Football according to EA Sports this season has, obviously, an iteration that we could define in a perhaps simplistic way of transition, but for those who know better the habits of the developers between Vancouver and Bucharest it is good to define one of the right years that for now for tradition follow those “wrong”.
The new FIFA release does not have the big slips of the previous one, proposing a balanced gameplay (probably more than it has ever been seen in the second half of the decade), goalkeepers who realize they are in the goal and always having to parry , and woods that are not hit dozens of times a match.
To this rediscovered balance are added filings to the formula clearly designed to respond to user feedback and at the same time not to distort the DNA of a series that sees in the Premier League its maximum reference, or a fast and spectacular championship, and in some ways diametrically opposed to that of Serie A (reference, instead, to PES).
Let’s play the ball
In this case, the animations of the players have been slowed down , and especially in the middle of the field they are forced to make a thicker ball, often change game and propose a more reasoned maneuver because before completing their “move” they find themselves already marked or pressed by opponents.
Moreover, to this is added a massive thickening of the center of the rectangle of the game, where for the high number and for the rigidity of the opposing teams one often finds oneself in front of a congestion that suggests to move on the sides (and prevents several times to kick to the net without hitting a defender).
If these components favor the use of a dose of more substantial thought in the creation of the attack maneuver, the counter lies precisely in the frequency with which one turns to the bands and the back pass behind the line of defense, which returns after several versions of absence even if partially defused by the findings on the less killer shooting compared to chapters of the end of the 2000s.
Do not think, however, that the slowing down of the samples on the turf is equivalent to an overall slowing of the action, which still foresees very few dead times and many reversals in front; it only takes a longer time to trigger these mechanisms, which remain inherent in the franchise’s football vision.
The defenses, apart from some typical amnesia of members who do not follow the opponent if they are not controlled by the user (problematic especially when a long shot is shot away at a distance), they manage to move pleasantly in concert, while we have noticed a palpable weakening of the aerial game: think that in our long run at the beginning of the season we have never scored a corner and a corner kick – a mystery how they work – only once … but by foot.
FIFA set-pieces are confirmed as the school for politicians: once in government, the first thing that is distorted and subject to reform is punctually. Also for F20 we have yet another retouching, not always very understandable and easy to digest, although with a philosophy behind it that we appreciate.
In recent years we have been victims of infallible free kicks, which once assigned to the limit of the area amounted to certain goals even more than penalties, and EA is doing a lot to do, albeit with mixed results, to try to put a piece.
Both penalties and free kicks have taken the “spring” viewfinder of the corner kick, in an attempt to give something else to keep the best players at bay and therefore “distract” them enough to prevent them from scoring. with excessive frequency.
There is the addition of the double tap with the right timing to be even more precise and the type of punishment (there is also the cursed one as coined by Fabio Caressa of Andrea Pirlo) to kick, with at least in our experience, if nothing else, a simplification of the requirements to overcome the barrier.
At first we thought of an excessively brainy mechanic and for this reason we avoided talking about it in our preliminary analyzes, but with some other hours of play we seemed to understand both the logic and the operation, so ultimately there is no to be too scared.
It was interesting to try to understand how all this would have been translated once inside the FIFA Ultimate Team mode , faster and faster, due to the very high values and the mechanics of the agreement.
Although a final opinion can only be given at the end of the season, when the last patch has been published and the last card purchased or sold, the impression we had at this stage is that here too the echo of the slowdown is heard set in the main game.
That this echo does not apply particular changes to the way FUT is played , this is almost taken for granted, given that the wings have always had the highest voice in the world and this will not be a big news to those who approach them.
In the field, in addition to the reasoning on the Entente, there remains the feeling that the mode prizes a certain way of playing and certain modules to the detriment of the others: the 4-3-3 is as if unlocking something in the offensive phase, with continuous insertions of the mid-pitches and pitches that by magic become lethal as we wanted them, while with other sides and types of less mainstream footballers we have even struggled to score on crystal clear occasions.
Ultimate Team is the usual Ultimate Team, briefly, a stand-alone gameplay that has undergone only a rearrangement of its contents both to exert a greater appeal towards a young audience with a now familiar battle pass style mechanics and friendlies with various variations that do not impact on the form, both to refresh their menus.
Again, we are not talking about revolutions as there were already daily and weekly challenges last year, and the same concept of the seasons can be beautifully ignored to focus on Squad Battles and Rivals, but it is a feature that EA seems to focus on, having it placed in the middle of the menus and involving the other most popular types of game.
At present, the rewards for each level are not particularly attractive and range from the pack of gold cards to the boost for the credits obtained in each game but, given just how much the developers are betting on it at least in appearance, it is not said that the next season (they last a couple of months each) do not have rewards better than the current ones that are not too attractive for the experts.
The reorganization of the menus makes it faster to perform operations such as renewals, purchases in a certain role and transfers from the club to the squad, which finally do not require exiting an interface and entering another with the necessary uploads of the case.
In some circumstances there continue to be harshness (why all those steps after a purchase? After the auction, go to the appropriate screen, send the card to the club, from there send it to the rose …) but there was a clear change of step intent.
One way that in the statements of the multinational development team has undergone important changes is the Career , although to all intents and purposes it does nothing more than give a scenic dimension to features that it has historically incorporated on paper.
The impact with the mode is almost always the same (pre-championship tour, messages, media, national coaching options that are provided even if you are a hired stranger, you don’t know how to do it from a great team and, above all, a calendar with a number of close engagements that has the disconcerting …) and the basic concepts of the rest have not been altered.
The opportunity to finally have access to a complete editor for the creation of the coach is something belated, given that for years we have been dragged behind the same few models that were sent to the field with a poor visual rendering, but certainly welcome.
The editor is quite rich and functional, both in terms of character creation and clothing and accessories, and good news is that everything can be changed while running, so you won’t have to play for the equivalent of twenty years of playing with the same jacket or the same hair.
Clearly, the implementation of an editor with these prerogatives is preparatory to one of the great innovations of the season, namely 3D press conferences , in turn interconnected with the management of the morale of the rose.
The words we will speak at the conference, as well as in the post-race, will in fact have an impact on the mood of the individual and the collective, and their surrender will inevitably be conditioned by the performance of the championship and the cups.
You asked us, after the passage in the review in progress, about the quantity and we tell you that the interviews are in fact always while remaining optional; on quality, instead, we answer that the questions of the press are on the piece, and they go to hit points like a test undertone of a new purchase or an exciting performance of the team or a star in particular.
We were positively impressed by the fact that the negative mood can push us to ask for the sale, as in the past, but that we can also reverse it, for example by granting the required playing time to a player (it happened to us with Kessie from Milan) or a renewal to different figures.
Once upon a time…
We expected to get more involved at Volta , but as long as we put our hands together we understood why we didn’t call FIFA Street: the rebrand, as well as its main mechanics, serve not to call fans of the original street game but to attract new ones users from the casual sphere, which could be intimidated by the competitiveness of 11v11 and could therefore see in an exotic 3v3 an alternative for them.
If the 4v4 to rise and the system of customization and enhancement of the character satisfied us, for the debut of the modality we would have wanted new features instead of a reshuffling and a re-adaptation of those that had already been seen in Il Viaggio in FIFA 19, including the evaluation system of our performance with strengths and weaknesses (the slip to block a firing line or passage is still read as an intervention with bad timing) of the case.
The same mechanics of recruitment soon exhausts its function, since you will soon find yourself with a team that is satisfactory enough to no longer require you to resort to it, especially when you will have to repeat an event often because you will have missed a game and will be forced to start over from zero.
The Entente is instead borrowed from FUT, which depends not on nationality this time but on the field of origin and adaptation to a module, and the opportunity to combine various cards and various modules to get bonuses – such as the one resulting from the deploy players all from different fields or two from the same.
We imagined, at the announcement of the modality, to have to resort more to tricks like in the times of Street and instead we noticed how the frantic pressing of the opponents imposes a fast and sure ball, especially in 3v3 where losing possession in the own half field is equivalent to the certainty of conceding a goal.
A special feature of the camp in 3v3 is the possibility of exploiting barriers to launch oneself or a teammate; they are also present in the other types of matches but here it is easier to complete the “trick”, which is why it is more inviting.
With more components, as early as 4v4, things improve somewhat, especially due to the extensive size of the fields where you can play with more confidence, set up with relative freedom and let yourself go for some trick with the ball.
The dynamics of the parade and shooting are problematic for different reasons: in 3v3, without role goalkeepers, they take networks from almost any direction (and there are hints of melina at the beginning of the decade) because ours let themselves be threaded with extreme ease ; going up, on the other hand, it becomes very difficult to mark because of the often extraordinary abilities of the extreme defenders and the small size of the doors, and it is good to learn immediately that much of the work is done by timing rather than brute force.
A narrative assignment was also assigned to Volta, which should not have caused the Journey to regret and provide a framework for the modality, and this task can be said to be performed without particular praise or infamy or peaks in interactions.
We are faced with a youthful story, as indeed in the Alex Hunter trilogy, but in this case the perspective is unanimous: a street soccer team that loses its guide through injury and must rebuild itself from the ground up to reach the top of the discipline .
The structure provides that you can play events related to history and other “external” but still useful to scrape together members of the team by choosing the (many and diversified for game fund) locations unlocked by a map of the world; the events related to the story can be a bit frustrating because you have to complete them in one shot: losing a game, even if it was the final, requires replaying them again and the shortest has a duration of four matches. Not the best.
Great attention has been paid to the sector of aesthetic customization , thanks to which it is possible to buy clothing, accessories, tattoos of various rarities, and change the appearance of your budding footballer in every detail. At the moment, the domestic economy seems to be in a fairly balanced way.
The events, which for the reasons mentioned above will often be repeated several times before winning, in fact provide a large amount of in-game money that can be reinvested, and there are no microtransactions (they will not be introduced even in the future, according to to the developer).
The only way to get those items is to buy them with Volta’s currency or complete the daily and weekly challenges that aim to give a greater longevity to the mode. In short, it seems that EA has played clean in this circumstance, but as for FUT and in every live component there will be to carry out the checks of the case later.
Volta is therefore a nice variation for neophytes and a few games with friends but, although it contains numerous contents for the single-player, we do not see it as something capable of bothering (and it does not even seem to have the intention) to play the other modes. more tested.
The last considerations we leave to the technical proposal of FIFA 20, which represents a voice always quite delicate since it is often influenced not only by the technological aspect but also by the licenses in possession or not.
If the case of Juventus (pardon, Piemonte Calcio) had already been known for some time, that of technical realization is a theme that we expected could be treated in a different way, especially if we consider that we are in a year devoid of big playful jolts and that could have served as a refinement season in this respect.
Well, we still do not see the intention to intervene in this sense, with faces that remain generic even for established players such as a stretcher recently passed to Inter and for some time owner in the National team, or to the whole of Naples which, despite being for years at the top of world football, it is still the subject of approximations (see an Allan or that poor Callejon who at the threshold of 40 has the same haircut of the times of Real Madrid or almost).
We do not discover hot water when we say that PES has historically taken another step in the care of details , but just between 2019 and 2020, with an end-of-gen iteration that could have allowed the addition of a less demanding craft, we would have liked see an effort on the part of EA Sports that did not take place.
There are various levels of treatment between Premier League and stars of the various major leagues that touch on photorealism, a mistreated Serie A like never before (despite goodies like the official animations and the real captain’s armband) and minor, or minor, players for which we continually resort to faces recreated with the stencil now even annoying to the eye.
And, speaking of unequal treatment, this year there is a disproportionate number of stadiums, all beautiful (especially German and American are special) and presented with an exceptional graphic look, a real godsend for those who like football architecture in particular. The same can be said of the amount of leagues supported in every part of the world, including Iniesta’s Japan and Hamsik’s China.
But our heart is in tears when we see that Germany has even the Serie B club arenas included in the package while Italy remains at stake with only the Olimpico of Rome and San Siro of Milan. Really, net of individual agreements or with the reference municipalities when we are not talking about owned stadiums (which are always more), can’t we do better?
In a specifically technical context, we note some graphic artifacts due to motion blur, which excessively blurs objects and players in the background during replays and rejoicing, as well as being a real headache when there was photos to take for our article . We could turn it off, not only from today but from what was introduced in PES style a couple of years ago.
We must underline how some phrases of last year have remained, no longer suitable, such as the one on Milan’s Chinese property, and others that we still find it hard to understand, such as the request for what is missing at the end of the game to poor Barzaghi on the sideline; such a blatant nonsense that there is the doubt of an ironic gag studied at table.
Finally, we observe how at the level of gameplay the latest novelties of the regulation have not been implemented , which include the possibility of passing to a team-mate in the penalty area on referral from the bottom and leaving any point of the field in a replacement.
Nothing for which to tear the clothes but, considering that in 2019 the kick-off was implemented with only one player in the circle of midfield and since we are in the presence of an official FIFA videogame, we expected a special attention.