It was a day of big announcements at EA’s Annual EAPlay event, taking place in sun-drenched Hollywood, the event took in the latest Madden to Anthem and the recently announced Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, but perhaps the most highly anticipated news was kept to the end with the first look at the brand new FIFA 20.
This year’s game will include a much sought after game mode, ‘Volta’ – imagine an expanded FIFA Street built into FIFA 20. EA are also promising a raft of changes that will fundamentally alter the way the game looks and plays with the developers intent on improving the three core elements of the game – which they identify as being, “on and off the ball, and the ball itself.” A set of the changes they are dubbing “Football Intelligence.”
We also got a confirmed release date of the 27th of September for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, with those subscribed to EA Access (EA’s game subscription service) able to get their hands on it at the earlier date of the 19th of September.
Also announced was the inclusion of the PS4 to the EA Access ecosystem slated for July of this year.
FIFA 20 Volta – Street Football Is Back
One of the most exciting aspects of the new game will be the street football mode. Promising to bring all the skills, tricks and flashy play of street football to the world of FIFA. Players will be able to play across a variety of venues – from a rooftop in Tokyo to a cage in inner-city London with each game area having unique characteristics that will effect gameplay. Pitches will come in a variety of sizes, and others will have walls allowing you to effectively pass to yourself. throwing up a variety of play styles.
The Volta gamemode will also encompass a number of different rulesets including 3v3 Rush (No goalkeepers), 4v4, 4v4 Rush, 5v5 and Professional Futsal.
Expect to be able to play quick pick-up games between top real world clubs, offline career and story modes and also a online league with promotion and relegation.
Players will be able to play as both men and women, in the same team, and fully customise their avatar choosing their outfits, hairstyles and a wide range of footwear. The cynic in us thinks this might be a potential micro-transaction goldmine for FIFA.
Players who order the FIFA 20 Champions or Ultimate Edition will get access to Volta a full 3 days earlier, on the 24th of September.
For more information on Volta check out the press release here.
FIFA 20: Gameplay Updates
Volta is all well and good but what about the game itself? Critics of FIFA 19, professional players especially have bemoaned the current game for its AI defending, OP skill moves and inconsistent gameplay.
EA took much of the announcement to stress that they are listening to the community. They want to increase the skill gap and have a raft of features under the umbrella of “Football Intelligence” that they hope address many of the issues that players have had this year.
These include –
- A new one-on-one dribbling system with enhanced “strafe dribbling” allowing players greater control and time on the ball.
- Composed finishing – Shooting will feel more clinical shooting and consistent, while more difficult shots will be harder. Timed finishing is still in, but don’t expect the OP one-touch 50 yard goals that plagued FIFA 19.
- Standing tackles have been effectively buffed with an overhaul of the AI controlled defending.
- A brand new penalty and freekick system – allowing you to add spin to the ball, increasing variety in set pieces.
- All-new Ball Physics System – totally revamped ball physics with increased spin, more realistic deflections and allowing for a greater variety in shots and crosses.
EA have also promised to have more communication with the community and have promised a number of “Pitch Notes” in the lead up to and after the release of the game.
All this sounds very exciting and you can’t question their desire of the developers to improve the game but looking back at FIFA 19’s reveal you can’t help but feel a sense of deja-vu.
The same problems identified, the same improved systems with flashy trademarked names promising to fix the gameplay. Only time will tell if FIFA 20 is a genuine gamechanger, but we are addicts so where else will we go for our football fix? PES…(ha)?
We’ll see you in September.
Today’s Pitch Notes can be read in full here.
So what do you think of the FIFA 20 Announcement? Will Volta bring back the excitement? Will the gameplay updates fix the issues present in FIFA 19? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and check back with us for all the latest news in the lead up to the release.