An ode to what used to be our favourite football simulation video game (still is, for the lack of better options) The EA Sports Franchise is one of the most popular games on the planet and a real money turner for the company. Every year millions of fans wait for the next instalment with […]
An ode to what used to be our favourite football simulation video game (still is, for the lack of better options)
The EA Sports Franchise is one of the most popular games on the planet and a real money turner for the company. Every year millions of fans wait for the next instalment with bated breath. Every year those who love football & gaming get together with their likeminded friends to spend hours more playing with their favourite players on their computers and big screen TVs (keeping a few extra controllers in handy, just in case they rage break them). Now with FIFA being such a household name, and the latest instalment – FIFA 21, out a couple of months back, we are sure that everyone who is reading this has played at least a couple of games of it and like the rest of us there are some thoughts that must have passed through your head as well.
Over Reliance on Speed in FIFA 21
Those who have played it, know it.
In FIFA, especially the recent editions, speed is king. More than any other attribute in the game, it’s the pace of the players inside the game that has become the mainstay in the game, and the trend continues with FIFA 21.
While speed is a very important attribute in modern day football, EA has taken it to laughable levels, to the point where world class players such as Modric, Kroos, Busquets, Kane, Lewandowski, Thiago and Ramos are mightily undervalued as compared to players with high pace. Also, at times you get to see players like Sami Khedira and Harry Maguire outrun opponents who are way faster than them in real life, making the game seem more fantasy based than anything.
This over reliance on speed is just making the game boring and dull in the long run as the gameplay does not resemble the real life football that we so dearly love and regularly watch.
No real improvements in modes in FIFA 21
Career Mode/Manager Mode has been around almost as long as the game itself and has been enjoyable (for the most part). However, in the last few editions the manager mode has been mellowing down, with player development and transfers becoming a little too easy. EA has tried to improve a little with FIFA 21, but still the mode doesn’t seem like enough of a challenge. Especially considering the fact that as manager of a big club, you have seemingly unlimited funds at hand and you can go out and buy just about anyone. The manager mode this time around is definitely better than the previous edition, but still not good enough and needs more work.
Coming to the new 5 a side street style football known as Volta mode which was 1st introduced in FIFA 20. This time around as well, Volta is fairly enjoyable, but the only issue is there aren’t many new things in this one, making it another example of EA being lazy with FIFA 21.
Too many glitches/server issues
Now for a game that has been there since 1993-94, it can still be extremely erratic when it wants to be. Glitches, animation defects, gameplay lags, game breakdown, server issues and moments where the FIFA 21 completely loses touch with how Real Football is played, are as frequent as rain in Cherrapunji.
For those who play FIFA regularly & play online modes such as FUT or Pro-Clubs, this is a constantly recurring issue, one from which there seems to be no respite. Now everyone facing this probably has the same thought running through their mind – How is it that games like FORTNITE, PUBG ETC. can run smoothly on a miserly 20mbps internet connection with millions of players online at the same time, while sometimes even a 100 mbps connection seems insufficient (with gameplay lag) for a game that’s been around for over 2 decades?
Pay to Win
The FUT is at the moment FIFA 21’s most popular competition mode & why shouldn’t it be. It allows gamers to bring their dream footballing scenarios into reality. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play with Messi & Ronaldo on the wings in their team, while the centre of the pitch is adorned by legends like Pele, Zidane & the late Maradona against other online competitors or even have future superstars such as Felix, Haaland, Davies to play with. This is where one can make true all such fantasies. However, there is a major problem with this mode at the moment, a problem that every FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) regular knows all too well about.
The fact that you can use real life money in the game to buy packs that reward you with better players to create your Dream Team often ends up giving an unfair advantage to some players. Moreover, EA seems to be intent on milking this cash cow, with a very vocal FIFA fans community complaining that gamers finding it almost impossible to form a dominant team with just the free packs.
Goal scoring easier in FIFA 21
In trying to fix things and make the game a little more balanced, EA probably over-corrected with FIFA 20, making goal scoring, especially from crosses, a little too difficult. This is something that has been improved in FIFA 21, with the good crosses being respected in the gameplay. Another goal scoring attribute that has been improved is the coming from behind goals. In the previous edition, once a team would score, the opponents visibly lost all momentum and chances of a comeback were negligible. This time around, the losing team doesn’t look absolutely broken, giving the gamer a chance to actually make a comeback. This has made the game more fun and competitive, and if you are playing against friends, you always stand a chance to avoid humiliation.
Despite everything against FIFA 21, it remains one of the most popular games on planet with millions of copies sold having already been sold. And despite me having criticized the game for some of the things, I am still packing my console to take to a friend’s place tonight, because FIFA nights will always be a thing.