This time comes around every year, where football fans get hyped to the sight of FIFA 20 on the shelves. Though sadly for this reviewer it was just another football game, after last year’s addition to the franchise I wasn’t really looking forward to this one. Personally, for me, it would have been another game I can play with my friends and one I could play on the side when I want a rest from my main games. Leading up to the game’s launch I saw trailers and gameplay that made me feel a bit of excitement because they added in the new Volta Football mode that reminded me of FIFA street back in the day. Though not even this was enough to make up for this poor instalment into the franchise.
FIFA 20 is a football simulation game and is the 27th instalment in the whole series. Players make their own story through the career mode, where you can play as a manager or a player. Alongside this, there is the new VOLTA football mode that replaces The Journey and acts like the games new character-driven story mode. Taking a heavy focus on street football you see yourself playing in teams of three, four or five aside matches, using your character and your own team that you make along the way you enter competitions and have leagues where you try and become the best team out there.
The thing that I love about FIFA is its Licenses, it now features over 30 leagues, 700 clubs and over 17,000 players. With this instalment offering the Romanian Liga I as well as UAE club and Al Ain, which were heavily asked for by fans in the region. Think the biggest blow to fans this year would be the loss of Juventus as they have signed exclusively with eFootball PES 2020 and is known on FIFA as Piemonte Calcio. For me, this isn’t really an issue as I don’t play or use Juventus, but I can see some fans being annoyed. On top of all these teams, it also has fully licensed stadiums from 14 different countries and offers generic ones for players to use in Ultimate Team and kick-off.
Career mode sees a more in-depth manager experience which I enjoyed because it added features like the fully interactive press conferences and player conversations which made you feel like you had more of a role in how the team was run and really put you in the shoes of the team’s manager. I also liked the fact that I was able to make my manager this time, down to the way he looked and the clothes he wore. Customisation in the game was huge this time round whether it be your own player or the manager, but to be perfectly honest customisation shouldn’t be one of the main standings out points for a football game. It should be the physic engine which to me shows out for all the wrong reasons. It’s a nice addition but one that doesn’t really amp the game.
When playing with certain teams and players, the game feels ridiculously easier and enjoyable though if you are a low league team or are using mid-ranged players suddenly, the game feels completely different and sluggish. You can play like a premier league team and feel like you can take on the world but then go a league under and all of a sudden its as if you are playing Sunday league football, its hard to explain if you haven’t played the game but there is a big difference even to the point where you feel yourself avoiding playing as lower-level teams because the gameplays different.
VOLTA is fun because it heavily uses skill moves and fancy footwork to score goals. I enjoy VOLTA but comparing it to FIFA Street I would have to say that FIFA Street is still better. If they had just put in FIFA street as this mode, I think a lot of people would love it more. Don’t get me wrong there are people out there that might be buzzing with this new mode but having spoken to fans of the series myself they aren’t even playing it and have just tossed it aside for the usual game modes they love, which are Ultimate Team and Pro Club.
Audio-wise the soundtrack has some good songs but I’m not really feeling it. I mean some do get stuck in my head, but the overall soundtrack just blends into the background for me because I’ll either be on the mic or talking to my other half. The commentators are always a nice addition to the game and really help bring the whole experience to life and make it feel like a live match. In VOLTA football its cool having the commentators talk in the native language depending on which country you are in play matches in as if sees you travelling all around the globe.
Visually there isn’t an issue with FIFA 20, the overall game looks stunning and on a big TV, it feels as though you’re watching a game in real-time, well that is until you see Doncaster Rovers in the Premier League. The thing that bugged me this year was the hair and the physics engine. The hair on the players look really poor and fake and over the last few games in the series, the Physics have felt broken even to the point where it is comical to see players flipping over one another and keepers making stupid saves that ultimately lead to a pile on in the box. I don’t know what has happened, but the game ultimately comes down to a buggy mess when you lose possession over dodge tackles that the referee doesn’t even blow for or the ball goes totally off course from where you kicked it. on top of this crossing and heading in this game feel impossible and I’m still yet to score a header from a cross, in previous games this was easier and you felt like there was a chance at scoring when crossing but this game I just find myself avoiding headers and crosses altogether.
The game comes with the usual replay value that we see in the series with online having Ultimate Team, Seasons and Pro Clubs, partner this with the career mode and VOLTA you get hours of gameplay that football lovers will play for hours on end. I personally only find myself playing FIFA 20 when my friends want to muck around on Co-op seasons or Pro Club, I mean I have started a career as a manager for Doncaster Rovers but that’s something I just do in my downtime and when I want a break from my other games I’m playing.
If you are asking whether FIFA 20 is worth £50 I would honestly say no, the new additions don’t warrant this game to hold that price tag when it feels like a straight-up recycle of FIFA 19 with prettier graphics and a rip off of FIFA Street. People that are loyal to the series will pick it up without a doubt just because its another FIFA but if you haven’t played one before then I suppose you haven’t got anything to compare it to, but then again if you haven’t played any of the 27 games in this series then this review isn’t aimed at you. Personally, FIFA has got to the point where it has its fan base and it is happily milking the game for all its worth, even though what they do in every new game could probably just be added in an update. There are probably people out there who totally disagree with me and that’s understandable but with the lack of decent new modes, buggy physics and frustrating gameplay FIFA feels as if it’s going backwards and not forward. Ultimately this has led me to give the game a 7 out of 10.
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
- Developers: Electronic Arts, EA Vancouver, EA Romania
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