By Tom "El Diablo" Brock on October 22, 2020
The roar of the crowd in the stadium, chants serenading the crowd favourites playing in the team and players celebrating goals with the fans! All of these things are things you won't see in real life right now, but you can actually see them in Fifa 21! Yes, Fifa is back with its latest installment (with fans in the stadiums), so I'm here to give you the run-down on a couple of the new features in the game and to give my opinion on them.
So let's get the big one out of the way first, Fifa Ultimate Team aka FUT. Last year was the year I played the most FUT in any year of Fifa ever, for better or worse. (thanks lockdown!) So naturally, this was the mode I decided to check out first. My first thought was; "Wow, this menu screen is. different. I'm not sure if I like it". Luckily, this feeling went away after about a week of playing and now I'm used to it, but to me this was the most significant change to FUT. The two other changes in FUT which were noteworthy to me is that Rivals placement matches now give you coins for placing in a certain division, based on how much you'd get if you'd been promoted into that division, starting from division 10.
For example, I placed in division 5, that got me 44.000 coins. A friend of mine placed in division 2 (the highest possible purely from placement matches) and that got him 124.000 coins. I personally think this is a great way to get players off to a nice start in their Rivals career. The other major change is that the amount of matches you can play that count to your rivals rank has been capped at 30. A major improvement if you ask me. Oh and I almost forgot my favourite update; NO MORE FITNESS CARDS, HALLELUJAH!
My favourite new feature in career mode is the return of interactive simulation. This means you can simulate matches that you don't want to play, but instead of just watching the scoreline unfold within a few seconds. You can now interfere in the simulation to make subs, take freekicks or take penalties to influence the game when you feel like it's needed. Training sessions have also gotten a lot more influential, as you can choose how much you train in between matches so your team will be better rested for gameday.
The game mode that gives me the most pure fun in Fifa, Pro Clubs, has gotten a major customisation upgrade. You can now customize CPU players on your team as well, meaning you can make your own meme-team in the biggest meme game mode, which I personally find funny as all hell. So no longer will your team contain the same old pro clubs names (goodbye Schulz and de Ridder)!
Gameplay wise, I'm really torn on what to think. I really love all the attacking options we got this year. High through balls, crosses and corners are once again great opportunities to score, whereas none of those things were a good way to get to goal last year. It reminds me a lot of a mixture between Fifa 13 and 14, and 13 was my favourite Fifa so far, so that's good. Defending wise though, it's a completely different story. It took me a while to figure out what worked in defence this year. My first 5 games of FUT all ended with ridiculous scores like 8-6, 7-4 etc. After about a week and a half I found that patiently waiting in defence and keeping everything shut tight is the only semi-decent way to defend. It's a very lame way to play the game, but unfortunately the only safe option when your opponent is on the attack.
I always deny it when people claim a new Fifa is just like the previous one but with little tweaks. This year, sadly, I have to admit that it really feels that way. The same players fit the meta and online play is still very frustrating. Although I feel like the new features are all good ones, I simply have to say they could have implemented those with a "season update" on the previous installment the way PES did. However, I will still play the hell out of it cause it's the most addicting game out there.
October 9, 2020