2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is a fine shot

The ultimate prize. Photo: EA Sports
The game allows you to take control of Italy or England from the qualifiers to the World Cup. Photo: EA Sports
Monitor your progress on the road to the World Cup with the beautiful menu screens. Photo: EA
Take your country of choice to new heights in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Photo: EA Sports
EA Sports’ latest football game will get you in the mood for the biggest football extravaganza
Published: 4:12 AM, April 21, 2014

SINGAPORE — The 2014 FIFA World Cup is upon us, which can only mean one thing: The release of the latest version of EA Sports’ World Cup football game, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

It is the perfect way to get into the World Cup mood, even if you haven’t played a football game recently. Every qualifying team is there for you to lead in your bid for glory, all in the comfort of your living room.

What makes this great is the sense of atmosphere, from the Brazilian-themed menus and music, to when the game cuts away to live celebrations at the home city of your selected country when you score a goal. Pundits also discuss your results when you’re in the menus and it almost feels like you’re in the midst of a tournament.

Visuals are lush and vibrant, almost psychedelic, and it is a pity that the game is not available for next-gen consoles.

Gameplay-wise, not much has changed from FIFA 14, but it does feel more frenetic — for better or for worse — and is also simple enough for rookies to get into. This also means that the commentary and celebrations can get repetitive, but that’s par for the course for these games.

Those who need a challenge or feel strongly patriotic will also get to take Singapore (out of a total of 203 teams) all the way from the qualifiers to the World Cup — just don’t expect to play in our new National Stadium or even Jalan Besar, as only 21 stadiums are included.

Another mode I found fun was the Story Of Qualifying, which allows you to change history — such as helping Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden get into the World Cup instead of Ronaldo’s Portugal.

The game is perfect to help stave off your football hunger just months ahead of the actual tournament. It doesn’t quite improve on FIFA 14, but with the graphics and atmosphere, it comes close to championship material.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is now available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at S$79.90.

Rating: 3.5/5