At the start of every new football season there are fans all over the world looking forward to a varying array of possibilities. Be it the team you support pushing for promotion, avoiding relegation or even just going to the stadiums for matches and eating some pies. Then there is a whole other side to the start of a new football season, and that’s the annual release of what was called FIFA games and will now be known as EA Sports FC.
This so far seems to be a change in name only as if you have ever played any of the previous FIFA games, you will be more than familiar with how EA Sports FC works. All the same game modes are available, like quick kick-off, tournaments, Pro Clubs and Ultimate team along with others. There are still all the fully licensed teams and players that many thought might be lost without the partnership of FIFA. The big question around this year’s instalment is what will be different from all the FIFA titles before this new take as EA Sports FC.
First thing to take note of is the introduction of a Playstyles system. This buffs or enhances each player’s stats in relation to abilities that the player’s real life counterpart is known for having. For example Kylian Mbappe will have a Dribbler/Speedster playstyle due to his electric pace and close control, while the likes of Alex Morgan will have a Clinical Finisher Playstyle as a result of her renowned goal scoring ability. Some may have multiple playstyles but only world class players have Playstyle Plus which is almost like a superpowered signature move. All of these new additions add a level of variety to gameplay and makes you think about how best to use these players in game.
In one of the more substantial additions to the Ultimate Team game mode, you can now play with a mix of men’s and women’s players. This means you can team up Erling Haaland with Sam Kerr to create a seriously strong front 2. The same chemistry rules apply to get the right fit but if a male and female player are from the same country or play in the same league they will work better together without any obvious drawbacks. This continues EA Sports attempts to include more and more aspects of women’s football into their games. I feel it will greatly increase exposure for these female players and the teams they play for and go a long way towards eventual equality in the sport we all love so much, regardless of gender.
With previous editions of the FIFA franchise being lambasted for the microtransaction side of things, EA Sports FC have tried to mitigate this by adding the Evolutions feature to Ultimate team. This will allow you to level up your players stats by completing gameplay challenges and takes the pressure off buying or earning new players via packs. The preview pack feature remains which is again trying to help players decide if they should spend real life currency before opening a pack to be disappointed with the results. EA Sports FC have made it more intuitive through menu options to not mistakenly open packs or spend currency with one press of a button which I believe is only a good thing.
With all these new features and improvements to the graphics engine, this game looks and plays really well. In recent years the developers created a ‘Hypermotion’ animation system that uses real life data and recordings from players to create highly responsive player movements and interactions. This can be seen when players are going for tackles, how they jostle with each other and wind up for a shot. All the actions seem a lot more fluid and realistic than ever before which all adds to the level of realism that the team at EA Sports FC are no doubt aiming towards.
If you are new to these types of games, don’t be daunted by all the controls and aspects of gameplay that are on offer. There is an impressive tutorial system along with in game advice if needed that can definitely improve your game over time. You will be shown which players are more fatigued than others with recommendations for substitutes, stats of where most of the action is occurring during a match along with advice notes for beginners. Typically these are something like “ Maybe try crosses into the box” or “ The opposition is in the lead, maybe go attacking in playstyle”. These are somewhat passive aggressive but welcome at times when things aren’t going to plan.
The user interface ( UI ) has been tweaked for the better as I felt FIFA 23 had some awful menu options and UI. Seems like a small change to make but its impact is great. Moving between game modes is more intuitive and makes more sense along with a cleaner look overall. Spending time outside of actual gameplay is enjoyable now and add in the always impressive soundtrack then you have a recipe for a time vacuum. Hours will go by as you complete squad building challenges all the time bopping away to some inoffensive dance music.
This year would have been a nerve-wracking time for everyone involved with developing this game as they were dealing with the unexpected. Losing the FIFA license would have been a big hit but going off the evidence shown in EA Sports FC 24, they don’t have a lot to be worried about. A solid game with good gameplay, impressive graphics, catchy music and new additions all go to show that even though its new by name, it’s still going to be a fan favourite and the benchmark all other football games will aim for.
REVIEW: EA Sports FC 24
- Additional Features
solid game with good gameplay, impressive graphics, catchy music and new additions all go to show that even though its new by name, it’s still going to be a fan favourite and the benchmark all other football games will aim for.