My palms are sweaty; I squint at the high definition screen desperately searching for a player to pass to as a wall of white surrounds me. Before I know it, the ball is whipped from underneath me and shortly after – in the back of the net. I’m losing 3-0. And while my first round knockout in Unruly’s FIFA 14 Bloggers Tournament wasn’t particularly good for my office reputation, it was a fantastic insight into what the new game has in store for football fans around the world.
First things first – it’s much harder. If you’re someone who constantly keeps an itchy trigger finger on sprint (like me), running around like a headless chicken in order to get the ball back – you will lose. It is now a game for the craftsmen and women among us. A game for the football purist.
You have to take time over your build-up play and the through ball is something to be used sparingly – the final touch on a move which features 10 or 12 passes, not the go-to ball as soon as you win back possession. Defenders are wiser to your movements and often pull off spectacular interceptions to thwart your attacks.
But all of this shouldn’t put you off the game. In fact, when you do get it right (after a bit of practice) it is the most rewarding FIFA yet. Scoring takes time, but when you do, you feel like you’ve earnt it. And the new shooting dynamic means finding the top corner after a meticulous build up or volleying the perfect cross is not necessarily easier, but it’s certainly more responsive.
All in all, and despite our early exit from the tournament, FIFA 14 is the best FIFA yet and after a little practice (or a lot in our case), we’re sure you’ll agree.
Post sponsored by EA Sports FIFA 14