Now it’s a common perception and more or less meme in the video game community that Fifa games are the same thing every year. I can see why people believe that, the last Fifa game I played was back in 2014 at a friend’s place and this one literally feels nearly the same. There are a few little factors that actually reminded me that it was Fifa 20. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a bad game.
Being the same game can be good. I mean, it’s a formula after all. If the formula isn’t broken, why fix it? Also, the people that usually meme the games for being the same are ones that don’t actually play them actively. The Fifa series has a very strong and highly populated fanbase. Fifa 20 continues to carry that power forward as well. The fanbase is going strong and so far, EA is staying safe with the surprise mechanic bullshit. Anyways, let’s get down to the game itself.
Fifa 20 in it’s standard game mode emphasizes on being a sports simulator. Obviously it was fair to expect realistic physics which is what I got. Personally, I prefer sports games that go full gimmick like the original Fifa Streets, Pure Football and WWE All Stars. That being said, I understand the appeal in a realistic football experience. That’s exactly what Fifa 20 managed to capture. Especially with how the weight of the ball felt. It was pretty impactful and heavy. Often the pacing of the game felt sluggish. I’m pretty sure that was the intent, though. Footballs tend to get slow down by the occasional impact of the grass field. It did fuck with the game’s flow a bit, but not enough to really destroy it.
One thing I noticed was the emphasis on defense. I don’t remember defense being as vigilant as they were in this game. It’s sort of like how the cops evolved between GTA 4 and then GTA 5. It’s way harder to get past the outer D before the goal because of those goddamn defenders. This did extend the time it took normally to score a goal. I slightly dislike that, since one of my irks with the old Fifa was how damn long it took to finally score. The amount of times you went back and forth for ages, only to lose your point to a stupid mistake or dumb AI was very frustrating. This game does get rid of the latter issue but still can make rallies frustratingly long.
I was always a fan of the Fifa Street trilogy. Mainly for the gimmick obviously. EA did release a remake of Fifa Street after all which was basically a realistic remake of the game. After that came out and went by, I didn’t think I’d see another version of the game. That is, until Fifa 20 came out with the Volta mode.
Volta is the surprise focus of Fifa 20 which in my opinion, makes it pretty unique in comparison to previous titles. It’s the combination of Fifa Street and classic Fifa. The attention and spotlight given to it in Fifa 20 makes it evident that EA really wants the Street mode to be made more mainstream, which is great. The Street games did feel underappreciated in comparison to the classic game counterparts. This installment fixes that issue once and for all.
Volta in Fifa 20 has three modes basically. One is Tour, Tour is basically the local play of Volta. It involves fighting endlessly generated AI teams that are actually the teams of other players that were put into the server. Winning matches and beating teams allows you to recruit their players into your teams. This goes the same for other players with your team. Somewhere out there, there’s an off chance that your loser character is being used by some poor fucker out there that beat your team.
Then there was the story mode which speaks for itself in the title. It’s also worth mentioning that story mode was also obviously a local single player mode. The story itself is about just as compelling as any sports movie story can be. It’s all about that grind basically. Converting a bunch of street kids into an all star football team. I’ll admit that the story was indeed better than the NFL story mode but nothing too special either. The characters were volatile. Some were nicely fleshed out while others were just walking emotionless props.
Finally, League mode was the multiplayer aspect of Volta. It’s also where you’ll most likely be spending the most time competitively playing. It’s essentially where you really put your self made team to the test against other players with self made teams. One thing I’d like to point out about Volta before we continue is the fact that there aren’t any microtransactions in it. Everything you earn from skill points to players and athletes is quite literally earned. It’s earned by completing either specified challenges, grinding for points or beating other players.
This is only at launch however. I’m quite certain EA may introduce microtransactions at some point down the line. Right now it’s just wise not to do so immediately until further notice. The company has been under fire from the media and players around the world after all and for good reason. They themselves have also acknowledged that the microtransaction machine has caused instability and a bad relationship between companies and their consumers. Hopefully, they stick to this newfound knowledge and keep microtransactions out of the picture.
Let’s see, oh, the game also has character customization. I forgot to mention that during the Volta discussion. Yes, the star player of your team in Volta is a character you create. Really brings back the Fifa Street memories. You can also unlock and pick cosmetics regarding your clothing or features by playing through the mode. Again, the amount of cosmetics available makes me feel like there will be transactions at some point down the line. Just a hunch.
Outside of Volta, Fifa’s classic career mode does return but not in any spectacular fashion. I guess the only new aspect is the dull and badly executed press conference segments. Still, I feel like EA really shone the spotlight onto Volta this year. Probably to stray away from the accusations of being the same game every year.