FIFA 20 - Review

Every year I look forward to the start of a new football season, not really because I have faith in my team "Newcastle United" in the English Premier League (sometimes) to do well, but because I can pretend that they are going to have an amazing year by playing as them in the latest Fifa game. 

To say the franchise comes along in leaps and bounds each year would be an overstatement, Fifa seems to do just enough each season to justify getting the next one. The layout feels almost identicle to Fifa 19 which wasn't that much different to 18 but it's when you start your match this season that you'll notice some true improvements. 

The speed of the game has picked up considerably, it's a fast paced passing game with more emphasis on attack than previously. You'll also notice that the differences in speed varies from team to team, if you are playing as Manchester City or Barcelona you'll play like you have superpowers, if you swap back to a mid or lower level team it feels sluggish in comparison.

Your faster players on the pitch will also stand out as stars, as I played with Miguel Almiron and Allan St Maximin down my NUFC wings, I could easily beat out defenders with their pace. This changed the way I played the game from previous years and also makes you think more about your line up when taking on a bigger CPU controller or even player opponent.

That's always the bonus with FIFA as well, they have all the licenced players and teams, so no strange names in your team, even the lesser known players are there. 

These top tier leagues are about star players, it's why we tune in each week to watch the games even here in Australia when it's 1 or 2 am. There's been a stack of work done to ensure that these players stand out in the game because in previous years even an average level back could catch your fastest winger.

Ball physics get tweaked every year and this time is no different, yep as the box generally says, "it's more realistic than ever". Set pieces have had a complete make over and now feel like a much more enjoyable part of the game, which is great because this is football, and set pieces come around often. 

There's a change to this years press conferences as well, taking an element usually reserved for Football Management games by adding an animated press response before and after matches. This adds to your player and team moral and helps you to keep the team happy or if you answer incorrectly can damage your relationship with players. It's a nice touch even if all of the answers border on the "Mourinho" level of arrogance. 

oh but wait, this seasons steak knives come in a beautifully packaged street football game called Volta. This new mode replaces the story based "The Journey" of previous years which I played most of the first one and then got bored out of my brain so this is a welcome addition. If you've played a Fifa Street game this will be really familiar with over the top tricks and celebrations in 3 on 3 action. The background setting is generally a car park or similar street level setting. It's a nice change of pace to the 11 a side stadium games and the camera level seems much better when it's player focused. You can even set the mode to be 3v3 or 4v4 with no walls, perhaps you want to turn Goal Keepers on and off as well. Even the rules can be adjusted to Futsal with includes direct free kicks on a larger pitch. Volta on it's own would have been reason enough to get Fifa 20 and I've spend more time playing that than the actual game which begs the question.. which one is the add on?

FIFA 20 is an actual move forward for the franchise and the addition of Volta is inspired, I mean let's face it EA used to sell as a separate game and collect even more cash from us. If you only buy one Football Game this year, It's gotta be FIFA. The rest pale in comparison.