EA Sports FC24 Review
Ahh, annual sports games. There’s really nothing like reviewing titles that release annually, and surprisingly, these games really make a lot of money from sales and microtransactions on a regular basis. This time around, the game is sort of new, but also something that we’ve been getting for what feels like a long time already.
Enter FIF… EA Sports FC24!
EA Sports FC24 is the latest installment in the long-running football (soccer, whatever works for you) series formerly known as FIFA but was rebranded due to contracts and legal intricacies (read as money). In any case, this facelift brings with it some new and exciting additions, but also doesn’t do anything too dramatic to warrant an overhaul fitting of the name change.
It would be unreasonable expect sweeping changes to these annual games, especially when their base gameplay is already solid to begin with, so tweaks and improvements are par for the course. But does it do enough, apart from a rebrand, to merit a full priced purchase?
First off, let’s set the two basic experiences apart – newcomers will expose themselves to what is arguably the best football game out in the market today. Whether it is due to lack of real competition in the genre or other factors, it can’t be denied that the base experience that EA Sports FC24 provides is more than sufficient for the average football fan or for those looking to make this entry their first foray in the long-running series.
For longtime players, this is where things get a bit dicey. Booting up EA Sports FC24 will lead to a very familiar experience. It’s not a bad thing, per se, but those unrealistically expecting a new game in every sense of the word will feel slighted. That being the case, the game has some tweaks that are much appreciated, making matches feel slower in the sense that it mostly reflects how actual professional matches play out.
First off, EA Sports FC24’s presentation alone makes great strides with the implementation of HyperMotionV technology for current-gen versions of EA Sports FC24. While realism in the pitch can be subjective, one thing that cannot be denied is how much better this translates to the on-screen action. Because of all of the technological buzzwords like the use volumetric data, movement is far more realistic and that much smoother when playing. It’s something that has to be seen to be believed, and the players look and move more naturally than before.
HyperMotionV is not only limited to player movement, but also to finer details like hair, player kits and uniforms, and much more. There’s just a much more realistic feeling overall, and because EA claims to have gathered data from over a hundred players, your favorite superstars will have their quirks translated into EA Sports FC24.
One more thing about the how EA Sports FC24 looks and feels is extended to its interface, menus, and even match production values have been raised a level. The menu looks clean and plain (which I like, but I understand how others may not) and is a breeze to navigate through (which I love!). There’s just a general uplift in many aspects of how EA Sports FC24 looks and feels that make playing the game something that could closely resemble a televised match.
One of the more significant updates in EA Sports FC24 is the introduction of PlayStyles, which is basically the traits system but retooled to work across 32 styles that cover categories like shooting and goalkeeping. You can think of PlayStyles as attributes that provide players that excel in a certain aspect of the game and have that translate to the actual game. Cover athlete Erling Haaland will excel where you expect him to, and his superb finishing capability paired with exceptional movement is one that makes for actual superstar gameplay.
Improvements such as this work across the board, and it is felt in other aspects such as Precision Passing, which invites players to approach EA Sports FC24 with a more tactical mindset. As the name suggests, passes are made with such effectiveness that it feels really good to score a goal off a well-aimed assist. Pulling off said maneuvers will take some practice, as with sports titles these days, so expect to put the controls through its paces in the first few games.
Although this is the case, some players may feel that EA Sports FC24’s addition of PlayStyles really boosts superstar players even further that some may feel unstoppable, especially since there’s even a PlayStyle+ that is only usable by the best players. There’s a fine balance here that might need some work, and it could only be because a casual player such as myself still has to learn many of the intricacies of offense and defense. That said, as a relative newcomer to the series and a more casual enjoyer of the sport, executing these impressive maneuvers feels satisfying.
One big step in the right direction, such as what NBA 2K series has done for the WNBA, is having EA Sports FC24 include female players in Ultimate Team, which is arguably the mode that will be the most played by most players. There’s an addicting feeling to opening packs, hoping to get that one player you’ve been looking forward to, but is also something that can obviously lead to bouts of frustration due to its gacha-like nature.
While not an issue for me, some may find this addition of females into the mode something of an oddity, as it would certainly feel weird to share the pitch with players of varying skill levels and physicality. While it will indeed feel out of place in real-world practice, this is a video game after all, and Ultimate Team is literally the most “fantasy” influenced mode of it all, so this aspect of EA Sports FC24 doesn’t bother me one bit.
Paired with the new Evolution feature where you can upgrade these players after certain challenges are met, there’s more variety in how you choose to improve your team. That said, as expected, you can also choose the option to pay for the evolution, which is where the always predatory microtransactions come in. It won’t be a sports game without this, sadly, and it’s quite unfortunate that it has become a standard every year.
That said, there’s no escaping the thought of incremental upgrades in annual sports titles, EA Sports FC24 included. While some players may feel that this year can pass as a simple roster revamp or just improved visuals and some tweaks in general, especially with very little to no changes in some modes apart from Ultimate Team, newcomers that are trying the game out for the first time will appreciate the latest features that will surely impress.
This discussion of “is it worth the full price of admission” is a persistent topic in sports games and won’t end in the foreseeable future. At some point, plyers will have to expect that sweeping changes are unreasonable demands, especially when the base foundation is already so strong that there’s only so much developers can do to freshen and liven things up. Whatever the case may be, EA Sports FC24 makes a case for a serviceable yet familiar installment that has enough new tricks up its sleeve that could merit an upgrade, even though the rebrand is kept in name only.
What we liked:
- HyperMotionV technology is impressive
- Pulling off various advanced maneuvers feels satisfying
- PlayStyles feature further boosts superstar status for certain players
- Ultimate Team is still THE mode to play
What we didn’t like:
- Microtransactions are ever present
- No semblance of sweeping changes that really mix things up
- PlayStyles almost feels like cheating for certain players
Verdict: Wait for it…
EA Sports FC24, at some point, feels like one of those iPhone advertisements that Tim Cook often says – “It’s our best product ever.” This isn’t a slight at iPhones or at EA Sports FC24 at all, but oftentimes, players look at this at something that is an incremental upgrade that could maybe merit a patch or a huge 2.0 update rather than another full priced installment.
HyperMotionV is actually impressive, adding a boost to realism and fluidness to the game that makes it stand out even more than before. PlayStyles is a fantastic addition that propels certain players to behemoths on the pitch, but it can also be argued that balance could be an issue here since certain PlayStyles tend to feel unstoppable.
As I’ve always said, annual sports titles are some of the toughest things to gauge as to whether or not they will be worth your money or not. EA Sports FC24 straddles that very fine line for me, being a simultaneous “Buy” and “Wait” based on what your priorities are. If you’re looking for a fantastic football experience, look no further, but don’t expect an extreme departure from the previous installment even though a rebrand is in full effect.
*EA Sports FC 24 was reviewed on a PS5 with a review code provided by the publisher.