FIFA 20 game review – defending is back and so is the fun from freemexy's blog

For those already jaded by the FIFA series, here’s a quick update on what happened last year: FIFA 19 launched and was widely considered a breath of fresh air. It was difficult, the pace felt right, and defending couldn’t just be delegated to the AI. Then EA released a gameplay patch that made us wince at the very thought of the 8/10 score we gave it. An article a few months later declared the end of this reviewer’s time with FIFA 19 and that has been mostly accurate, aside from the odd dabble on Pro Clubs. Looking back though, the regret felt over the review is misplaced. At launch FIFA 19 was impressive and it really did feel like progress had been made. By the turn of the year though, it had regressed badly. So firing up FIFA 20 for the first time was done with trepidation and a promise not to go overboard on the praise. After all, what if everything changed next month? But that isn’t much of an approach either, so we’ve taken fifa 20 ultimate team coins as it comes.
That said, EA has certainly shown more transparency with this FIFA, with a consistent roll-out of Pitch Notes detailing all of the changes the developers want you to know about. It was refreshing. Earlier this week the development team posted an update regarding patches and what’s to come and it was also encouraging. In amongst an explanation about the gameplay feedback sessions they’d held was this crucial promise: ‘We are being cautious about every change that we are making and we are focused primarily around fixing bugs, not fundamental changes to gameplay.’ This is huge for any player who felt they’d been burned by last year’s patches and something the developers should be held accountable for as FIFA 20 prepares to go through the usual yearly cycle. So what do we hope the developers leave untouched and what requires immediate attention?

The big headline new feature in this year’s FIFA is Volta football, an updated take on FIFA Street – a fantastic game in its own right – and our immediate impressions are positive. Some of the voice acting leaves a bit to be desired (has anyone ever used the word ‘panna’ in a sentence?) and there are some cringe moments (Pete, Peter…) but overall the story is engaging enough and gives you a quick intro into the life of a street footballer. The customisation on offer is also a triumph and something akin to what many hoped EA would bring to Pro Clubs one day. It’s landed in the world of Volta though, and that actually makes much more sense given there really are no rules on what you wear. Naturally, microtransactions come into the Volta store but there are also tons of items you can unlock as you progress through your career, and they’re neatly linked to on-pitch accomplishments. On top of that Volta is just a great way to learn the intricacies of FIFA.
Some love skill moves, some barely go near them, but in a 3 vs, 3 the prospect of a rainbow flick feels attractive. We found ourselves trying skills we’ve barely gone near in five years, flicking the ball up on a whim and using the new strafe dribble liberally. It’s fun and that’s a theme that runs through FIFA 20. And that’s not something we’ve said about the series in a long time. Moving back to the grass, there have been a number of gameplay tweaks that stopped us in our tracks. Firstly, and most importantly, are the changes to defending. Drum roll time… it’s actually hard to defend now. If you’re used to just pressuring the ball carrier with the AI you’re going to need to relearn the game, it’s that much of a change. The ‘skill gap’ which we spoke about so much last year has returned again. How long it stays for we don’t know, and we definitely can’t speculate, but as it stands you have to be patient, clever, and concentrated if you want to get the ball back. Some of the standing block tackles we’ve performed, where you actually emerge with the ball, have left us in shock. It’s totally different to FIFA 19’s collision engine disaster.

Though the speed of the overall game has been reduced, making each contest a more measured encounter, the difference in pace between the quickest forwards and slowest defenders is more discernible than ever. If you overcommit you better hope you’re not up against someone who knows what they’re doing. All the best to you if your opponent has a Kylian Mbappe lurking on the shoulder of the last man. Despite the above, there are still elements to the gameplay that will require you to learn on the fly. Shooting is tricky. If you’re using a player with a poor weak foot ability, shooting on that foot is as foolish as it sounds and that’s great. It’s also harder to get your shots off even when you feel like you’re in space, giving defenders more of a chance to get a vital block in. want know more fut coins news Read More

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