FIFA 2020 is coming and it is almost here (as at the time this post was published- July 12th, 2019).
FIFA 20 is fast approaching – and it’s almost revolutionary.
FIFA 19 provided us with the most dramatic update in the FIFA series since the latest consoles were released, but the game was hit-and-miss to say the least.
New kick-off house rules, refreshed tactics and timed finishing did arrive, but even so, the game has been widely criticised. The game has received a series of patch updates to correct its faults since release, with the problems culminating in Bleacher Report re-reviewing FIFA 19 and dropping its review rating from 8.5/10 to 5.5/10.
We all hope that FIFA 20 can correct those flaws and become the game we know it is capable of becoming. Following EA Play at E3, the first news of FIFA 20 was released, with the big introduction being that of Volta Football – with the franchise revisiting street football for the first time since 2012.
All eyes are now on Gamescom in August, where EA traditionally reveals more details about Career Mode and the controversial Ultimate Team. Before then, we’ll likely see new gameplay trailers and well as hands on impressions.
EA Sports are very consistent with their release dates, and once again the final Friday in September will mark the full release of FIFA 20. This year, that will be Friday, 27 September 2019, but we can expect types of early access too.
The Standard Edition of the game costs £54.99 on PC and £59.99 on PS4 and Xbox One. By pre-ordering you will receive up to three FIFA 20 Ultimate Team rare gold packs (one per week for three weeks), choose one of five mid-version ICON items for five FUT matches and special Edition FUT Kits.
That release date only applies to the Standard Edition, however. Both the Champions & Ultimate Editions of the game are available three days earlier on September 24. The Champions Edition is priced at £69.99 on PC and £79.99 on PS4and Xbox One, and it will get you up to 12 FIFA 20 Ultimate Team rare gold packs (one per week for 12 weeks) as well as the three days early access.
Lastly, the Ultimate Edition will set you back £79.99 on PC and £89.99 on PS4 and Xbox One, coming with an untradeable FUT 20 Ones To Watch player item and up to 24 FIFA 20 Ultimate Team rare gold packs (two per week for 12 weeks).
Those who sign up to EA Access get eight hours of gameplay around one week before the game comes out, and this year that will be eight days early from September 19.
The demo for the game only tends to come out two weeks before the game’s full release, so this should be on September 12, 2019. Expect similar teams to last year where we had Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG to choose from.
The biggest issue with FIFA 19 was the gameplay. Before a series of patch updates, we had defenders running into each other, and the game’s meta was being exploited by first-time finesse shots flying into the top corner time and time again. For FIFA 20, the developers need to get it a lot closer to being right when the game is released, with still back post crosses heavily overpowered and defending after a kick-off weirdly difficult. FIFA 19’s sales were 35% lower than FIFA 18 in its first week, and this is likely to worsen for FIFA 20.
Well, there is hope. Even before E3, it was released in The Pitch Noteswhat the areas of focus were for FIFA 20. More realistic finishing, improved defending, a passing overhaul, more difficult chained skill moved and goalkeeper movement being reduced were all mentioned, marking a fantastic start for the FIFA 20 cycle.
So what needs to improve? Well, timed finishing is as brilliant as it is frustrating. We all love to see a ball fly into the top corner from 25 yards, but when it happens again and again, some of the magic is lost. The timing window will be reduced for FIFA 20, making them more difficult to perform, and less precise timed shots will have reduced accuracy. Shots on the spin will have less powerful even if timed perfectly.
New ball dynamics and improved 1v1s will stop you tearing your hair out when your striker misses a sitter, with overpowered goalkeepers also heavily reduced. Volleyed crosses have also been toned down, making the destructive back post header on FIFA 19 far less damaging.
Goalkeeper movement has also faced much criticism, with the concept highly unrealistic. Goalies will now move with a slower and more realistic speed, and players controlling the right-stick manual movement will have to commit to a direction.
Tactics received a massive overhaul for FIFA 19, but they have been slightly overpowered. Take Liverpool’s Gegenpress under Jurgen Klopp, they press hard, but if the opposition can keep the ball for 20 seconds or so, the press is beaten, and the defence is exposed. As a result, your defensive depth needs to be incredibly deep, otherwise the opponent can get in behind the back four. Not a huge adjustment is needed, but a tweak to add more realism.
House rules were a great addition for FIFA 19, and we want to see more of them! Why stop at three ejections for survival mode, why not continue until you have just a goalkeeper. Or how about a winner stays on mode when there are three or more gamers playing. A draft mode has been seen on PES, where you can draft in a squad just to play against your mates, or how about a match where you can mix the world’s best male & female stars?
Dynamic weather has been called for in FIFA games for some time, with Pro Evo taking the lead in this department. On both games, weather affects how you play, with the ball skidding on in wet or snowy conditions. Dynamic weather means the weather could change mid game, going from overcast to rainy, and you may have to change your style of play as a result.
It may be a long shot, but FIFA in virtual reality doesn’t look too far away. Oculus Rift co-founder Nate Mitchell claimed FIFA and VR was a “natural fit”. He told Eurogamer“You can imagine sitting in the stands and confetti is raining down… and the four of us are sitting next to each other and controlling the players on the field – an awesome VR experience.”
FIFA games suffer from an input lag however – the time taken for a button press to result in an on-screen action, and VR would add to this delay slightly. With new consoles potentially on the way in 2020, we may see this in FIFA over the years ahead.
Women’s clubs may seem a long way off for FIFA fans, but after highlighting the 2019 World Cup in France on the Journey in FIFA 19, EA may need to step up again this year. A FIFA graphic of Chelsea’s Fran Kirby modelling the Blues new kit for 2019/20 was revealed on the Blues’ Instagram story, giving us hope of seeing Women’s Super League and maybe even Champions League clubs on FIFA 20.
Ultimate Team will always be the main focus for EA, with the thousands of in-game purchases an absolute goldmine for the game’s publishers. The old-school FIFA players love Career Mode, setting up with their favourite club on the game or embarking on a journey taking a League Two club all the way to the Champions League. It’s high-time these gamers were repaid with some new features, or revisiting things from yesteryear.
Something that is coming more common in real life football, is deals being agreed outside of transfer windows, with players joining their new clubs the following season. Think Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong, who is on his way to Barcelona in the summer. It can help you use some of that transfer budget and prize money that goes to waste after the season ends.
It can be frustrating on Career Mode, when one of your star players decides to leave the club, and there is little you can do about it. How many times have we seen in real life football players claiming to want to leave, but a week or two later, sign a big fat new contract. You should have the option to tempt them with a new deal, with older versions of FIFA, players asking you for a wage review if they were playing at their very best.
Older FIFA versions also had an adjust ticket prices feature, meaning that if you were playing well or had a big match coming up, you could raise the prices knowing the game would sell out either way. Conversely, if you are playing poorly, you can lower the prices to ensure you get more fans into the stadium.
The player manager feature was arguably better than the other two career mode options, with you being allowed to both manage the team and have your star man on the field. It is a rarity in real life, but that didn’t matter when you were bending in free kicks with your player and making tactical adjustments.
The Journey: Champions marked the end of Alex Hunter’s journey mode over the last three versions of FIFA, so what’s next? It looks as if Volta Football is replacing the Journey, but this isn’t confirmed.
The UEFA rights were secured for the Champions League and Europa League last year, and it wouldn’t surprise to see the European Championships appear on the new story mode, as you look to make it into the national squad and challenge for the European crown. Euro 2020 is being staged throughout Europe, creating scope for fantastic stadium atmospheres on the continent on the new FIFA
FIFA 20 Trailer
Watch the first trailer of FIFA 2020