March 7, 2014 1:22 pm

EA SPORTS FIFA 14 on Nokia Lumia: hands on

Start singing, cheering and swinging your rattles; EA SPORTS FIFA 14 has launched on Windows Phone 8.

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EA SPORTS FIFA is the football series to get excited about each year, combining the perfect mix of realistic graphics, fluid dynamics and gameplay that really puts you at the heart of the action.

We found the previous version – the cunningly titled FIFA 13 – particularly addictive, and with detail and game changes across the board, FIFA 14 really is a worthwhile upgrade.

So what does FIFA 14 have to offer?

The controls have enjoyed an overhaul, for a start.

You can influence the individual runs of players by tapping and holding until they’re highlighted, and then swiping and dragging in different directions to make them sprint.

At the same time, you can tap different teammates to pass the ball. The lack of onscreen buttons means there’s a lot less chance of getting muddled or accidentally pressing the wrong key.

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We particularly love the shoot feature, which has evolved into a series of swipes where the result depends on how quick and precise your movements are.

For example, swipe as quickly as possible towards the goal and the ball will fly off your striker’s foot, but there’s also a lot more chance of it ending up in row Z. Try a more considered, sweeping movement, and watch as your player slots it neatly into the bottom corner.

Tackling has also been refurbished; tap opposition players to make your team press against them, while at the same time controlling individuals to commit to the perfect tackle.

Overall, the new controls are a joy, bringing more players into the action. You’ll need practice, but once mastered it feels a lot more instinctive. If you’re a traditionalist, you can opt for the classic on-screen joypad.

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Something for all football fans

As with older versions of EA SPORTS FIFA, players and teams from around the world have been officially licensed, with more than 16,000 players and 600 teams from 33 different leagues. Add in 34 famous stadiums, and clubs from lower leagues, and it’s a great experience if you’re interested in a visually stunning game.

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For the first time, EA SPORTS has also introduced commentary in five different languages – English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

 

Unlike its predecessor, FIFA 14 is a free download. It does include in-app purchases that unlock additional modes and special packs.

 

If ever there was a game worth paying for, however, FIFA 14 is definitely it. Love or loathe football, it’s one of the best games available for Nokia Lumia.

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What do you think of the new FIFA 14 controls? Leave a comment below.