Following the release of FIFA 14 last year, we put together a list of some of the most frustrating issues gamers had reported having with EA Sports’ best-selling football game. Due to the popularity of that article and the response we received from the football gaming community, we’ve decided to put another together for FIFA 15, having played the game for a couple of weeks now. Don’t get us wrong, we’re having a lot of fun with the title and awarded it a prestigious nine out of ten in our full review – but the game isn’t without its flaws. With that said, Power Up Gaming today presents our top ten grievances in FIFA 15. Feel free to let us know about any we’ve missed by posting in the comments section below.
1. What is he doing!
In this year’s instalment, goalkeeping has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, with the introduction of over 50 new save animations and improved AI. It does feel much more realistic, at times, and the keepers do pull off some wonderful saves. However, they’re also prone to making mistakes and errors that you wouldn’t expect to see in a kick-about in the park, never mind a Premier League title decider. They punch it in their own net, let the ball trickle through their legs and dribble out with the ball when all you want to do is hoof it clear. It adds comedy value when it happens to somebody else but is very frustrating when some of the best stop-shotters in the world are making such amateur mistakes. Admittedly, howlers do happen occasionally in real life, but the frequency at which we’ve witnessed them occur in FIFA 15 is somewhat alarming.
2. Scoring from kick-off
Adventurous online players have always tried this trick anyway – particularly when losing – but this year it seems to work more effectively for them: dribbling and scoring from kick-off is easier than ever before. Too many times now, online players we’ve faced have kicked off and simply run in a straight line to goal and scored, while the midfield and defence just seems to open up for them. This is because the slightest movement from the attacker completely throws off the defender, making it easy to run straight into the penalty area. Maybe it’s the new tackling system or different mechanics that people are having trouble with, but it shouldn’t be this easy to score and can consequently ruin online matches. Indeed, EA’s attempts at balancing the core gameplay mechanics seem to have gone too far; defending is far more difficult than attacking in FIFA 15.
3. Not to him!
It’s back! The annoyingly inaccurate passing that seems to have haunted the series since the release of FIFA 12 has returned with a vengeance. The obvious ball is on – the one you want, it’s why you’re pointing the thumbstick in that direction – so why does your player decide to spin 180° and pass it back to the goalkeeper? Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but we know we’re not alone when we describe this scenario: you’re on the break, two-against-one in the 90th minute – surely this has to be a goal, you just need to play in your fellow attacker and he’ll be one-on-one with the keeper. Yet you’re left screaming “not to him” at your TV because you were forced to switch the play to a teammate you didn’t even know was there because he was off the screen. These situations are simply infuriating and take the fun out of what is an otherwise enjoyable game.
4. Take the ball in your stride
For the most part, the through balls have been improved in FIFA 15. They’re now played well in front of the attacker, meaning they can run onto the ball with ease to have a pop at goal. Be that as it may, if you play a through ball to somebody in front of you, as opposed to from the side, the attacker heading towards goal frustratingly fails to take the ball in their stride. This forces the ball to roll past the player, almost through his feet, and into the hands of the ‘keeper. If he’d only taken it in his stride, taking the pace off of the ball, he would have been able to smash it in the top corner, leaving the goalie no chance.
5. Where are my subs?
When preparing for an online season match, if you move a player from your reserves to your substitutes, when it comes time to make a change, he’s nowhere to be found. At the time of writing, unless a player is moved from the reserves to the starting eleven they simply don’t show up. Ribery, for example, starts in the Bayern reserves based on the latest Bundesliga squad, but you’re unable to use him as a 60-minute impact player from the bench; like a true prima donna, if he doesn’t start, he goes home.
6. Play on; advantage!
This is another issue that’s carried over from last year’s game into FIFA 15: the use of advantages played by the referee. Though you get it for free kicks in the middle of the park and now (thankfully) penalties, you need to be able to get it from elsewhere; particularly offsides. You can intercept the ball intended for an offside Wayne Rooney and be about to break away only to be brought back for the original infraction. It takes a bit of time for the referee to blow the whistle as well, which is especially annoying when you’re bearing down on goal in a well-crafted counter attack.
7. Fergie time
More often than not in FIFA 15, the fourth official, or referee, seems to add too much stoppage time on at the end of each half; indeed, there have been several instances where five minutes have seemingly randomly been added on to each stanza. Sure, there have been a couple of goals, but it’s not like anybody needed stretchering off and the amount allocated often seems excessive to us. This could be due to a bug in the game – or it could be that this year the man in charge is tallying up every throw-in, corner, goal kick and offside. Though the clock still runs during these bits of play, it’s in real time, rather than game time, to avoid time wasting.
8. I was marking him
A new bug for FIFA 15 sees you able to control your players while an opponent or teammate is placing a deadball; from a goal kick, for example. This is a good idea in principle, but in execution it goes something like this: you move your player to mark a man, then it shows a little cutscene of the goalie stepping back, and then when the camera returns to tele mode you’re no longer marking that defender; you’re back to your original starting position before the cutscene. This also crops up on free kicks and corners which is irritating when the ball is played to somebody you were just marking before you got “teleported”.
9. The offside rule
As expected in a game where teammates and oppontents are controlled by AI, the offsides are generally correct, though there are less replays shown this year – which is aggravating when you feel you were onside and demand to see proof! There is also a major grievance we have with offsides: if the ball is played to an attacker in an offside position but is intercepted by a defender, the defender can then control and dribble away with the ball; however, if they’re then tackled at any point by said attacker before he passes it, the whistle goes for offside. This is not how the offside rule works, EA! It’s a little tricky to explain but nowhere in the FIFA rule book does it say that you cannot make a tackle if you would have been offside when the defender latched onto the ball.
10. Skipping replays
There is very little more infuriating in FIFA than playing against an opponent that doesn’t skip replays; watching your player give away a penalty fifteen times only adds to the irritation. Don’t get us wrong, we love replays, especially when it comes to a great goal when you’re bound to want to see it again. But only a few times. To get around those annoying players who sit there and try to anger their opponent by failing to advance, replays should only be shown two or three times and not take several minutes to get past. Following replays of incidents, it then goes on to show players walking back or talking to each other, which might add to the realism of watching it on TV, but does nothing for a video game when you just want to get on and play.
Lag and matchmaking
There have been a number of complaints about lag in the online seasons of FIFA 15. This appears to mainly be due to the matchmaking as European players, particularly in the higher leagues, are being paired with those in places like South America – leading to input lag and thus unplayable games.