FIFA 14: A Tottenham Hotspur point of view

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“The long wait is over and this year’s brand spanking new EA Sports football game has arrived; FIFA 14. But does the new title live up to its high expectations? And more importantly what does FIFA 14 offer for us Tottenham fans? Read on to find out.

Players

FIFA 14 Paulinho Tottenham

There may a Gareth Bale-shaped hole in Tottenham’s team this season but you soon forget that when you get the chance to play with any of our seven new summer signings.

Christian Eriksen has made a notable impact on the pitch and it’s no different on the virtual one. His ability to change direction quickly while maintaining control of the ball and his eye for a pass have been mimicked perfectly in the game.

Spanish striker Roberto Soldado becomes even more dangerous with the introduction of EA’s new Pure Shot & Real Ball Physics. Depending on a variety of factors you can now unleash many different kinds of shots, including rising, dipping and knuckleball efforts. This new system makes scoring goals an even more pleasurable experience.

Perhaps our most exciting new addition is Erik Lamela for his quick feet, dribbling and pace. All of these have been captured superbly on the new game too. When played from his preferred right wing berth, Lamela proves to be very dangerous with his ability to score with curling shots when cutting inside onto his stronger left foot.

EA have developed tackling in the game too, however only subtlety. This spells good news for us Spurs fans though as we have four closely matched midfield enforcers to choose from in Étienne Capoue, Mousa Dembélé, Paulinho and, fans favourite, Sandro. Slide tackling has been made more effective and there is also a new feature called 2nd Chance Tackles where players can recover quicker to get back in and win back possession.

Ratings

Nothing too drastic has changed in terms of team and player ratings for the Lilywhites but our added squad depth is apparent. Currently if you select our strongest first 11 and bench the pre-game stats read ATT – 82, MID – 78 and DEF – 78. This makes us the second best four and a half star team in the Premier League behind Arsenal (unfortunately).

Notable player ratings; Hugo Lloris 84, Jan Vertoghen 82, Paulinho 81, Erik Lamela 81, Christian Eriksen 82 and Soldado 84.

Tactics

FIFA 14 Tottenham Menu

With all of the new features FIFA 14 has become more tactical than ever.

Careful build-up play through midfield is encouraged and rewarded before attempting to play that killer ball. This is very reminiscent of Andre Villas-Boas’ footballing philosophy and a good thing for fans who like to keep the ball and use it wisely.

In terms of formation, AVB’s preferred, 4-2-3-1 seems to be the most widely used by players and you can see why. It provides adept defensive cover and lots of options when playing the ball through midfield.

Graphics

This year’s game looks better than ever although there isn’t a huge difference from its predecessor. You get the feeling that the graphics capacity on the current Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles has been reached. This though, gives even more reason to get excited about FIFA’s release on the next generation of games consoles later this year.

Player likeness is as good as it has ever been, even with some lesser name players like Andros Townsend getting the full 3D head scanner treatment. Kyle Walker and Lloris have quite an eerie lifelike resemblance!

The Lane

FIFA 14 - White Hart Lane

Finally, the only stadium that matters on a game like this, White Hart Lane. For years we bemoaned the lack of our famous N17 based ground. FIFA 13 granted our wish and 14 has, to our joy, built on it. White Hart Lane has never looked so good, virtually anyway.

The stands have been pulled closer to the pitch to give that unique Lane atmosphere and features like the bench and press box have been added in impressive detail. However the camera angle still faces the wrong way but this just may be a pedantic gripe of mine.

The crowd are especially reactive and raucous. Every so often you’ll be greeted by a chorus of “Oh When The Spurs” or “Stand Up If You Love Tottenham”, which of course all adds to the match day atmosphere. Never before has it been easier to get a slice of the Tottenham home game experience in your living room any day of the week.

If you’ve got kids or just happen to be a big kid it is even possible to print off your very own Tottenham Hotspur specific FIFA 14 cover.

Game Rating: 9/10″

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