Despite it being a solid all around game, FIFA 14 on the next gen consoles was by and large not much different than it’s current gen cousin when it came to gameplay features. With FIFA 15, this needs to change if the series is to continue to build upon its recent successes. Being strictly a career mode player, I’ve come up with a list of new features that if implemented correctly could really add new life to the mode, putting it on par with games like MLB The Show, which IMO is the gold standard in sports gaming. Of all the features I’d like too see, nothing is more important than the:
Overhaul Of The Global Transfer Network
While in theory I like the idea of the GTN, it’s implementation in FIFA 14 left a lot to be desired. First off, the entire process is simply too clunky and takes entirely too long. On top of that, once you do scout a player, the reports becomes obsolete much too quickly. Streamline the instructions, quicken the scouting process, give the reports a one year shelf life, and finally give each player a current and potential OVR “range” which shrinks the longer you choose to scout a player.
Emphasize The Tactical Side Of The Game
Forever a sore point with FIFA players, the clubs in the game are simply much too generic, they all play the exact same style. By adding distinct playing styles to each team(counter attacking, possession, long ball, etc) along with distinct formations you not only add an entirely new dimension to gameplay, you also open up the possibility of adding tactical scouts to the game, something never before seen in a FIFA game.
Reserve Team Squads
As it stands, academy/youth players are simply names on a list that magically improve over time until that fateful day when you call them up the the big club. Why not improve this entire process by adding reserve teams. Of course this would all run in the background but even this would make the investment into you youth players that much more rewarding when they do pan out.
Long Term Stat Keeping
Why oh why do player and team stats disappear and reset after each season? Following a player’s career or your club’s fortunes are some of the most rewarding aspects of a career mode, but in FIFA, your club/player history basically doesn’t exist, this absolutely needs to change. How nice would it be too look back on 15 years of League champions, Champions League winners, all-time leading scorers, it’s these types of things that give a CM character.
Club Growth/Budget Fluctuation
Starting with a lower league club and bringing them up through the ranks is one of the most fun things to do in a CM, unfortunately though, the inability to add seating to stadiums(or even change generic stadiums), update kits with current league badges, and gain increased revenue/transfer budgets by being successful kinda puts a damper on things. Following each campaign the club you manage should be able to benefit(or suffer) depending on your success(or failures). As it stands, relegated clubs nearly always go right back up(and promoted clubs right back down) because their wage/transfer budgets don’t go up or down with promotion/relegation.
Each year during football season, the gossip rags are filled with stories about unsettled players, players trying to force transfers, player swoops, underhanded agent dealings, all the good stuff. In FIFA, all we get is the occasional email which goes absolutely nowhere. FIFA’s career mode can learn a lot from Madden here where their use of phony social media “tweets” and expert news really spices things up in connected careers. This type of system would be tremendous come transfer time and if done right could make deadline day the highlight of the season in a CM.
Improved Transfer Tracking
As it stands, the transfer period lacks any real drama, and it all kind of feels detached for lack of a better word. During the summer and winter transfer periods, I want to be engaged, I want to read about all of the transfers around Europe, I want to scan through the transfer lists to see who goes where, I want rumors and innuendo, drama on deadline day! As I mentioned above a connected careers type setup would be perfect here.
Better Referees/Yellow and Red Cards
More of a gameplay issue than a career mode issue, the referees in this game are simply horrendous, so much so in fact that it really hurts the realism on the pitch. Obstruction is never called, there’s too much pushing and pulling allowed, and much too much leeway when it comes to tackles/cards. Just once I’d like to see a match with a red card or gasp! Two red cards!! In all seriousness though, fouls, yellow and red cards and the set pieces and suspensions that come with them are part of the game and I get that online players don’t want to spend all their time dealing with stoppages, but there’s any easy answer for this, turn off fouls completely for online modes. Offline, fouls and cards should be called/issued just as they would in a real football match.
Improved Presentation For Cup/European Matches
Playing in the Champions League, Europa League, or in a Cup match should be a spectacle in FIFA, instead however they’re treated as just another match in what becomes one monotonous line of football matches. This just should not be. FIFA 2010 World Cup did a tremendous job at recreating the atmosphere of big time international football, using that as a guide would go a long way in making these prestigious tournaments stand out from the crowd.
Well, that’s my list. Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have something to add? Leave a comment, I’m always interested in hearing what FIFA fans have to say.