FIFA 23 has arrived to much acclaim, with gameplay improvements making this year's instalment in the popular series feel more authentic than ever before.
That being said, there is once again a major issue lurking in the offline shadows for EA's flagship sports franchise.
We're sad to say - once again -that Career Mode has been truly left behind.
Let's start with some positives, as in truth it isn't all bad for FIFA 23 Career Mode.
Most offline players will have noticed a significant improvement in gameplay and general AI performance.
Difficulty levels feel more aligned and the attention to individual player movements makes every game in FIFA 23 feel authentic and different.
Unlike in recent years, there isn't a set formula for victory, instead, you have to adapt to your opponent and tweak your tactics and play style accordingly.
This is where the positives end.
When EA was announcing their brand new features for FIFA 23, the lack of improvements for manager mode immediately raised red flags.
Whilst Player Career saw some love, the lack of care spent implementing new features into Manager Career was blatant.
On paper, playing as real-life managers is a fun idea, but in practicality, it's a novelty idea that quickly becomes played out.
The arrival of a transfer analyst promised to bring some elements of real-life data to the game, but the inconsequential nature of this feature has left us wondering why they had even bothered.
Our main issue with career mode is that it feels truly half-baked.
Some of the ideas on show, from scouting to stadium development, are clearly clever and much needed, but their implementation is so weak that they may as well not be there at all.
What amazes us most about FIFA 23 Career Mode is just how little has been changed.
Updated transfers, kits, and a few toggles to the overall menus are the only changes made and for a game that is asking for nearly £70 a pop, we think this simply isn't good enough.
Career Mode players - who make up a large portion of the FIFA community - deserve far more than to be sold the same game with a different colour scheme.
A subtle new feature added into FIFA 23 Career Mode surmises the major issue that EA has with this neglected mode.
When you sign a player, a neat cut-scene montage will play, welcoming your signing and showcasing things like their medical and presentation.
This feature, on the face of it, is a great addition, but the only problem is that it's one-note and plays after every signing.
If the cut-scenes were varied then we'd understand, but the implementation of a single animation that constantly plays feels lazy and summative.
We know EA can do so much better because they have proved so in years gone by.
However, it's hard not to see Career Mode in FIFA 23 as a sorry shell of what could have been; we're hoping for so much better in EA Sports FC.
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