between this and the next-gen version of the same game, and the slow rate of progress each year.

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22 Comments »

  1. Ernesto25 says:

    Problem is their is a momentum / scripting mechanic that is all to evident to people used to the series, im glad they tried to balance pace but i do miss pes 4-6 difficulty and reward mechanics.

    • Stochastic says:

      I hear people accuse FIFA of having scripting all the time, but is there any evidence/confirmation of this?

      • Ernesto25 says:

        Playing the game and online there are examples but people will defend the game as well. Its hard to show without actively looking at what the person is pressing on the pad.

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  2. Premium User Badge

    RaveTurned says:

    ‘Ead Balls

  3. Inglourious Badger says:

    Wow! Serious foot-to-ball game coverage on RPS! I was waiting for the punchline and it never came.

    I foolishly went back to PES this year, I heard good things and FIFA 14 just seemed too similar to last year to be worth my money (I had promised to not buy any FTB games this year, but, you know, football enduced excitements). Alas, although PES is beautiful, life-like, kick about style foot-to-ball goodness in open play, the goalies are game-ruiningly awful. Games are decided on the most blundersome cockups that you have no control over. I’ve had to stop playing. PES + FIFA’s goalies and licenses and we’ll be there. One day, one day

    • Ernesto25 says:

      i almost went to pes kind of wish i did ot dug out pes 5 or 6 to remind myself of the gold standard

    • Zankmam says:

      I too foolishly went to try PES 14 – and was met with probably the worst game in the series.

      Goalies? Man, the horrendous art style, wax figure players, ugly menus, terrible commentary, outdated and archaic gamemodes all made me want to quit right away.

      However, the overall *good* graphical engine and animations made this mind-numbingly ugly game at least *look alright*, so I stuck with it to test the gameplay.

      And it’s horrible.

      PES has always been about depth and complexity, when compared to FIFA – it’s hard to learn *and* master, but it (should) pay off by being a great game.

      This one (and the series starting with PES 11 if you ask me) isn’t that. It’s stiff, it’s senseless, it’s not fun, it’s nor fast nor slow… It’s just badly executed football gameplay with some really bad AI.

      If you really wanna play PES – go play good ol’ PES 6 or, if you want something newer, PES 2010.

      PES 11, 12, 13 and now 14 have been horrible and they have literately nothing to offer you as a player.

      Even when ti comes down to the simple (but important) stuff: FIFA has good licences, FIFA has a great singleplayer mode and FIFA has a wide variety of great multyplayer modes.

      PES has none of that and, this year, it doesn’t make up for it in any respect.

  4. tiltaghe says:

    four new lines of commentary which don’t make sense at first but, through mind-penetrating repetition, destroy cherished memories from your childhood and replace them with an image of Martin Tyler’s face, rotating, his eyes on fire, his mouth chanting some secret language

    Hahahahaha thanks Mr Smith

  5. SkittleDiddler says:

    Fake Fall-Down Simulator 14.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Simulation Simulator 14, surely?

      Even better, EA could give the license to Maxis: Sim Simulation Simulator 14.

      • phelix says:

        Or you could make a manage-em-up where you lead a company analogue of Maxis. Simulating Sim Simulation Simulator ’14.

        • LessThanBill says:

          I can see it now – Sid Meiers Simulating Sim Simulation Simulator 2014

  6. Serpok says:

    Gameplay patches? What for? I thought that anyone that cares about the game in footbal sims is playing PES, the only thing that fifa-series has over it is licensed teams.

    • Ernesto25 says:

      Not true these days last gen PES was the greatest now pes is awful and fifa is medicore

  7. Navagon says:

    Why is there only one laser-guided foreheads post? What about all the Splinter Cell games?