A few days ago now I was struck with some truly life changing news that rocked me to my core, my little brother Matt is crossing over to the dark side this year and will be opting for PES 21 over FIFA 21… we had a good run brother, we had a good run. After I recovered from this shocker, I began to understand his reasoning. I truly believe that FIFA isn’t just the best football simulator but the best sports sim bar none, but does that excuse EA from only choosing to tweak the game year on year rather than giving fans a complete overhaul like Konami plan to do with PES this year? With the brand new FIFA 21 launch trailer due for release tomorrow, I want to discuss a few additions which would make me truly hyped for a new FIFA for the first time in years and maybe even keep Matt from abandoning team FIFA.
Firstly, whether EA see PES as competition or not, I can’t help but feel they should be looking over their shoulder at what their competitors are doing this year because Konami are causing quite a stir and for all the best reasons. PES 21 will be getting a complete new game engine as we head into a new generation of consoles which isn’t too much of a surprise, what is surprising however is that they are selling the new game as a £25 add-on to PES 20 rather than forcing fans to shell out £50 plus for a whole new game. This is something that fans of most sports sims have been crying out for now for years. Most developers of this sort of game are guilty of this, dressing up their old game with new kits and players and asking for top dollar. Whether it’s FIFA, PES, NBA 2K, Madden or even something like Moto GP, we’ve seen it so many times before.
Even though the new additions which these developers add are often exciting enough to make us once again part with our cash, it’s usually through gritted teeth as we know realistically that half of what we are paying for likely already sits on our shelves.. I genuinely don’t believe in a million years EA will ever follow Konami’s lead but what if they did? Could they go as far as to actually say there will be no new modes such as Volta or Journey mode but instead they’ll be a new engine with updated visuals which will only cost us half the price? A boy can dream.
Away from what other sports sims are doing and new game engines, what can EA do to make FIFA a much fresher experience? I feel like I’ve been going on about this for years but for the love of Zlatan (God) can we please see a revamped career mode? Yes, EA did add some new additions to career mode last year with the weak morale system, repetitive press conferences and post match interviews as well as dynamic player potential, the latter actually really being really fun and it massively improved the overall career mode experience. Though I still wish we had more. Don’t get me wrong, I love career mode but I have done for years and have sat by taking all these tiny changes while EA put all their attention in new modes like Volta and Journey whilst always improving their cash cow – FUT. Could FIFA 21 finally be the year where EA prioritise career mode over everything else? A boy can dream.
One of my favourite aspects about FIFA and something I look for in any sports game is the authenticity. FIFA have always led the way with their official licences and realistic feel. Though in recent years I’ve seen a worrying pattern.. It all started when they lost the rights to the Nou camp, “No big deal” I thought. Then we lost the Allianz Arena along with a few other stadiums before the biggest blow last year, losing Juventus as a whole. All of a sudden FIFA didn’t have that same feeling it used to. Sure, it still has more licenses than PES but at least PES gives you the option to customise their entire game if you can be bothered. So what do I want from FIFA on this front? Either give me full licenses again, we know EA can afford it and if that isn’t possible than finally give us the power to customise the game! While you’re at it EA, add a cool face scan feature that we can use on our pro’s like we’ve seen in NBA 2K.. I know, I know, a boy can dream.
I’ve been having a bit of a laugh with the whole boy can dream gag but there’s a sad truth to it all, that being that the features I wish for year on year never materialise and I’m usually left deflated by these launch trailers and announcements. Will tomorrow be the same? Probably, but maybe, just maybe they’ll shock us all and stop my traitor of a brother from making that leap to the enemy!