EA Sports knew it was making a big play when it rejected demands by soccer’s governing body FIFA to impose a more expensive term so it could continue to name its games with the brand name it owns.
Now the series continues with a new one – EA Sports FC, with its first iteration being FC 24. Revealed last week, we have had the opportunity to play the game. PlayStation 5 ahead of release to see how it’s progressing.
EA Sports FC 24
It’s early days, but our first taste of FC 24 has absolutely convinced us that the series is still in good health, and some of its subtler changes may be the most welcome of all.
- A familiar, controlled game
- A lot of menu changes
- Bright display
- Game changes are minimal
How it changes
Although it’s not obvious pooh-poohing its former partner, there is no doubt that EA is making a lot of money in the renovation given to the series formerly known as FIFA – this is a major change that makes its most popular game of all time. – a new type, and it’s a moment of danger.
This isn’t to say that the changes made to FC 24 are more dramatic compared to FIFA 23, however, it may be true that the changes are more promotional than gameplay.
However, the new year brings new things as it always does, and the looks this time are in different places. The first is an upgrade to HyperMotion animations that allow EA to move from frame-by-frame animations instead of hand-held animations.
This means that a star player like the cover runner Erling Haaland can have a stupid goal in one week, and the FC 24 team can have the interest and availability of players in a few weeks (although this will happen in practice is another question. ).
The system has apparently been in the works for about five years and should open for additional videos over time.
Also interesting are the changes to the way players’ bodies and clothing are created – the former in particular sees a huge boost to accuracy leaving players with unique looks looking closer to their real selves.
EA Sports showed us Wolves’ speedster Adamu Traore as a prime example of a player who has not looked his best so far, while the once-flamboyant Vinicius Junior is also now looking his best.
The bragging rights of the textile renovations that have taken place are a little dubious – the demo I played had some old-fashioned shirts and shorts, although they seem to be upgrading behind the scenes.
Triangles are my favorite shape
The EA Sports FC rebrand is focusing on the triangle this year, with a new logo featuring a triangle – almost like a direct reflection of the rotation of the old EA Sports logo. However, it all depends on how important they are to football.
Passing around opponents has been a long time coming to find a triangle to pass through, and while it’s not something that has brought about a game changer in FC 24, there have been some tactical changes.
Smart styles can now have a big impact on your team and you can choose ideas to work with from a list of great teams, such as Tiki-taka and Gegenpressing (don’t forget the classic Park the Bus).
How players can develop in this system isn’t something we’ve seen, though – our demo was limited to Kick-Off mode with two teams, Manchester City and PSG.
However, playing so many games between these two star-studded sides was enough to put one big concern. There is no loss of credibility or branding due to FIFA’s departure.
Matches, clubs, stadiums and merchandise are all available and accurate, and EA Sports FC has signed a number of deals to keep the likes of the Premier League, WSL, Champions League and more on its roster for years to come.
The gameplay is well known for the old hands of FIFA 23, slower than some previous editions on offer, leaving explosive players like Mbappe still dangerous when going forward.
The new accuracy through the balls will be exciting when it comes out, and the increase in skill means that the top players will be able to show off with tricksters like Neymar and Vinicius.
It’s hard to tell more than this from the games I’ve been able to play – with big changes coming to Ultimate Team, Pro Clubs (now Clubs) and Career modes, all of these should be tested in the next day or so at launch.
A new light
FC 24 doesn’t bring a complete overhaul when you’re in the game, but it does have some cleaner menus and layouts that should be able to adjust to your needs and set up your team as easily as ever.
This may not sound like an exciting prospect, but since the biggest Ultimate Team players spend half their time looking at menus, the changes made can make a big difference over time.
In the game, the sound design has also gone a bit slower, with better sound when the camera moves around the arena.
The past few years have already brought a welcome change in lighting that has made for some spectacular matches, and the new touch of broadcasting only adds to the spectacle.
You can see the pundits doing the rounds, the players warming up and chatting in the dressing rooms during the half-time or pre-match changes, and broken matches will also be accompanied by tifos, fireworks and more to add to the atmosphere.
It’s early days for EA Sports FC 24 – with just a few months to go until its release on September 29, the game is ‘so finely tuned that big changes can still be made in a pinch.
Without getting popular modes like Ultimate Team and Career, I can’t say more than that FC 24 plays as if it has lost nothing by leaving the FIFA name, and it’s an encouraging sign to hit at the moment.