While serving my ban for defending myself against Branislav Ivanovic's skin with my teeth, I had a lot of free time. Luckily, I was able to acquire a copy of FIFA 14 before it was released and put this time to use by playing the game for many hours so that I could write this review. And after playing it for so long, I can confidently say that this is the most realistic football video game ever created.
Right from the start it is obvious that the creative geniuses at EA Sports went to breath-taking lengths to ensure that this would be the most immersive and detailed simulation of being a professional footballer. In past years, a common criticism of the game has been that very little changes in the annual editions aside from rosters and a few minor tweaks, but that cannot be said about FIFA 14.
In this game, they really push the Virtual Pro feature, where play as your own customizable footballer. There were only a few options as to what your Virtual Pro can look like — one of them I did not like very much — but you can change everything from their hairstyle to their kit and even what tattoos they have.
Once you have your Virtual Pro, it is time to play the game. Unlike previous years where you immediately play matches or begin a season, FIFA 14 allows you to live the life of a footballer off the pitch as well. You can drive an remarkable variety of customizable cars, bikes, boats and aircraft to the training ground. You can also drink alcohol, do drugs and visit prostitutes with the large amounts of money you acquire in the game, just like a real footballer.
Adding to the depth of the experience, there is a storyline that involves anger, violence, adultery and acts of disloyalty that could not be more true. Though there are many different weapons in the game — most likely for use in the new Brek Shea mode — I have found endless satisfaction just in punching anyone who annoys me.
It has so many realistic elements of a professional footballer's life to it that I have now played for over 60 hours and I still have not even played an actual football match in the game yet! It truly is the most complete football video game ever created and I highly recommend it. Well done, EA Sports! I give it five bite marks out of five.
Here's a screenshot from FIFA 14...