FIFA 21 Preview – Nothing on next-gen yet

If you have opened this article, it is likely that you are interested in football games and therefore also in this year’s new FIFA game. That also makes it plausible that you have already read things about FIFA 21 in other places in recent weeks that we will only discuss here today. The reason for that is simple. At the end of July, EA Sports gave a long presentation about FIFA 21 and media and influencers were allowed to work for a weekend with a special beta version in which a few new features could be tried out. A small detail here: the information had to be brought out at set times. For example, at the beginning of August, the gameplay was allowed to be discussed, while the embargo on the information about Volta and Ultimate Team expired at the beginning of this week. A handy way for EA to generate more content, but Tweakers decided to wait until everything could be made public, so that it could be processed in this preview.

FIFA 21 appears in a strange year and … well, you understand by now. You may well feel a little bit of stomach acid rising if you need to read yet another introduction to how crazy it all is during the corona crisis, so let’s go in a different direction. FIFA 21 is a game in which you will not notice the pandemic. In FIFA the stadiums are full, the fans are allowed to sing and no masks are shown. The makers want to present football at its best, not in the moodless, half-baked way that was seen in real life in recent weeks. Of course, the developers of the game had to deal with obstacles, but they did not stand in the way of the annual release. In fact, this is a more challenging year than previous years for two reasons.

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First of all, a version must also be made for the new consoles. The ‘gen 5 version’ has not been discussed at all, so we don’t know anything about that yet. And in addition, the major competitor, PES, is coming this year with a seasonal update instead of a completely new game. In a world where sports games are often accused of not having enough innovation to demand the full blow over and over again, Konami’s choice can count on praise, even if thirty euros for an update is not a fantastic deal. However, it does put pressure on EA’s development team to prove that FIFA 21 will be worth its set price tag.

It remains to be seen whether that will work, of course, but we are still positive. This has to do with various elements that you can read about on the following pages, but let’s already touch on a few. For us as fans of the Career Mode, the most important: the large-scale metamorphosis of this mode. In recent years, the Career Mode has had to relinquish its status as the most important FIFA mode to FIFA Ultimate Team and since last year it has also had to tolerate Volta alongside him. Yet there are still a lot of people who just play their seasons offline with their favorite club, perform transfers and enjoy months of fun out of it. They do that in a game mode that has been virtually unchanged for years, but in FIFA 21 there will be a much-needed update. In addition, we see a number of interesting things in the gameplay features, first of all the improved way in which players look for space to receive a pass and the way in which computer-controlled players can make a running action in a certain direction. Those two features could be an answer to two long-standing sources of frustration in gameplay. In addition to these points, there are many more changes, also in FUT and Volta, but if the above improvements are good, it actually looks fine for FIFA 21 right away.

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