The first 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final wasn’t only a sight to behold (it was about time Brazil was knocked out) as Germany ran out to a 7-1 win, but it also proved me wrong about a certain game series: FIFA.
You see, I’ve always believed the FIFA series to be quite inferior to Pro Evolution Soccer (and anything else with a soccer ball, such as Sega Soccer Slam). The reasoning behind this is the shoddy physics engine, terrible (nonexistent) passing game, and the little fact that you don’t play soccer to win. No — you play “FIFA” to win; it is not a correct representation of soccer.
What I mean is you just send a 80-yard through-ball pass to a teammate from defense and get chance after chance on goal. Defenders not defending anyone on set pieces like corners? Totally got FIFA‘d. Deal with it.
But as I watched Germany tear Brazil apart (quite wide-eyed and happily I might add), something dawned on me: maybe FIFA 14 had it right all along. Here was a side getting away with overlapping runs in the six-yard box, passing around a stone-footed defense, and (just like in FIFA 14) scoring its first goal from a corner kick after being left wide open. Seriously, it’s like EA was programming Brazil’s defenders.
The Brazuca (the name of this tournament’s ball) was indeed sticking to players as if everyone’s boots had magnets in them, and the ball had no choice but to feel the wrath of a German foot. And just like in the FIFA series, the Germans received a perfectly-spilled ‘keeper save to score at the second time of asking (that means with the second chance for you soccer noobs).
Then again, maybe EA’s popular franchise still has it all wrong; it’s not every day a team acts in a childlike manner when losing its talisman player only to come out and give a halfhearted jog around the pitch.
In the end, it was a score more akin to an online match of FIFA Ultimate Team, and just like in that mode, destiny seemed to favor one side from the start. So, I was possibly wrong about you, FIFA 14.
Well, maybe not entirely wrong.