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Sean Dimmock: EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup review

What is it?

The latest incarnation of the enduring football video game.

How will it change my life? With football's showpiece event in Brazil shaping up to be one of the most entertaining for years, there is little complaint from this sports fan. But with it comes the age-old quandary of how to fill the void in those hours between matches when listening to Adrian Chiles drone on simply won't cut it.

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That's where EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup comes in. Those familiar with previous instalments could be forgiven for thinking that FIFA 13 has just been rebranded, and to a large extent it has. EA appears reluctant to tinker with a winning formula and has tried to develop the game with minor upgrades to the gameplay, such as giving competitors the ability to win headers from behind an opposing player, where in the past you simply positioned your player between the ball and the opponent to guarantee success.

In addition to the reported 100 new animations, EA has added a Captain Your Country mode, which is similar to career mode and provides a platform for personal progression from a rookie trying to get noticed by the national team boss through to becoming the team's captain and star.

Good points? The game has come a long way since the early editions. It gets harder to create features which provide a significant improvement but EA has tried. Everything is slightly more polished from the first touch control to the individual characteristics and attributes of every player; after all, Luka Modric would never out-jump Per Mertesaker in real life.

Bad points? I could put up with a lot of negative elements in this game - the robotic nature of the computer-controlled players; the clumsy movements; the superpowers some players appear to possess - but I couldn't tolerate one second more of the commentary provided by Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend. The latter's voice grates more than the sartorial choices of a Premier League footballer on a Saturday night out. I can't imagine why EA persists with this combination, since there are plenty of former professionals with better credentials who could sell what we are seeing on screen.

Best for … Fans seeking an authentic World Cup experience with genuine player likenesses and squads. Even managers on the touchline make an appearance.

Avoid if … You usually equate the pre-season break with much-needed respite from incessant crowd chants and mind-numbing commentary.

Score: 7/10. Until virtual reality suits are perfected this is the closest thing to pulling on your nation's colours.

EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup, £39.99 (tesco.com)

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