Suarez Ban Also Applies to FIFA 15

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Suarez is banned from most football activities until October 26 as punishment for biting Italian defender Chiellini at the World Cup.

“Please be aware that Luis Suarez is currently serving a suspension and will not be available for selection until 26 October 2014,” reads a message sent to FIFA managers of Barcelona.

This means you are also unable to find Suarez in FIFA 15 Ultimate Team search results.

When Suarez is finally made available he’ll be the seventh best player in Ultimate Team.

FIFA 15 launched on Friday and is expected to chart at No.1.

FIFA 15: time for a shake-up?

If you’re a football fan, then you probably spent last summer reading about Gareth Bale, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Would they move? How much for? It’s all part of the fun of the sport. Me though, I was busy getting excited about another transfer entirely. Because at the start of July 2013, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended his two-year spell at Saint-Etienne and signed for every football hipster’s second club, Borussia Dortmund.

Aubameyang was a legend in Ultimate Team, and news that he was moving from French Ligue 1 to the German Bundesliga was significant. Thanks to Ultimate Team’s chemistry system, which uses nationality to help determine the quality of interplay between squad members, it had always been difficult to integrate the young Gabonese striker into a team of real class. Now he was off to Germany, where he could be surrounded by superstars.

This elevation of a relatively obscure player to stardom is not unusual in Ultimate Team, and it’s down to a mixture of economics and gameplay balance. Aubameyang is in the sweet spot for both: he plays for a less glamorous club than Bale, Messi and Ronaldo, so he finds himself less in demand and his transfer price is more reasonable, while his lightning pace is serially useful in FIFA games, where matches often play out in a hyperactive frenzy of end-to-end-football. It may not make the bulletins on Sky Sports News when he moves in real life, but it’s a big deal in Ultimate Team.

If you’ve ever looked at EA’s famous game mode from the outside and wondered where the appeal lies, this stuff is a large part of it. Like a lot of good sports games, Ultimate Team isn’t just fun to play, but actually enriches your appreciation of the sport itself, and it’s for this reason that it’s become one of the most popular games in the world – the basis of a subculture where fans build and discard fantasy teams week after week, poring over the minute details of obscure footballers, then throwing too much money away on blind packs of items in the hope of obtaining the rarest players.

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team does nothing that actively jeopardises any of this, but in combination with a gameplay engine that is arguably losing direction, this conservatism is also becoming a problem.

If this is your first time in Ultimate Team, the opening few hours can be a little confusing as you’re greeted by chalkboard overlays on top of complex screens advising you about player stats, fitness, contracts and so on, but knuckle down and you get the idea: it’s about building a fantasy squad and playing matches, accumulating wealth through match earnings and transfers to upgrade your team.

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team is the slickest in the series to date. With so many attributes to worry about, half your time playing the game is spent fiddling with players and formations, applying consumables and browsing the market, so the quality of the interface is critical. This year EA has been busy cracking down on bots that fuel the real-money grey market for Ultimate Team’s in-game currency. These bots clog up the transfer system with automated database requests, which became such a big issue last year that the market become borderline unusable. At the time of writing, the effort seems to have paid off – whether you’re searching for players in the game, on the web app or on the smartphone companion app, it’s fast and responsive.

The slickness also means you can concentrate on important stuff, like building a squad with amazing chemistry. Chemistry is the secret sauce that makes Ultimate Team so tasty. The idea is that players in your squad don’t have to come from the same league, country or club, but there needs to be a strong enough connection between enough of them that their chemistry – individually and collectively – is more or less maxed out, otherwise they misplace passes during games or you find them out of position in the moments that matter. It’s not an exact science, but a good rule is that you are better off with a high-chemistry team of limited players than a low-chemistry team of superstars, and as you can imagine, cobbling an effective unit together – especially a hybrid drawing on entertaining players from different leagues and nations – is a little… moreish.

One historical issue with Ultimate Team has been the difficulty of anticipating how well certain players would combine without buying them first, which was rarely practical, and over the years this has given rise to well-maintained fan sites like Futhead and Futwiz, where players can build theoretical teams and explore the game’s database in search of hidden gems. EA supports these sites, but this year Ultimate Team tries to bring a bit of that theorycrafting metagame into FIFA 15 itself with the addition of Concept Squads.

Concept Squads makes it easy to stitch conceptual teams together, filtering players by things like position, nationality and home league and then letting you examine chemistry links to see what works. You can’t play any matches with a concept squad (there seems to be a bug at the moment letting a few people do this – expect it to be fixed), but as you gather funds you can start searching the transfer market for the players you covet, gradually adding them until your dream team is complete.

Don’t delete your Futhead and Futwiz bookmarks just yet, though, because there are a few drawbacks. The feature currently lacks the immediacy and at-a-glance qualities of those sites and doesn’t give you an insight into the more detailed in-game stats of the players, only the ones on the face of the card, so there’s no way to identify, say, the best free-kick takers in the game without searching online or buying and testing players. It’s also a single-screen experience, whereas I often want to browse players on my phone or laptop while I play – something you can’t even do with the companion apps, which don’t let you log in on more than one device at once.

Concept Squads is a semi-useful feature, then, but the addition of loan signings is genuinely ace. One of Ultimate Team’s perennial issues is that it’s a trudge to start with as you play a succession of games with a team full of journeymen before you can buy anyone decent. Loan players give you something fun to play with while you accumulate match earnings – Leo Messi is provided for five matches if you buy the Ultimate Team Edition of FIFA 15, while players with existing EA Sports Football Club experience points can unlock players like Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez from the Football Club Catalogue. Considering that I played hundreds of matches and spent embarrassing amounts of money chasing coins in FIFA 14 and never got within a mile of Messi or Bale, the novelty of having them in my team at all was quite something. (Ronaldo isn’t available on loan, sadly.)

There are some good ideas this year, then – and the bot-smashing infrastructure changes probably represent a mountain of expensive work, so respect is due – but overall FIFA 15 Ultimate Team still feels a bit flat. In many ways, it’s the best it’s ever been and yet somehow I find myself losing interest in it quicker than ever.

Partly this is because the gameplay rebalancing seems to have narrowed the range of genuinely useful attacking options. This year the emphasis is on pace and dribbling skill, while everything else feels weak and underpowered. Heading, for example, was obviously too potent last year, but in FIFA 15 it’s so feeble that it rarely feels worthwhile putting a cross into the box. Finesse shots are OK inside the penalty area, but it’s difficult to achieve much from outside, so creative players tend to swivel and jink around trying to get closer instead. And shots in general, whether close to the goal or further out, are a lot harder to get on target unless you’re using a very expensive player.

However, FIFA 15 has also de-emphasised the muscularity of last year in places – despite “Physical” replacing “Heading” as a base attribute – so it’s harder for defenders to contain attackers just by tugging on their shoulder, while laying a hand on anyone in the penalty area results in a foul. These things, in combination with the way shooting and heading have been stifled and dribbling has been enhanced, mean that the most common approach by far is fast, technically capable teams. A typical XI usually includes two really fast attackers along with midfielders who can play quarterback to runners further downfield, and while that results in intense, end-to-end football, it is so much more effective than anything else that it also quickly becomes repetitive. Perhaps things will change over time as we learn the game better (and, I suspect, as EA issues the traditional balancing patch), but for the moment it feels like Ultimate Team isn’t encouraging much variety in play style.

While these limitations influence the technical composition of a team, meaning you face a lot of opponents with the same strengths and gameplan, the other issue facing Ultimate Team is that you’re still facing the same specific combinations of players, and this is down to chemistry. Chemistry may be the secret sauce, but it’s been slathered over a handful of games now, and regardless of the directions the gameplay pushes people, it’s still prompting us to build the same teams, with only slight differences in personnel and player positions based on transfers and redesignations. This year Aubameyang is a right midfielder, for instance, while Philipp Lahm is a defensive midfielder rather than a full-back. For all the investments EA has made, these subtle tweaks feel like the biggest changes in my Ultimate Team experience – and they are products of changes in real-world football anyway, not the game-makers’ thinking. It would be nice to have a different set of restrictions to work within at some point.

Where next, then? Well, first of all I suspect EA will rebalance the attacking side of the game slightly in a post-release patch. That might make a difference to the usefulness of creative players, which would encourage us all to create more varied squads. Longer term though, it feels like the core Ultimate Team set-up is getting a little long in the tooth. There are small things that could be done to improve the variety of teams you encounter (like allowing us to use players from different generations of the game, something already being offered in free-to-play PC title FIFA World), but really I suspect we need to break free of chemistry and try something fundamentally new.

I will still play FIFA 15 Ultimate Team, then, and probably all year round at that, because the zippy passing and dribbling is quite satisfying, while chopping and changing teams in response to real-world football developments is an addictive pastime, and I still feel a sense of community with the many other people who love the mode. But I also hope EA doesn’t take our ongoing interest for granted, and is paying attention to the growing weariness of some of Ultimate Team’s most dedicated fans. It would be nice to see a rejuvenated experience in seasons to come. Otherwise, sooner or later, we may stop coming back at all.

‘FIFA 15′ Bug Leads to Hilarious Chaos on PC

It seems like with every new iteration of FIFA 15 Coins comes a new unexpected, but totally hilarious, series of bugs. A few years back, the series’ Impact Engine created some of the most bizarre collisions, and re-collisions, that we’ve ever seen, whereas last year’s FIFA 14 took a decidedly more serious turn when it started crashing Xbox Ones.

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For FIFA 15, however, players on PC have started to notice an even more curious bug – one that, while odd, actually captures the spirit of Pee Wee soccer. Check it out in the video above.

As readers can see, the FIFA 15 bug forces the player’s AI opponents and teammates to charge towards the ball no matter where it is on the field. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a striker, a defender, or even a goalkeeper; every single player chases the ball like a mindless 3-year-old.

And while this bug is good for a laugh or two, it doesn’t significantly impact gameplay. Facing a keeper-less goal makes it easy for the player to score, but conversely it makes it easy for them to be scored on as well. Luckily, the bug is relegated to the PC version of the game (as far as we know), and even then there’s no guarantee it will occur during every match. Most players have found that simply reloading the match does the trick.

Obviously, EA Sports is already hard at work on a patch, and thankfully the issue isn’t as prevalent as the collision problems seen in FIFA‘s past. We wouldn’t be surprised to see EA Sports poke fun at the bug, though, much like they did with the tiny player bug in Madden NFL 15.

And despite the admittedly chuckle-worthy bug, FIFA 15 is still scoring very well with critics, who applaud the game’s polish and its ability to innovate on new platforms. We’re hard at work on our own review of the game, and should be posting that within the week.

For now, FIFA fans can enjoy something a little odd, and slightly nostalgic, in their soccer/football experience. FIFA has yet to fail us when it comes to GIF-worthy glitches, and at this point we almost expect them.

Have you encountered this FIFA 15 bug? Are there any strange bugs you’ve seen in the game?

FIFA 15 is out now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

FIFA 15 review – off the ball

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EA Sports presents the year’s new FIFA game, with new next gen graphics and revamped goalies – but are all the changes for the best?

As far as EA are concerned this year’s FIFA is all about emotion. Emotion and intensity in fact, if you go by the game’s tag line. Not only are the next gen visuals good enough to show the pain and elation on player’s faces but a new artificial intelligence system has them sulking, shouting, and celebrating just like a real player. So much so that they’re in danger of ending up more excited about the game than you are.

Describing a new FIFA always involves a shopping list of newly invented marketing catchphrases, and ‘emotional intelligence’ is the one used to describe the more passionate computer players that now fill the game. Thanks to new efforts to recreate the atmosphere of each individual stadium – including all 20 from the Premier League – the game now feels more theatrical and alive, and not just a clinical simulation.

But none of that actually changes the way the game plays, and it’s immediately obvious that in terms of tangible mechanical changes FIFA 15 is rather short on new ideas. When showing off ‘next gen goalkeepers’ is the second highest priority of the marketing campaign you do get the feeling that the franchise is beginning to lose a sense direction. Although the bigger problem is that the new goalies almost end up ruining the whole experience.

Video game goalkeepers in general have always been a problem. Like the rest of the game you want them to seem realistic, and yet at the same time you don’t want every game to end in a no score draw. But predictably improving the goalkeepers has meant turning them into supernatural agents of goal-stopping impregnability. Despite all the efforts to humanise the game going up against the new goalies feels completely unrealistic and their abilities are, in their current state, seriously overpowered.

If fans are vocal enough about it (and we’re sure they will be) then we’ve no doubt EA will change the way goalies work via a patch. But the fact is their superhuman revamp is not the only controversial change to the game.

FIFA 14 was unusual in that the next gen version played quite a bit differently to the last gen ones, with a much slower, heavier game of football. Bizarrely though FIFA 15 is back to being a fast-paced arcade game, with a tweaked passing system seeing the ball zip between players almost like the defenders aren’t there. Which is, of course, no fun at all when you are the defenders and you have to put up with the finicky new sliding tackles.

Change is good but there’s no logic to the way FIFA 15 plays compared to its predecessor. It’s neither better nor worse, just completely different. And you get the horrible feeling next year is going to take the opposite approach once again, simply because nobody can think of any substantial improvements or new ideas to justify another £60 purchase.

The lack of meaningful advancement isn’t just limited to the gameplay, as the interface and single-player modes are so similar to FIFA 14 we almost expected EA to describe this as a ‘Legacy Edition’. They haven’t even bothered to copy across new ideas introduced in their last gen-only World Cup game, despite things like making training drills part of the career mode being such obviously good ideas.

The lack of attention given to the single-player modes is clearly because EA’s focus is on the ever popular Ultimate Team, which on the Xbox One also has the Ultimate Team Legends retro players. The community elements have been expanded again this year, with loan players now making it much easier to acquire that superstar striker you’ve always wanted. You can create dream team line-ups before you buy anyone and all the share and comment facilities mean you can chat and strategise with friends in what has become literally a game in itself.

But just because Ultimate Team is successful (and lucrative) is no excuse for EA ignoring the rest of the game. Given that the problem with yearly sports updates is finding anything useful to change and add actively ignoring obvious problems, and making others worse, shows a very strange sense of priorities.

It’s not all bad news though and the new Team Sheets option is probably the best new feature in FIFA 15, as it allows you detailed control over the tactics of every player. It almost turns FIFA into a player manager title and is hopefully going to be an area of further expansion in the future.

Even ignoring the lack of competition (PES 2015 isn’t out till November 13) FIFA 15 is still a good game, but it confuses changes with improvements and many will find last year’s game to be the more enjoyable. Perhaps it’s because the franchise is still stuck between generations, and it’ll take at least till next year to focus things entirely on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

But whatever the excuse it would be nice to see changes implemented because they were the best decision for the game, not just a necessity of selling this year’s new product.

In Short: Different but certainly not better, despite the amazing next gen visuals FIFA has never seemed so indecisive and lacking in direction.

Pros: The graphics and presentation are fantastic, and the ‘emotional intelligence’ works very well. Ultimate Team is as engrossing as ever, with some useful new additions.

Cons: No sense of continuity with last year’s game and defending is now often a chore. New goalies are deeply flawed. Almost no changes to single-player mode.

Score: 7/10

Formats: Xbox One (reviewed), Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, 3DS, and PS Vita

Price: £59.99

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: EA Canada

Release Date: 26th September 2014

Age Rating: 3

FIFA 15 Kicks Off for Multiple Platforms

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Australians can get their soccer on with the release of FIFA 15 this week for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and 3DS. Australian player Tim Cahill will star on the cover alongside Lionel Messi.

EA has promised that the game will strive for even more realism, with the addition of shirt pulling, player-specific movement, and more finesse moves. Dribbling the ball will now take into account balance and positioning. In addition, there will be a number of new stutter and dodge moves which gives players more opportunities to beat defenders.

Players in-game will also act more like their real-life counterparts. For example, Lionel Messi will now favor his left foot as he does in person. The game will also feature the real-world goal-line technology that was used in this year’s World Cup.

For those who would prefer to try the game out before picking up a copy, EA released a demo earlier this month. Xbox One owners were also given the opportunity to try the game early via EA Access a week ahead of the game’s release. For more details on games out this week, check out the full list below.

September 22, 2014

Wasteland 2 (PC, Mac)

September 24, 2014

Gauntlet (PC)

September 25, 2014

Ar NoSurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3)

Fairy Fencer F (PS3)

FIFA 15 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS)

Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle (3DS)

September 27, 2014

Fantasy Life (3DS)

FIFA 15 FUT web app is now live

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FIFA 15’s FIFA Ultimate Team web app is finally live, after a delay in its launch yesterday. You can now log into the website with your EA/Origin account. According to EA, it may be slow to begin with due to high usage.

The launch was announced by EA on Twitter, where fans had been growing increasingly angry at the delay. FIFA Ultimate Team allows you manage your team, and trade in the player transfer market, which is the biggest soccer transfer market in the world, according to EA. Gamers can now get started planning and creating their dream teams before FIFA 15’s release next week.

With this year’s FUT web app, you can also plan teams with Concept Squad, organize friendlies, and use players on loan. This year, you’ll also be able to compare the stats of your team with your friends.

FIFA 15 has a playable demo out now, and the full game will be released on September 23rd in the US, the 25th in Europe, and the 26th in the UK.

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Web App launches, has server issues

EA Sports has declared that the doors are now wide open on the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team web app, which inevitably means the service is getting hammered at present. First you have to make it through a two-step log-in process on Origin, and then it has to load the page itself. Tricky, when the servers are under such strain.

Right now I’m looking at the exciting message “An Exception was thrown while handling: Internal Server Error.”

So, while EA makes room on their servers to handle 500 billion football fans at once, here’s a trailer detailing some of FIFA 15 Ultimate Team’s added features. It includes bits and pieces about the new loan system (where you can pay some in-game currency to get a star on your team for a limited number of matches) and the ability to play Ultimate Team friendlies against, well, friends.

Update: Wait, hold on, the web app is actually now loading (very slowly) for me … And now it’s an endless spinning circle with a 15 in it. Might be a while before this is all up and running smoothly.

Here’s the latest from EA on the functionality:

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FIFA 15 Coins is coming to the PC on 23 September in the US, and 26 September around Europe. Because it still doesn’t have a worldwide release date yet, even though this is 2014.

EA Games restore Cahill’s rating

Rest easy Australian football fans – Tim Cahill’s reputation has been restored after video game developer EA Games improved his rating on the recently released FIFA 15.

The Socceroos talisman was the cause of an online backlash when a leak from the long-established sports game developer showed the former Everton attacker to be rated only 69 out of a 100.

Cahill, who is an ambassador for FIFA 15 and features on the cover of the Australian edition, was rated lower than Arsenal’s misfiring striker Yaya Sanogo (69) and veteran defender Anton Ferdinand (70).

Angry football fans took to social media to vent their disappointment at the slight, starting a campaign, led by the hashtag #savecahill, to improve Cahill’s rating.

And just days later, Cahill’s rating miraculously was bumped up by five points to 74.

EA Takes Trade Offers Out of FIFA 15 Ultimate Team

A forum post explains the company took the feature out in a bid to combat those using it as a work-around for item-trading. For those not in the know, Trade Offers enabled you to bypass the auction system in order to trade cards with friends directly. Though EA complains about barter deals, in practice it’s more commonly used by friends helping each other out, meaning the change could controversially penalise those using it innocently.

“Although some honest players used this feature to trade with friends, it became one of the methods used by coin sellers to sell and move coins,” it reads. “Account phishers also abused Trade Offers by moving stolen players and coins after wrongfully gaining access to unsuspecting FUT player accounts. This will also address ‘bid bumping’, where people would try and trick others into bidding far more than they wanted for a player item.

“It was a tough decision, but this is the right step towards improving security, showing cheaters the red card, and keeping FUT safe for all FIFA fans,” the post concludes. It also confirms the maximum number of Transfer Targets is now 50 player items, meaning that’s how many outstanding player bids you’ll be allowed at any one time.

FIFA 15 is set to be the second title in the franchise to hit next-gen, and EA shows every sign of having put everything it learnt from last year’s iteration into making the best title it can.

FIFA 15 Feels Like An Arcade Game Sent From The Future

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When you release the same, nearly perfect game every 12 months, the distinctions between old and new become slight, bordering on esoteric. But to those of you, like me, who’ve played FIFA ritualistically for the entire 21st century, the small differences can render huge improvements.

In terms of gameplay, FIFA 15 has some very noticeable changes from its predecessor. As far as offering an authentic soccer atmosphere every match, the game in unparalleled. Suarez even bites people.

Here’s some stuff we’ve noticed so far…

IMPACT WITH THE BALL

One of the very first things I’ve noticed in 15, is that touches on the ball — whether passes, dribbles, shots, or accidental deflections — feel incredibly crisp (and sound real, too). The ball appears to jump off of whatever it touches, which brings up the speed of play and allows offensive players more control.

WAIT, ARE THOSE…FOOTPRINTS?

The Xbox One version of this game truly looks next-gen. Case in point: Dew on the pitch will leave it soft enough to be impacted by players’ cleats. Running hard and stopping, sharp cuts, and messy falls leave a visible imprint on the physical field, that last throughout the game like clues in a Scooby Doo mystery. Along with jerseys that move in the wind and expressive faces, the visual component of this game is strikingly beautiful.

SHOTS WHISTLE

FIFA 14 promised to incorporate truer ball trajectory, one where shots would behave as they do here on Earth. In a year of playing that game, I can safely say EA Sports underestimated the degree to which soccer balls bend through the air, opting to error on the side of caution instead of turning airborn shots into the golden snitch from a quidditch match. Now, a ball struck with some oomph will deviate from its flight path without losing speed or too much accuracy. The accelerated bend on a driven ball — or volley as seen below — can turn a prayer into a fantastic highlight without infringing on the goalkeeper’s intelligence (sometimes great scores just end up being the result of a suspiciously late dive). Trying this feature out for the first time feels like test driving a Ferrari.

OFFICIATING IS SMARTER

In the short amount of time I’ve played the game, I’ve noticed you can’t really get away with some of the “cheeky” moves you could in the past. For example, if a player has a ball played to him while he’s offsides, and the pass is intercepted, the offsides player will be flagged when he tries to get the ball back. Also, bumping a player off the ball can result in a penalty (no more body checks on players making runs, you guys).

Then this happened, which has a distinctly 2014 World Cup feel to it. Although FIFA has never gotten a goal call wrong — the fact that a header ricocheted off the crossbar and over the line, then spun out, is evidence that this game is serious about employing in-game goal-line technology (though the feature didn’t appear after this goal for some reason).

WHATEVER EXACTLY “PACE” IS, THIS GAME HAS IT

Speed, baby — FIFA 15′s got loads of it. The last incarnation of the series had a slightly lethargic feel to it, which seemed to be EA’s attempt at making the game more realistic and less like Mario Strikers (or a contrast to its only really competitor, Pro Evolution). And while they did achieve an authentic feel, the game’s pace somewhat turned it into a contest to see who could “build up” a better attack, with less emphasis on one-on-ones and distance shooting (aka the good stuff).

Without turning FIFA 15 into a cartoon of what soccer should look like, EA has successfully increased the “fun” qualities of the sport without devaluing the more cerebral strategic component. One of the ways they’ve done this is by making the lob through ball — everyone’s favorite mindless pass — less accurate. It’s as if EA is saying, “If you’re going to build an attack, it’s going to involve some thinking on your part.” They’ve also slipped in a few variables that allow more organic scoring so as to make the game less robotic than 14 was at times. Defenders are less likely to stop through passes just because they’re standing near them, shots sneak underneath goalkeepers, and deflection goals actually happen.

CONCLUSION:

Buy it — this is the biggest upgrade we’ve seen since the games came to Xbox 360 and PS3.

FIFA 15 – Official TV Ad Review

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EA Sports have released the official TV ad for the upcoming game, FIFA 15 which is set for release in America on the 23rd of September, with the UK getting it on the 26th.

Hello again everyone and welcome to my very first video game piece. It was confirmed earlier on in the week that the official TV advertisement for the upcoming football title FIFA 15 had been released, and avid gamers scrambled to watch.

And it wasn’t a disappointment. The ad starts with the traditional layout of different teams, including Premier League sides Chelsea and Liverpool walking out of the tunnel as they prepare for the start of the game and the different camera angles panning on different stadiums across the world. Commentator Alan Smith says “you can feel the tension in the air” as many different faces (most probably gamers) are sitting in pods and acting as though they are actually playing alongside some famous faces, even though they are sitting at home playing the game itself.

Hazard takes a free-kick, then it’s time for the wall to jump. The wall jumps, with 4 real-life faces jumping at the exact same time (how did you guess?). Then, PSG striker Ibrahimovic does a few skills, Barcelona play their tiki-taka style, a few crunching tackles are made and the cover star Lionel Messi scores an overhead kick past Joe Hart into the back of the net with a cacophony of different sounds of emotion (both happiness and dispair) etched on the faces of the gamers getting heavily involved with the game.

It’s always very exciting at this time of the year when a new FIFA title is released – many different creative ideas are thought of and EA do their best to try and appease their huge fan-base. Having said that, a lot of their gamers have complained over the past few years about the amount of maintenance work that is done on the servers; yet they are still inconsistent and faulty at the best of times.

For example, you could be in the middle of a must-win game, winning 3-0 and in the last minute GONE. The server disconnects you from the game, and all your progress is lost. So why does everyone stay with FIFA then, you may ask? Well. There isn’t much competition; with PES the only real alternative which the majority of gamers absolutely loathe.

The ad itself is a good piece of marketing by EA don’t get me wrong – and it’s exciting to see this type of video so close to release day. If you like FIFA, this advert will make you want the new game as soon as possible. Epic advert.