FIFA no longer the top dog, for now
Last month I reviewed the latest Pro Evolution Soccer and said it had taken an early lead in the annual football game face-off with FIFA.
But could FIFA 20 equalise or even snatch a late winner? In short the answer is a resounding no.
Remarkably this is 27th instalment in the FIFA series and - as with Pro Evo - I have played every single one of them.
I used to be a massive Pro Evo fan boy but turned to FIFA when Konami took the title backwards and EA made vast improvements to its franchise.
But FIFA 20 is a bit like its cover star Eden Hazard at Real Madrid at the moment; a bit of a flop.
It just feels old hat, like a big old DLC update to get EA through to the next generation of consoles which loom large on the horizon - because I suspect that’s exactly what it is.Damien Lucas, gaming columnist
New this year is VOLTA Football - a reincarnation of FIFA Street - which makes for a fun alternative on the standard 11 vs 11 fare. You can play three vs three, four vs four and five vs five matches with professional futsal rules.
The small-sided games are skill focused and I would recommend this as a starting point for any newbies as it does help hone your skills and master the controls which you can then transfer into the main game.
That’s because the major changes in the main game mode this year are built to encourage more one-on-ones and off-the-ball space creation. Therefore VOLTA can seriously benefit your 11 vs 11 game.
Despite all that FIFA 20 left me feeling flat. It just feels like I am playing the same game as last year with the same sluggish controls and the same old frustrations. It is slow, the gameplay is sticky and reactions delayed and overall it’s just a bit, well... boring to be honest.
New penalty and free-kick mechanics have been implemented which I cannot stand and only serve to make the experience worse.
I mean don’t get me wrong, FIFA is still a class game. It is still a fantastic overall package.
But it is certainly no longer top dog even with its glossy finish and dominance on licences over Pro Evo.
As ever with triple A titles like FIFA, there are of course more good than bad points to the game, that’s why it is so successful - and has been so dominant - in the first place.
But gamers are expecting near perfection - and rightfully so given developers have had an entire generation to achieve it.
It still looks great, has the majority of the licences and boasts the Pro Evo-trumping Ultimate Team and much-improved Career Mode. And as mentioned Volta too is a welcome new addition for many reasons.
But as I touched on, it just feels old hat, like a big old DLC update to get EA through to the next generation of consoles which loom large on the horizon - because I suspect that’s exactly what it is. Still a great game but not a world-beater and in terms of gameplay and satisfaction, FIFA 20 takes a hammering from Pro Evo this year.