Captain Your Country Mode allows you to take a player, created or real, and bring them up through the ranks in their quest to wear the armband in Brazil. All told, this is a buy fifa coins bastardized version of Be A Pro mode from the FIFA games, with a weird ranking system in the middle of it. It feels very forced; if you start off with an established player like Dempsey or Donovan, they are “returning from injury,” as it were. I’ve always regarded it as a different way of approaching a video game, kind of a combo racing-game/RPG thing. Personally, I’ve never understood the idea of playing a video game of a team sport where you’re only one player. If I wanted to do that, I’d go out and play real soccer instead of sitting on my couch, playing a video game. Your opinion may vary.
Making its return is a World Cup favorite, Story of Qualifying, where you choose a real-life scenario and try to complete all of the achievements for that particular situation. For example, you can take control of the US in the SnowClassico and try to beat Costa Rica by five goals. The inclusion of all of those teams comes in handy here, and this gives you a chance to take control of teams that you wouldn’t normally consider playing as – calling American Samoa, come in American Samoa – and take them through completing the tasks. It’s something different, and if nothing else, it’s an easy way to get XP and but fifa 14 coins that you can use in the EA Store to unlock bonus items in this game or, more importantly, FIFA 15. There are unlockable bonus packs through the store that offer the entire qualification runs of eight teams, including the US, so you’ll be able to relive each situation en route to Brazil, which is a neat touch. Once the tournament in Brazil kicks off, a “Story of Finals” mode will be activated giving you a chance to recreate similar scenarios from the final tournament.
If you want to take your game online, two modes greet you. Online World Cup returns from 2010, and is a solid mode if you don’t mind playing three-seven games in a row in one shot. You are thrown into a group with three other people and, if you advance, play through the knockout stages. The other is Road to Rio, which is a stylized version of the Online Leagues from FIFA. You start at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus and, as you win / draw, move onto each stadium until you reach the highest level at the Maracana. If you lose too often, you get relegated back to the previous level. Like Captain Your Country, it’s a dressed up version of a staple, but it’s presented nicely.
One thing that FIFA has succeeded in doing with their World Cup games is visually and audibly bringing the experience of being at a World Cup game into your living room. Despite being hindered by the current-gen graphical limitations, EA did their best to step it up a slight notch over their last effort in 2010. You still see crowds dancing in the stands, waving flags while dancing and reacting to what’s happening on the pitch. They’ve also added scenes of viewing parties all over the world, which is also a neat little touch. When you do something in Brazil, you’ll see the reaction at the Capitol, Trafalgar Square, the Sydney Opera House, and more. Overall, the experience of a World Cup game has been very well replicated, from the teams marching out onto the pitch at the beginning of the match, to the sounds of authentic Brazilian crowds bringing the stadium to life. Each of the World Cup arenas are recreated in-and-out with beautiful faithfulness that enhances the viewing experience, and accents the presentation nicely.