Developer: EA Vancouver
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Publisher: EA Sports
Like the changing of the seasons and the start of the latest football (soccer) season in the majority of Europe, the latest FIFA football game is out. EA has introduced one major change in FIFA 20, Volta mode.
What is Volta? Volta is the introduction of indoor football in the game, to the uninitiated, this a remastered version of FIFA Street, FIFA Street is the standalone indoor football that was released in 2005 and had its last outing on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, time flies when you are having fun.
You are probably asking your self, what’s the big deal with a new mode, I think the big deal is that Volta really breaks the mould of minor tweaks and improvements we have seen in FIFA over the last few years. A mode that doesn’t require as much of your time, geared towards quick play that’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
In Volta (FIFA Street) mode, you can play 3v3, 4v4, 5v5 and Futsal rules, rules can be tweaked in FIFA too. The emphasis of Volta is short, punchy and tricked based action in a smaller environment. It’s great fun and the age-old of the question of whether to bring back this mode is validated for sure. Smaller pitches and smaller goals put an emphasis on player control, precision, tricks and accuracy. It’s like street football but on your screen. It’s playful and exciting, a real joy.
I found the gameplay in standard games to be a bit slower and more predictable than the previous version, it does feel like you have more control over the ball and your player, 1 v 1 situations seem more authentic. The computer AI does learn if you do the same trick over in the one game. One major improvement is when you break free of defenders leading to a chance on goal with just the goalie. Defenders can’t track you back as quickly as in previous games, for example, if you are using a player with a lot of pace and a slow defender, the defender will find it difficult to catch up with you as in real life, a much-needed improvement.
It has been claimed that AI of defenders has been improved, I haven’t seen any major differences as of yet but they may be subtle. There is better physics and reactions of players when they collide, push and pull at each other.
Changes around how penalty and free kicks, giving more precision and onscreen indicators as to how you are taking the free-kick and what after-effects are being applied to the ball.
Volta on its own is the biggest reason to get FIFA 20, however, there have been improvements in FUT, Career modes, free kicks, penalties, close control, a slow down in gameplay. I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the new free kick system, only time will tell.
Overall there have been minor tweaks in the gameplay but I think this season about refinement rather re-invention. Visuals, presentation and design have been quite similar to last year, the overall presentation has always been very slick and intuitive. It’s a solid game that is a must-buy for football fans, Volta is worth the purchase and play but don’t expect huge changes elsewhere but minor tweaks. Still very satisfying to play in all honesty.