Yesterday at EA’s E3 keynote FIFA 20 was revealed and it is not at all what fans were expecting. What they wanted was an improved career mode, what they got was VOLTA Football.
Flashing colours, hipsters doing weird dance moves and a strange girl with green-hair and augmented reality screens floating around her head. What I just described is not an indie-rock music video but the actually trailer to this year’s FIFA.
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If you didn’t watch the keynote or haven’t read up about the new FIFA on the official website you probably have no idea what this year’s FIFA is all about. The trailer made it appear like FIFA Street had returned, but then the closing title shows ‘VOLTA Football’. What exactly is VOLTA Football?
Again, without any research your guess would be as good as mine. Are they referring to the semi-professional footballer Massimo Volta? Surely not. Perhaps it is a nod to Italian physicist, chemist and pioneer to electricity and power, Alessandro Volta. Yeah, that seems to better fit with the theme of the new trailer. Electric, high-voltage and high-energy, football.
What is VOLTA Football?
VOLTA Football is EA’s next generation FIFA Steet, only a whole lot more arcade-like and fast paced. This is no longer just football, this is now a American Ninja Master simulator with the inclusion of a football. Wall-run, do back-flips over your opponents – there are plenty of crazy moves you can do in Volta Football. But the craziness doesn’t end there.
VOLTA Football is all about player identity and expression. You start by creating your player with an extremely in-depth player customisation tool and then play through an introductory story-mode which shows you the ropes before throwing into a vast online world where you can compete with and against other players. You play to win tokens which can then be spent in an online store to buy real brand clothes and gear to pimp your player. Of course you will be able to buy in-game currency online if you can’t be arsed grinding away for the coin.
So, in a nutshell, VOLTA Football is the PlayStation Home of sports games. It looks really cool, but its not what fans were expecting. The community has been asking for improvements and fixes to FIFA’s career mode and pro clubs for years.
Everything wrong with Career Mode
Truth be told nothing has really changed in career mode since 2017 apart from the game engine enhancements and kit upgrades. A lot of fans still can’t seem to justify paying full price for a game that just doesn’t offer enough extra content.
Here is a list put together by professional FIFA player and YouTuber, Jake Barford, on everything wrong with career mode in FIFA 19.
The menu system and user interface has never been extremely user friendly and in spite of complaints has remained unchanged since FIFA 17. Jake shows how the only changes made to the menus in the last 3 years is backgrounds, borders and logos. Jake goes on to say that, at this point, we are mostly paying for roster and kit updates.
Although The Journey story-mode offers a lot of customisation the same can not be said for players in career mode. First of all, there are not a lot of options to personalise your player and that’s made even worse that the only stand-out options are locked. You can’t even create wingers; you must choose between attacker, midfielder, defender or goalkeeper. That’s it.
You are only able to see stats for the current season, once that season ends you can never view those stats again. Players want the ability to look back over a five year career mode for a certain club to see their top goal scorers, and assists but it isn’t possible. The few stats you can see are also meaningless, there is no incentive to score big because there is no proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Had an amazing season and want a bigger club sign you up. Fat chance, mate. To begin with, the club might outright reject your transfer request and even if they do approve, you will only get interest from smaller random clubs no matter how well you played. Transfers are based purely on your player ranking and not your performance.
FIFA’s youth academy system should be an amazing innovative feature, but it is just a tacked-on after thought that nobody touches. The system is bloated and complicated and the players are generic and boring. You are better off just buying a cheap player from another league than spending time fidgeting with this complicated system.
The manager cutomisation is much worse than the player customisation feature, and completely pointless. Choose your name, nationality, whether you want to wear a suit or tracksuit and then 1 of 9 old men… done. Completely pointless.
Press conference allows you to praise, insult or boast before a game. Apart from a brief mention by the in-game commentators this feature does nothing to the game. Or at least the effects of this feature are completely unknown to the players. What does it do?
Even though FIFA has the biggest budget out of any sports game, it has the least amount of customisation. You can’t create or rename your own stadiums. Nor can you pick your kit or boot sponsor. You can’t change a thing when it comes to clubs, players, stadiums, kits, sponsorship or anything in between. Even the custom cups and leagues are very restricted.
Career mode is a pointless grind. It is a useless grind that gives players no incentive to play past the first season. It’s a lackluster and soulless game mode that offers nothing new to the players, and hasn’t since 2017. Jake Barford expresses his dislike by saying that it should be deleted completely and built from the ground up.
Have EA fixed career mode?
It is possible, but unlikely, that EA have fixed the issues with career mode. We just don’t know because they haven’t talked about it yet. All focus is now on this new online VOLTA Football mode and cool in-game swag you can purchase with in-game monies. So, there is a glimmer of hope for those who want to return to career mode – but just a glimmer- so don’t get your hopes up too high.
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What are your thoughts on FIFA 20? Excited about the new VOLTA Football game mode? If you are you can pre-order the game from the PlayStation Store or the Xbox Market Place. Until then, what will be your go to football game?