Across Europe, certain teams are already finding out their fixture lists for the 2019/20 season, which can only mean one thing: FIFA 20 is edging closer.
The latest edition of EA Sports’ football series is not set for release until September 27, 2019, but the gaming giants have already given fans a sneak peak at FIFA 20 – which promises to be the best yet.
But what have we learned from the opening trailer for FIFA 20 and accompanying EA Play 2019 Live Reveal?
1. FIFA Street is back… kind of
Since its first release in 2005, FIFA Street has been deep in the hearts of football gaming fans. The series focuses on smaller skill-based matches – how the game would be played in streets all over the world, as it says on the tin.
The latest edition came in 2012, and some fans have been calling for a new version for the past few years, given the evolution of console gaming with PS4 and Xbox Ones.
There was a taste of it in FIFA 19’s The Journey mode, as it ends with a three-on-three game, and though a standalone game is still nought but a pipe dream, FIFA 20 will give players a chance to live street football.
Much like the FIFA Street career modes of old, players can create their own fully-customisable avatar – male or female – with clothes and shoes being unlocked as the game progresses.
The size of games range from 3v3 to 5v5 and ‘Professional Futsal’ with a number of different areas available including a London cage, Amsterdam underpass and Tokyo rooftop.
Players will also be able to carry their VOLTA teams over to Kick-off mode and online, in the VOLTA League.
However, there was some disappointment to learn VOLTA will not allow gamers to play with their friends as part of one team – a la Pro Clubs.
2. The AI is about to get even better
Aside from the new game mode, EA Sports also gave fans a look into some of the bigger gameplay changes for FIFA 20.
One of them will see AI-controlled players reach a never-seen-before ability level, making them better team-mates for gamers.
With new ‘Authentic Game Flow’, AI players will offer intelligent defensive support, being designed to read the pitch and game – acting more like a real-life defender than ever before.
AI-controlled players will also look more realistic, mimicking real footballers in terms of movement,
If things go to plan, and you get in sync with your AI team-mates, no longer will you be moaning about the computer costing you matches. You’ll only have yourself to blame for the defeats that come your way.
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3. Finishing tweaks will separate the best from the rest
Last year FIFA 19 brought the introduction of ‘timed finishing’, a system which allowed players to make their shots even better by pressing the shoot button again at the right time.
This already made the better players stand out from the rest, and it appears the gap will only get bigger with FIFA 20’s planned changes.
The introduction of ‘Composed Finishing’ will see the mechanics of shooting completely overhauled, to create a more realistic experience – very much the target for FIFA 20. With it, players will be rewarded for perfecting their finishing methods and taking risks while doing so.
But this is not all, FIFA 20 also promises a refresh to the set piece system, giving more options for aiming and, again, rewarding those who have the skills down to a T.
More realistic ball movements will also play a role in finishing, allowing players to work with the popular manipulations used by players such as knuckleballs, as well as changing the way the ball spins and bounces.
4. Dribbling is about to become a lot more fun
Pretty much everyone who plays FIFA loves a five-star skiller. Those players who can just humiliate an opponent with flicks and tricks when combined with top-level dribbling.
And it looks as though FIFA 20 is about to take dribbling to a completely different level. With the new strafe dribble mechanic, gamers will be able to use their players’ pace even more to beat opponents. So the likes of Douglas Costa, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will be majorly overpowered in the right hands.
This will undoubtedly see these such players, with both high levels of pace and five-star skills, that much more expensive on Ultimate Team – not to mention a pain to play against in VOLTA mode.
5. The Koulibalys in you will rule
Don’t worry, it’s not just the attacking which has been altered for FIFA 20. EA Sports have given some love to the defenders of the world too.
In both real football and FIFA, when a tackle is timed right – whether sliding or standing – it’s a sight to behold. What makes them even better, is when the defender then manages to keep hold of the ball after their great tackle.
And it looks like there will be more chances of this happening in FIFA 20. As EA Sports themselves say, “the cleaner the tackle, the higher the likelihood of retaining possession of the ball”.
So for those of us who like to play the Kalidou Koulibaly, giving attackers false hope before winning the ball, FIFA 20 may be the best edition yet.