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‘FIFA 2015’ features solid gameplay, occasional flukiness

“FIFA 2015”—Electronic Arts—for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Android and Windows Phone

7.5 out of 10

By Cameron M. Bray ’16

Out of all the video game publishers, EA probably has the best scam going.

Every year EA manages to charge $60 for new sports games that are only marginally different from their predecessors.

The recent releases of “Madden NFL 15,” “NHL 15” and “FIFA 15” lend credence to this supposition.

They are all just the latest iterations of games you already have but with better graphics and some minor changes.

That isn’t to say they’re bad games, though; “FIFA 15” definitely isn’t.

“FIFA 2015” boasts loads of high-stake tension and excitement, as well as substantial replay value.

But I, already owning “FIFA 13,” most definitely would not have bought “FIFA 15” if I were not reviewing it.  (Its $60 cost made it undesirable to not only me, but also my wallet.)

That said, “FIFA 15” is a great game and is still a joy to play.

What makes it great is its vibrancy, in both its sharp presentation and pulse-pounding gameplay.

Boasting stunningly detailed graphics, “FIFA 15’s” matches feel lively and colorful, with beautifully rendered audiences, players and stadiums.

That being said, “FIFA 15” does occasionally favor form over function.

Cutaways are more annoying and intrusive than before, requiring a few seconds before a skip option appears.

And when the ball goes out of play, there is usually a replay of a recent goal or incident, serving only as a another flagrant and gratuitous reminder of “FIFA 15’s” sharp presentations. But let’s talk about something besides graphics.

EA’s most touted feature in “FIFA 15” is its so-called “emotional intelligence,” where players are designed to respond authentically to any given scenario throughout the game.

In theory, it’s a brilliant idea designed to make the game more realistic and engaging, but in practice it’s problematic.

For instance, EA designed the players of “FIFA 15” to perform worse under pressure, but had to make them less fallible elsewhere to compensate for human error.

As a result, the player behavior now fluctuates annoyingly from stupid to smart.

Another noteworthy feature is the Match Day Live hub, which keeps you updated on the news and stats about your favorite teams.

Other than that, dribbling feels more fluent and controllable—yay! But crossing has been diminished significantly, and it is now extremely difficult to score a goal by doing so—boo!

Glitches are also somewhat common in “FIFA 15,” but that is to be expected of a game that tries to mirror the real sport so closely.

In short, “FIFA 15” is a great game with a few new neat features and the same time-tested, addictive gameplay, but shares too many simularities with previous installments.

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