I have played precisely one match of FIFA 14 on current generation consoles. Only one match. But I had fun. I can say that much. For the most part I'm going to let you guys and girls drive the review related discussion of this one, but I do have a couple of things to say about the FIFA franchise in general.
A couple of months ago, just before E3, I went to a preview event for FIFA 14. During this event I was shown an hour long slideshow/presentation. The presentation was designed to show the press what was different about this year's game. The slide show had over 40 slides and, while informative, it gave me something of a revelation: slides were required to show us what was different about a video game. Slides. Not the game itself. Slides.
And crazily, when I went to my first presentation of this year's Pro Evolution Soccer, Konami pulled the precise same trick. Another press showing, another slide show!
That's when it clicked: the smoke and mirrors aspect of annual sports updates. Unless you happen to be core fan of soccer games, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between new iterations of sports games and the games that preceded them. We need to be told what to notice. This isn't an attempt to disrespect the insane amount of work that developers do in order to constantly and consistently improve FIFA and PES, but when you work on that annual schedule the improvement will always be incremental. When does that start being a problem?
I love FIFA 14. But I play it for roughly a month or two then I move on. Because of that I find it extremely difficult to tell the difference when the new version comes around. Am I alone here?