2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review

Short (passing) game.

When is a game not a game? Because 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, when judged against your average triple-A release, has some pretty major shortcomings. Firstly: its value to you will grow and grow and then suddenly nosedive the day after the World Cup final. If you buy on release day, that's around 88 days of Rio-related fun and then it may as well self-destruct in your disc-drive. Online opponents will become harder and harder to find, the tie-in online content will suddenly become unavailable. And that's overlooking the fact that English readers will be pining for their club teams after a few hours spent in the company of Roy Hodgson's England.

40 quid for almost three months of playtime may be a happy enough transaction for your average fan, but then there's the matter of the game itself. EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is not a sequel to FIFA 14 - not in any sense that it attempts to correct problems with its predecessor's match engine, at any rate. EA's made it no secret that it focuses more on novice gamers for these souvenir releases, and so the main innovations are to be found around hand-holding 'Dad'-mode tutorials and the mounds of atmosphere-building content. This is not FIFA 15. It's barely FIFA 14.5, and it's not even coming out on PS4 or Xbox One.

We shouldn't be too critical of these consumerist concessions; playing a footy game during a footy tournament is about as broadly appealing as console experiences get, and it's fun to play against friends and relatives who've barely ever picked up controllers before. And the presentation, as has become expected from EA, really is top-notch, from an opening ceremony complete with CG samba dancers to in-game radio stations that allow you to choose between Blokesport's Andy Goldstein and the slightly nervous-sounding football hipsters Men in Blazers - all broadcasting as if the tournament had already started, something that borders on the surreal as you sit shivering in British April. Throw in live, in-game injury updates and bespoke match-day challenges and it feels like everything's been thought of to get you into a World Cup frenzy.

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Why 2014 FIFA World Cup is skipping PS4 and Xbox One

"Were we to have fixated on those we would have alienated the host nation - which wouldn't have been wise."

2014 FIFA World Cup is skipping the new generation of consoles, opting instead for a full-priced boxed product on Xbox 360 and PS3, to ensure the game can reach as broad an audience as possible, EA Sports has said.

How 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is justifying its full-fat price tag

After the disappointing UEFA Euro 2012, EA Sports is out to prove a point with its latest tie-in.

Expectation is always the killer when the World Cup swings around. For England it is, at least, though the near-impossible task of escaping a group that features heavy-hitters Italy and Uruguay means that, for once, hopes for success at the summer's tournament are sensibly muted. On the back of a lacklustre showing with UEFA Euro 2012 - one of the few blots on the otherwise remarkable reputation EA Sports' football series has built up over the past generation - expectations are understandably dim for FIFA's next big ticket tie-in, too. Charging a premium amount for the FIFA 12 tie-in was one thing - only bothering to licence half the teams and not tinkering with the fundamentals in any way was quite another.

EA announces 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil game

EA announces 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil game

UPDATE: Why no PS4/Xbox One version? Largest audience still on current-gen, says EA.

UPDATE 14:40 06/02/2014: EA has confirmed the FIFA World Cup game is exclusive to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

A PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version isn't planned, but, according to a tweet from the official EA Sports FIFA account, World Cup content will make its way into FIFA Ultimate Team in FIFA 14 somehow.

Why not bother with a next-gen version? In EA's words: "We are making the best game we can for our largest audience, which is still on 360 & PS3."

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