I have always been a big fan of FIFA, but as we all know, every year EA Sports finds ways to annoy and frustrate us. And this year's instalment, FIFA 15 is no different.
After a few months of playing it, I've highlighted three flaws which have actually made me quite disappointed with the new game.
1. 'Park the Bus'
When EA Sports announced this feature during promotion I knew of the damage it would bring to the game. Yes, it is a realistic tactic, but it's exploited so much by online players to the extent that gameplay has ultimately been ruined.
All the fun has been removed from online FIFA and I blame most of it on this tiny new feature, which has had a massive impact on my opinion of the game. We've all been there. The first thing players do on Ultimate Team, online Seasons and Pro Clubs is switch to 'Park the Bus', and it's so frustrating to see.
Exciting end-to-end matches are so rare in FIFA 15, as every attack is met with at least five defenders camping on the edge of the box. That's not football! And I'm seriously surprised that it is being encouraged in FIFA 15.
It does remind me of a similar situation from the most recent FIFA Street game, and it's own online mode. FIFA Street has an online mode? Yes and it's just as flawed.
Here, instead of actually trying to score skilful goals, online players preferred to do the complete opposite. And I don't blame them as tricks didn't make you win; simply scoring goals did, even on a game so focused on encouraging flair and skills.
The point is, give players the ammunition to exploit the game, and they will. You could argue EA Sports aren't to blame for this, but I think they are. Surely adding this feature was bound to have this effect, and ultimately I am reluctant to play online on FIFA 15, much like I was after just one game on FIFA Street.
2. Coin Sellers
Again, EA Sports have tried to deal with this issue. But yet this issue is still alive and well, as our favourite FIFA YouTubers haven't had a problem showing us.
For those who don't know, coin sellers on Ultimate Team are websites where you can actually buy coins which are then transferred into your online account.
Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't this cheating? It really has to be stopped. The whole purpose of Ultimate Team is thrown out the window, and I genuinely feel sorry for players who actually play the game the way it's supposed to be played.
As I said, give players a chance and they will exploit the game. All we can hope for is that EA Sports make dealing with this a priority and in their defence I'm sure something is being done.
Nevertheless, the coin selling is another example of how FIFA 15 has been ruined for so many people, yet EA Sports still walk away with millions (and I don't mean FIFA coins).
3. The lack of focus on offline game modes
It seems EA Sports have almost abandoned offline game mode fans, including Manager and Player Career modes that have hardly been touched this year.
It's very obvious why this is the case. There's no extra money to be earned through Career Mode, unlike Ultimate Team where so much intake comes from players buying packs, and personally I understand why nearly all time and effort is focused on Ultimate Team. As a profit-based company, it's clear why this is case.
Although this still frustrates me. Due to the flaws of Ultimate Team this year, I've been mostly playing offline Career, which hasn't really been improved and is basically an updated version of the previous game, as I'll cover in depth another time.
EA Sports need to realise that there is so much potential for offline modes, and I'm extremely convinced that they could produce a Career Mode to rival Football Manager.
But so far this hasn't been the case, and this is probably what annoys me most about FIFA. Yes, it's about making money. Yes, they only have to produce a new game every year with new features. And yes, they may need to save some of those features for future games.
But in all honesty I feel like FIFA's potential has not been realised, and won't be until these flaws, among others, are dealt with and then finally EA Sports can get back on the right course.
Recently they've lost sight of what once made the series great, and I truly hope this is realised so FIFA can return stronger than ever.
What's your biggest gripe with FIFA?
How can the game be improved?
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