The Y Geek Squad takes on the latest iteration in football games to see if it still has the legs to keep the FIFA legacy going.
Fusing the best of competitive football and management with the intrigue of street sports, the new FIFA title for 2020 aims to recapture the youthful side of a game that was once a pioneer in arcade sports in early 2000s.
It’s a mélange that’s long been missing from Electronic Art’s gaming scene – and one that we happily welcome with this new take. But it raises a great question: does this new combo take away from the underlying charm of what FIFA’s long been known for? Thankfully, no!
It all starts with a revamped mechanics engine (as opposed to what was believed to be an unchanged one in earlier reviews) that throws light on defense play while taking away power from counter-attacking strategists.
There’s a learning curve that can throw off even the hardiest of competitors at first – but it’s a rewarding game to master. And ultimately gives more power to players who can – perhaps for the first time ever – perform to their fullest potential.
Couple this with a handful of new tactics – like pushing the ball into space before shooting – and you’re given more control over the ball than ever before. This doesn’t mean the game is fool-proof though: FIFA 20 can get a bit two-paced at times.
Much of this is down to in-game realism – which does make for some spectacular visuals, like the ball slowing down due to friction, players pushing against each other, and harder dribbling controls.
While all of this admittedly looks great, it takes away a great deal of fun. We’re all for realism but, fundamentally, sports games are best enjoyed when they don’t take themselves too seriously.
This brings us on to Volta: a grandstand addition to FIFA 20, this game mode builds on the brand’s ‘FIFA Street’ moniker from a few years back. It’s an action-packed and thrilling mode to get your grip around, and there’s plenty of skills to memorise before you can eke out the best of the game.
In Volta mode, tactics are everything. No dribble is too long and no move too reprehensible, as this title makes a living out of shaming your opponent. Take the game too seriously and you’ll make a fool of yourself; so, it’s advisable to let loose a bit and crank out your skills with the controller for some drama-filled football.
This alone makes FIFA 20 a worthy title in this longstanding series. Admittedly, there’s still a long way to go before Electronic Arts (EA) irons out the shortfalls of the game – the player transfer market springs to mind – but it’s still a winner across all fronts.
We’ve been dying to say this: FIFA 20 finally smells like street spirit.
Developer: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC