FIFA 19 offered so much, but gave very little. The addition of the UEFA Champions League and new fun kick-off modes got fans excited, but the gameplay of what was meant to be the best ever FIFA game let the entire show down. It was back to the drawing board for EA Sports, but a year has passed and E3, and EA Play in particular, provides the platform to get the first look at FIFA 20.
At E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, other games will be on show of course, with the event taking place from Tuesday, 11 to Friday 14, June in Los Angeles. From a FIFA point of view, you can imagine fans and EA bosses will cast an eye to see what PES 2020’s response is, with the Konami title smelling blood after a difficult year for their biggest rival.
RealSport runs through everything you need to know on all things FIFA 20 at E3 this summer.
What we know so far
EA have confirmed an E3 livestream on all things FIFA 20 on June 8 at 7pm BST (11am PDT / 2pm EDT), hosted by esports commentator Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez. On show will be some gameplay improvements (see below), “as well as some other surprises”. The stream is part of EA Play, with the full schedule as follows:
- 9:30am PDT / 12:30pm EDT / 5:30pm BST Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- 10:00am PDT / 1:00pm EST / 6:00pm BST Apex Legends
- 10:30am PDT / 1:30pm EDT / 6:30pm BST Battlefield V
- 11:00am PDT / 2:00pm EDT / 7:00pm BST FIFA 20
- 11:30am PDT / 2:30pm EDT / 7:30pm BST Madden NFL 20
- 12:00pm PDT / 15:00pm EDT / 8:00pm BST The Sims 4
You can view the countdown to FIFA 20 at EA Play here, with a ‘game-changing announcement’ the headlining act.
Volta Street Mode
The big and early story from FIFA 20 is the introduction of Volta Street Mode. It will combine the old Journey with the FIFA Street of old, with the ability to create a male or female star. This should be enough to get the FIFA fans excited once again.
This past week, EA have announced the first gameplay improvements, or areas of importance, for the ‘next iteration’ of the game, ie FIFA 20. In The Pitch Notes: Gameplay beyond FIFA 19, Gabriel Zaro, Corey Andress and the FIFA Gameplay DEV Team addressed the corrections they have made over the course of FIFA 19 and what they have planned for FIFA 20.
More balanced shooting
There’s nothing worse than going through one-on-one with the goalkeeper and seeing your player fire wide for no apparent reason. This will be corrected for FIFA 20, with 1v1 shot accuracy improved, meaning more of your shots will hit the target and be more consistent when you have a simple close-range shot.
This is the same for open goals, so you won’t be throwing your controller at the TV when you miss a sitter, and the ‘superhuman’ goalkeeper reactions will be heavily reduced. Also, there will be a greater correlation between shot power and elevation, with low-powered efforts becoming similar to driven shots.
Timed finishing sounded like a great inclusion in FIFA 19, but once players’ cracked it, it was too easy to smash the ball into the back of net. 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.
It will music to the ears of FIFA fans that AI defending will be vastly improved for FIFA 20, with it currently so difficult against quick-passing in the fast-pace of FIFA 19, especially in Ultimate Team. This involves a renewed defending system, with revised positioning and adjustment to the scenario on the pitch.
Further additions to defending include planned tackling, which allows your defender to nip in for the ball and direct it towards a teammate, and contain effectiveness will be reduced to stop automatic tackling. Also, an improved jockey system will have more agility and precision, offering more reward to gamers who take control of their defenders.
Some of the best changes come in the passing department, with more difficult passes becoming more difficult to perform, and the same correlation for easier passes. 180 degrees, first-time and pressured passes will result in weaker passes, exposing them to be intercepted.
Dinked passes exist on FIFA 19, but it will be performed manually on the new game. If you see a defender in the way, you can choose to lift a ground or through pass over his leg and onto your attacker. A driven pass-and-move will also become a passing option on FIFA 20, to fire the ball into a teammate’s feet and run on ahead.
Bye-bye chained skill moves
If you are up against a player who loves busting out skill moves it is very difficult to defend against, especially if they are ‘chaining’ the skill moves together – i.e. using them in combination with other moves. This is something that doesn’t happen in real life, this will become more difficult to perform on FIFA 20, with each successive skill move more error prone than the last. Complex moves such as the El Tornado or flick-ups will also be more difficult and enhance the chances of losing the ball.
Goalkeeper movement effectiveness reduced
Goalkeeper movement became the only way to combat timed finishing, with both gameplay additions coming in for FIFA 19. This has extended to all shot types, with shots on goal becoming a guessing game rather than saving attempting to dive to save the strike. 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.
Volleyed crosses and shots toned down
The ‘first-time finesse’ dominated Ultimate Team in the early months of FIFA 19, and with that finally patched out, players turned to back post crosses to hurt opponents. This is even more destructive if the cross comes from a volley, and thankfully this will be reduced for FIFA 20, with volley crosses and the resulting shots more difficult to perform.
Player switching corrected
It can be frustrating when the wrong player chases a loose ball and you can’t change to a teammate, but EA is working on this and add clarity to the assisted switching mechanism. Player switching doesn’t always select the correct player, and this is being adjusted for areas such as air balls, deflections and crosses.
Realistic set-piece positioning
It’s fairly awful when little N’Golo Kante is marking Virgil van Dijk from a corner, or the aerial threat of Cristiano Ronaldo will not be in the box either, and fortunately this will be eliminated. Marking and positioning from set-pieces should become more realistic going forward.
What we want so see
We have touched on plenty of things that need to be added to FIFA 20 in our absolutely everything piece, but there are some key areas that the community want to see in the new game. Here’s hoping a few of these make it onto EA’s new game.
New Career Mode
Career Mode has been neglected for years by EA, with FIFA 19 offering nothing new in the department – other than the overall inclusion of the UEFA licensed competitions. Realistic fixture scheduling, more detailed transfers, a new scouting system and stadium developments are long overdue.
Bring back the Arena!
Although the practice arena is on FIFA 19, it is no longer the central hub that it was on previous editions of the game. It was the place where you would hone your skills before taking to the pitch, and what if EA were to throw in a FIFA Street option here where you can get back to some proper real ballin'.
Rectify online issues
Starting with Ultimate Team, EA are really up against it in the issue of packs from the FUT Store. There is no guarantees on what you can pull from packs, and as a result, there has been a ban on FIFA Points in Belgium. With the US proposing a bill to ban loot boxes in games like Fortnite, EA are walking a fine line as one of their biggest markets could disappear. More clarity in what a player could receive is all it would take to appease fans.
No attention has been given to Pro Clubs for a number of years, with it difficult to find matches and no real incentive to play competitively. Taking the mode cross-platform like Fortnite and brining in a Weekend League style Pro Clubs championship will get some fun back into an area that was so popular five years or so ago.
Level up The Journey
FIFA became the first sports game to perform a story mode when they released The Journey back on FIFA 17, and after three iterations it was confirmed that it was ending, well Alex Hunter’s involvement in it, anyway. By FIFA 19, fans had become disinterested with the series, as the focus was taken away from Hunter and split with two other characters.
If you want gamers to remain interested, you must make them the focus, so we can cross our fingers for an individual story mode on FIFA 20, in which you create the protagonist, done on the NBA 2k franchise for a few years, featuring real life actors Anthony Mackie (of Captain America fame) and Ricky Whittle (Amazon Prime series American Gods). You create the star, you pick the club and away you go.
Madden 20 has introduced a Face of the Franchise mode, replacing their lacklustre Longshot series - the equivalent of FIFA 's The Journey. This sounds promising, with the user created their own quarterback, impress at college level and be drafted to an NFL franchise. If FIFA follow suit, we could see a more bespoke and realistic story mode: working up from the lower leagues, earning a big money move before taking on the Champions League.
What do you want to see on FIFA 20? Let us know by commenting below!
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?