For football-sick gamers the FIFA 20 review comes at the end of a September ritual, which actually starts from August with the start of the various championships up to the start of the Champions League happened just in these days. As the football season kicks in, EA Sports is once again ready to make its simulation dedicated to this sport available to all football fans. An appointment that is always highly anticipated, this year in particular thanks to the excellent work done by Konami with eFootball PES 2020 (here our review), which has seen the Pro Evolution Soccer series definitively return to excellent levels. With such fierce competition, the curiosity to see the response from Electronic Arts with FIFA 20 it has become increasingly pressing until today, the day in which we can take stock of this title after an entire summer spent sifting through press releases and trailers. While in these hours FIFA 20 is published online for EA Access subscribers, let's find out together all the details of the game officially released on September 27th on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
News: once upon a time ...
The trilogy of Alex Hunter and his Journey has now been archived, for FIFA 20 the main novelty studied by EA Sports consists, as you know, in the mode Volta, with which the Canadian team takes us back to the street fields years after the sad end of FIFA Street. Those who access the game menu find themselves in front of a new section, which they can access to get to choose between the types of games that Volta has to offer. Firstly, the fact that Alex Hunter has retired doesn't mean FIFA 20 no longer has a mode history. Entrusted to Volta, the story of this title puts us in the shoes of an emerging player, part of the team led by the star Jayzinho, an athlete who really exists in the street football scene present in the game together with his other colleagues. The champion's injury seriously endangers the team's participation in the world championships, thus pushing our protagonist to roll up his sleeves to go and find new teammates around the world.
The plot actually seems to be specifically designed to make us visit all the fields and the modalities that Volta includes, thus combining business with pleasure to familiarize us with the settings and the game system which we will talk about later. The list of categories present in Volta includes the three against three with flying door, four against four with or without flying door, five against five and the Futsal professional, i.e. what is commonly called five-a-side football. The latter can also be played with real players, taken from the eleven-a-side football teams present in FIFA 20. Taking inspiration from Ultimate Team, in putting together your Volta team it is necessary to keep an eye on the level of harmony of the players beyond to the ability of individuals, determined by the module that each of them prefers and by the type of field.
Once you have become familiar with the game system you can start going around the world with the Tour mode, challenging other more or less known champions in the world of street soccer, or go online to deal with other players and climb the heights of the divisions and ranking. Finally, there is no lack of customization options both for the protagonist athlete and for all the other members of our team, through the editor that allows us to modify the physical characteristics (including sex) but above all the aesthetic ones, unlocking elements of clothing with the points gained as you play.
The modalities: from Career to Ultimate Team
If Volta deserves to be at the top of the list of novelties, it does not mean that the other modes of FIFA 20 are exempt from having new elements to talk about. Including the Career, a single-player component that has remained too identical to itself over the years, which EA Sports has decided to revitalize by adding some elements that recall the communicative aspects of Football Manager. The introduction of press conferences pre and post match in fact serves to define the mood of the team and individuals, with the risk of stumbling into a locker room not satisfied with us if things go particularly badly. From time to time it is also the players themselves who ask for a private interview with us, typically to claim a little more space in the first team or to thank the time allowed, also in this case tying the mood of the individual to our answers. . With a few games behind it, however, it seemed easy to keep the morale of the troops high, unless you make a commitment to give clearly negative answers. Going forward, the press conferences prove a bit immature and lose the novelty effect, thus prompting those who have the pad in their hand to choose to skip them when this is possible. Also for the Career there is an editor similar to that of Volta, where we can transform the appearance of the coach we impersonate to feel more comfortable in his shoes.
Moving on to Ultimate Team, the competitive structure of this lucky mode remains anchored to the dynamics of Division Rivals and FUT Champions, with the addition of some interesting new features. The biggest difference compared to FIFA 19 lies in the addition of other objectives, which go alongside the daily and weekly ones. Among them we find, for example, seasonal ones, particular tasks to be carried out within a month to obtain further rewards. A new design of the team management menu puts the main elements concerning the individual player within a single screen, thus avoiding us having to go back and forth between the menus to manage the various aspects of the individual and the team. Also noteworthy is the arrival in FUT of the matches friendly, which thus give the opportunity to play together with their friends using their own team. The type of playable game varies from the classic one to other slightly more colorful modes, which add fun useful to get away from the stress of competition. It is useless to go around it: Ultimate Team was and remains the most attractive mode even compared to the competition, with an enviable depth that leads it to be the center of attention even months after the release of the game. The list closes on Pro club, which however we have not yet had the opportunity to try as in the past few days there was still not enough population on the servers.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
FIFA 20 is accompanied by a total of thirty-two PlayStation 4 Trophies. In addition to the inevitable platinum obtainable once all the others have been collected, the football simulation includes five gold, fourteen silver and twelve bronze trophies. To complete the whole collection you have to get busy within the various modes that make up the game, starting with the new Volta where you can complete the story and get to the maximum overall for the protagonist.
The gameplay: finally on the pitch
To talk about the gameplay dynamics of FIFA 20, an initial distinction must necessarily be made between traditional football and Volta football. Starting from the latter, we can say that fortunately the final version of Volta contains some steps forward compared to the demo released days ago, compared to which the FIFA 20 that will arrive in stores proves to be more fluid and harmonious. Moving among the confined spaces of the smaller pitches no longer seems as unnatural as we had personally noted previously, even if some problems remain related to theartificial intelligence. Especially in the three-on-three mode, the player who remains to cover the goal often tends to advance without having adequate coverage, therefore forcing us to take another one and rush it to the defense to avoid having the goal area completely unguarded.
Things work best when you start going four-on-four and beyond, bearing in mind that you can still choose the module that we feel is most congenial to our type of game. Once in the game, Volta allows you to have fun with the spectacular feats of the masters of freestyle, which are produced in a series of acrobatic touches on which a greater indulgence is granted than the traditional game. Some tricks are performed automatically by players with higher class, while others with the combination of the L2 button and the use of the right stick giving life to truly spectacular actions. However, we must be careful not to leave too much space for the opposing team, because at the most advanced levels of difficulty the CPU knows how to pierce those who do not care to defend properly, giving a hard time with their dribble and for this reason requiring attention in phase. coverage.
The ball seems to have the necessary level of heaviness to keep it from taking off with every shot we make, thus allowing the execution of calibrated low shots. Hitting the small goal is not always easy, just as it is not obvious to score face to face with the goalkeeper. The only negative impression given to us by Volta concerns some slightly confused phases of the game, in which the ability in defensive positioning loses its effectiveness in the face of randomness. With the complicity of the barriers that prevent the presence of lateral fouls, the rebounds end up deciding in a somewhat excessive way whether the attacking team manages to score or not, leaving the defenders almost powerless. As for the movements, the slide has been rightly eliminated to give way to a slightly more vehement standing contrast than the traditional one.
Once the Volta gameplay is filed, let's move on to the classic FIFA one. Beyond the names studied by the marketing departments, the very first impression you get on the pad in hand is that of finding yourself in front of a rather conservative, within which, however, it is possible to gradually detect some changes in some game dynamics. In particular, the pace seemed a little more staid to us, while retaining a predisposition for the immediacy and spectacularity of the action that has become a trademark of the series especially in recent years. Some changes of direction now seem a little less effective, just as it is not possible to produce tricks in series without risking losing the ball. The fastest players still seem to have an advantage over those more gifted in other physical characteristics, but thanks to the limitations just mentioned, the hope is to no longer see the abuse of some dynamics that haunted online games.
The physics of the ball gave us conflicting sensations, probably dictated by the different situations in which one can find oneself over the course of the ninety minutes: in the case of shots and passes the ball seems to have the right level of heaviness, while on the occasion of the contrasts the balloon gives the impression of being a little too light. The feeling is that the manual defense is still a little penalized by rebounds, which therefore end up rewarding the attacker with a greater incidence than reality even if the defender's intervention is carried out with the right time and intensity. . Moving on to the artificial intelligence of our team, it seems that there is a better positioning in the defensive phase, while in attack the teammates appeared a little more proactive than in the past. As for the CPU-controlled teams, at the higher difficulty levels the markings are obviously tighter, giving us less time to develop our action. A particularly marked defect seems to be linked to the forays on the wing: it happens quite often that the opposing full-backs "decide" to lose our wings, aiming in the event of a one-two who is in possession of the ball instead of making a shot of cover . On the style of play, the various teams try to develop their identity through close play and various levels of pressing: fortunately, the times in which Chievo also produced exhausting tiki-taka seem definitively archived.
A final note concerns the new management of set pieces, entrusted to the use of a viewfinder to be placed side by side with the right stick for the type of punishment that you want to carry out. It may be just a matter of time and habit, but the old method still seems to us the best compromise between simplicity of execution and effectiveness.
Graphics and sound
Having now almost reached the end of this videogame generation, FIFA 20 does not make any particular aesthetic leaps compared to its predecessor. The choice of EA Sports was therefore to focus on an improvement from a choreographic and directorial point of view, with the introduction of new shots that go for example to capture the warm-up of the players before the game or the choreography of the curves. From this point of view, new customization possibilities have also been added to Ultimate Team, where we have greater control over the distinctive traits of our club. At a glance, the presentation still stands at high levels, also holding up the comparison with the competition. Certainly the license of the Champions League, whose unrivaled charm is properly exploited in the ways that the developers have linked to this competition. Going into the details instead, FIFA 20 fails to reach the peaks touched by eFootball PES 2020, especially as regards the appearance of the players and the quality of some animations. Even the number of faces reproduced recalling the real one is strongly limited compared to the competitor, where it is instead possible to appreciate similarities even in the less famous players. The attention to detail of the Volta pitches is very beautiful, the types of which range from the parking lot to the warehouse, passing through clay courts and more, with a fairly meticulous attention to detail.
The usual high-level soundtrack is accompanied by the commentary curated once again by Pierluigi Pardo and Stefano Nava, undoubtedly reached a good degree of maturity. The amount of phrases available to the two commentators is in fact quite high, allowing them to make comments related to derby rivalries and other specific matches without wanting to overdo it in inappropriate lengths. Even situations where what is said does not match what is happening on the pitch are reduced to a minimum, thus making the comment pleasant enough to follow. In the case of Volta, there is no commentary but background music with which you naturally try to give a greater rhythm to the action, accompanied by shouts and cheering phrases from your teammates and the public.
For the record we must report that the version of FIFA 20 that we have had the opportunity to test these days contained the squads updated only in part, collecting the transfers made in the initial phase of the summer transfer market. Just to give an idea, Manolas and Elmas were present in Naples as well as Verdi (transferred to Turin), while Lozano and Llorente were absent. We do not know at the moment when the squads will be leveled with the end of the transfer window.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery Origin, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop Price 69,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
FIFA 20 retains the soul of its predecessor, dedicated to the most spectacular and immediate aspect of football in spite of some components of realism. Net of some gaps that will be solved with the inevitable patches, at an early stage the gaming experience may appear the same as last year, but gradually allowing you to appreciate the changes introduced to improve some dynamics and limit others that were made abuse especially online. Those who hoped for a revolution will have to "settle" to be able to play Volta, a mode that turns out to be very guessed and fun immediately even in single-player only. Its success, however, will be decreed by the estate over the months, and by the amount of time that players will want to dedicate to it online at the expense of Ultimate Team and other traditional content.
- Volta contains a world of its own, at times extremely funny
- Ultimate Team ever richer and deeper
- Revised some dynamics abused online
- More staid pace of play ...
- ... waiting to see what happens with Ultimate Team boosts
- Some defensive gaps in artificial intelligence
- Graphics now at the generational limits
- The new set pieces are not fully convincing