FIFA 14: Current-Gen Vs Next-Gen
FIFA 14’s appearance alongside the Xbox One at launch was as inevitable as the appearance of Call of Duty: Ghosts, but while the latest CoD is – broadly speaking anyway – pretty much the same game across all formats, FIFA 14 on Xbox One might just be the best version currently available.
It isn’t all good news, but the most fundamental problems with the Xbox 360 version have been fixed, and a sleek lick of paint means that it now looks better than ever.
If you’re still unsure about whether to upgrade, here’s all you need to know…
Current-Gen To Next-Gen Compatibility
If you’re worried about losing your progress when you upgrade from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, don’t be.
Your progress in Seasons mode, all of your awards in Career mode, your Football Club level and all of your Ultimate Team gubbins – roster, items, coins, the lot – will instantly carry over to the new machine.
You’ll lose whatever progress you’ve made through the current division that you’re in (in Ultimate Team) but that’s it.
FIFA 14’s Visuals
FIFA 14 obviously looks better on Xbox One, but while it isn’t the gigantic leap some people were expecting, bits of it look absolutely astonishing.
Replays are now almost impossibly silky and some of them even look like television, especially when you view a slow-mo strike from a goalpost cam.
Collisions are now much more authentic and look like the two players involved are actually, physically interacting with eachother, and this version’s brand new Ignite engine renders things like hair and kit fabrics with an often eye-popping realism.
The crowd also don’t look like a load of cardboard droids anymore, as they’ve been rendered in 3D on Xbox One.
Kinect On Xbox 360 & Xbox One
Kinect has been an option in FIFA on Xbox 360 since last year’s FIFA 13, but it’s never been anything to get too excited about.
The original Kinect was always a bit of a problematic device anyway; stir in the usual technical foibles with a strictly limited number of working phrases, and you had a system which was frustrating and easy to ignore.
Kinect 2.0 however is a bit of a revelation, and in FIFA 14 the device is able to instantly recognise an absurd number of player names and strategies, with commentators reacting to your decisions often within three or four seconds.
It also looks a great deal better, with an elaborate rolling menu at the bottom of the screen (complete with player mugshots) which replaces the dull and simplistic menus of the 360 version.
It’s a shame that these features don’t work during online play, but that aside, and arguably for the first time, it’s now more efficient to do something in FIFA with Kinect rather than without it.
Gameplay Changes Between The Two Versions
Here’s where the most praiseworthy changes have been made. In short: they’ve fixed corners.
Going a goal down via a cheap header is a deeply irritating process at the best of times, but doubly so when that striker is a bit of a half-pint and your defenders seem inexplicably uninterested in dealing with him.
Now, corners are much more like they were in FIFA 13: fairer, with individual player attributes coming into play. Lofted through balls still meet their target a bit too easily when you’re attacking, but you can’t have everything.
Any Multiplayer Changes?
There are no discernable differences in multiplayer, online or off. That said, the Xbox One version, despite its enhanced visuals and physics, still plays just as faultlessly online.
Modes In The Next-Gen Version
Here’s where the Xbox One version falters: Be a Pro, Tournament Mode, Creation Centre and Head to Head have all been given the chop.
Disappointingly the loading times on both editions of FIFA 14 are still a tad on the lengthy side, at least when you’re navigating around the slick Windows 8-style menus.
However, delays and interruptions on the pitch are a different matter altogether, because everything in-game is faster on Xbox One.
You can go from the last kick of the first half to the first touch of the second half in around three seconds, and players are ready to take headers and free kicks faster and much more dynamically; you’ll rarely see anything as intrusive as a menu screen if you don’t want to.
Xbox 360 & Xbox One Exclusives
Both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions have the same exclusive content: Ultimate Team Legends, a spread of forty-plus exclusive players such as Pelé, Gary Lineker, Luis Figo and Ruud Gullit.
FIFA 14 both looks better and plays better on Xbox One. It’s a real shame that a few modes ended up getting lost in translation, but the very best parts of any FIFA game – Career, Seasons, Ultimate Team – are still out in force on next-gen. No question: you should upgrade.