EA wowed us with Madden NFL Mobile, and yesterday they unleashed a new ‘football’ game with FIFA: 15 Ultimate Team. The soft regional launch drove soccer nuts a little crazy, but now the game is out in all its glory. After spending some time with the game, we’re back with our FIFA 15: Ultimate Team review.
FIFA 15: Ultimate Team is EA’s attempt at a Soccer-based CCG for mobiles, and while that may make you cringe a bit, there’s plenty of actual soccer involved. The game is broken down into several different sections, and we’re going to start with “Play” as it’s where you’ll spend most of your time.
From the Play section, you’ll be able to get down in several several different types of matches including Quick Match, Team of the Week, Tournaments and Games of the Week. All are self-explanatory if you’ve played a FIFA or recent EA sports game, and there’s a Seasons mode to boot. As with all games of this nature, you’ll earn coins which can be spent to upgrade your club.
The controls have been revamped in FIFA 15: Ultimate Team, and it’s a good thing. The controls are simplified on both sides of the ball, and there are several different control schemes available including three and four-button arrays. You can adjust the button size, floating joystick and several other elements, so there’s a little something for everyone this time around. Needless to say, if you didn’t like last year’s setup, you’ll be pleased.
Starting out, you’ll put together your club from a random selection of players obtained from a group of packs. You can sell any players you don’t want or need and adjust your lineup as you like, but you’ll want to keep an eye on the club’s chemistry just as much as you do your overall squad rating.
While I’m not a massive football fan, I do know the major players follow the sport somewhat. While I didn’t get any superstars in my packs, there are plenty to be had on the auction block. Yup, FIFA 15: Ultimate Team has an auction setup, and it’s quite a bit of fun if you enjoy wheeling and dealing.
Part of the draw of the new breed of sports games (like it or not) is the ability to bust packs and pull cards. You probably won’t get any of your favorites with the starter packs, but you can turn around and sell your unwanted cards at a flat price or put them up in the Transfers Market.
From here, you can buy or sell players, staff, consumables or club items. There is a lot to peruse, and you can seriously kill some time in the Transfer section alone. Just like Madden, the auction are live, and as it is in real life, you can get outbid at the last second. It’s like a mini eBay, and can be just as expensive which brings us to the dreaded IAP section of our FIFA 15: Ultimate Team Review.
FIFA 15: Ultimate Team is a freemium game, and the in-app purchases come in the form of card packs. Thankfully, EA handled things like a champ in this area as every card pack (currently) listed can be bought with coins earned in the game. There are “FIFA Points” you can buy to make things easier, but you don’t have to pay anything with the current setup. That said, you’ll probably want to, and you don’t need to feel bad about spending a few bucks as the game is awesome.
FIFA 15: Ultimate Team has damn near everything you could want from a mobile soccer game. It look great, it has all your favorite players and teams, and it’s a blast. Obviously, it can’t measure up to the console versions, but they’ve really done a great job with FIFA 15: Ultimate Team, and as much as it pains me to say it, it’s better than Madden NFL Mobile in several areas.
There’s definitely more of a dynasty/sim feel in FIFA 15 Ultimate, but the Transfer section could be confusing to newcomers as there’s a lot to take in. There is also no turn-based multiplayer ala Madden, and some will be turned off by the fact they can’t play with their favorite team.
If you want a full-fledged FIFA game you may be a little disappointed, but FIFA 15 Ultimate Team is still a fine accomplishment and it is the company’s finest mobile sports game to date. If you’re a fan of the beautiful game, you should zip on over to Google Play and pick up FIFA 15: Ultimate Team.