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Our overall verdict "bronze"

We’ve got our hands on a copy of the new EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil game thanks to the guys over at Betfair. After a good kick about, here’s what Rich Hodson thought…

Another four years have passed and another FIFA World Cup game has arrived. Straight from the off you will appreciate the authenticity and realism of the modern day TV broadcast. You’ll see the camera cut-away to fans watching the game at home on the big screen, flags and banners in the crowd and players singing along to their nation’s national anthem. EA Sports has really managed to capture the sense of occasion of the big event.

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Sadly, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is only available on previous-gen consoles. After months of playing FIFA 14 on your PS4, your gaming experience and overall feelings towards this game will be affected. PS4 owners will find it very difficult going back to the old, flimsy Dual-Shock 3. But fans of the series that have not yet made that jump to next-gen will be very satisfied.

A number of adjustments have been made in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Penalty taking has been simplified and keepers have more options to distract opponents during their run-up. You can now adjust set-piece tactics to put more pressure on the goalie, or guide runners to the near post for flick-ons, though the results are very inconsistent. Also, fan complaints of FIFA 14 have been answered. Headers are no longer overpowered, crosses are frequently intercepted, defenders now leap over the back of your strikers with absolute desire. Lofted through-balls now require pinpoint accuracy – you’ll under hit them more often than not, though at full power they’ll sail harmlessly through to the keepers arms.

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One of the great features in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is EA Sports Talk Radio. When selecting one of the single player campaign modes will you get a choice of having Andy Goldstein and Ian Darke or Michael Davies and Roger Bennett to commentate whilst navigating the menus. They discuss how the tournament is going and chat about your team’s performance after the match. This really enhances the gaming experience and is something I would love to see in future FIFA games.

What also impressed me was the amount of game modes this game has to offer (7 in total). Rather than focusing exclusively on the tournament itself, you’re now able to guide your team through qualification. Whichever mode you choose, you’ll get to take part in training drills to boost your players’ stats. Some of these are the same as the pre-match challenges most FIFA players will be familiar with, but some are new.

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My personal favourite is “Captain your Country” which is a special edition of “Be a Pro” from FIFA 14, where you can control a single player and step by step help him boost his stats and gain achievements. Your goal is to represent your country as captain. But before it happens, you’ll have to fight for the place in the reserves and then get into the first team squad. Your progress depends on the notes and opinions of your team mates which are affected by your performance, goal scoring, assists, team working and passes. Being told that I have been selected to a part of the squad that is going to Brazil really did make me feel like a footballer.

CONCLUSION

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will feel like a step back to anyone coming from the next-gen versions of FIFA 14, but for those who haven’t yet upgraded, it represents an improvement on the annual release.

Rich rating 7/10

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Rich Hodson loves his video games, starting with Crash Bandicoot on the PS1. Ever since then he has owned every PlayStation console to date. Rich is also a moderator over at IGN and also has a bit of a Tech fetish. He owns all the latest gadgets, including a SmartWatch. Find Rich on Twitter at @RichBHodson.