Another year, another FIFA. What comes with a new FIFA game is hope that EA Sports will finally provide us with a football simulator that won’t send players the world over into countless rages and heightened cortisol level inducement.
Maybe some of you will relate to my yearly FIFA routine. After purchasing any new FIFA game, I play the tutorial match and usually hate the game with a passion resulting in instant buyers remorse and wondering why on earth I spend another £50 on a seeming pipe dream of a great football game. However, this year I didn’t hate this gameplay in the inaugural game as much as I had in precious years…there was hope!
My usual tactic of acclimatising to any new FIFA game is to stick to offline game modes primarily in the early stages. I’ll play a few kick off games, then jump into a career mode with a championship level side and get settled with the new nuances the latest franchise iteration brings. When ready, I then go to seasons mode and, not to toot my horn, reach division 1 with very little difficulty.
Having spent a few weeks with the game now, there are a few standout issues that have really been hampering my enjoyment. Years ago, I wrote a piece stating that Rocket League was a better footballing simulator than FIFA most likely ever will be. It seems that statement still rings true.
Glaring Goalkeepers Gaffs
When it comes to goalkeepers this year, it seems like FIFA has adopted the same mechanics as Microsoft’s Pinball game often played by 90’s kids on their parents’ desktop. On countless occasions, I’ve hit a high powered shot towards goal, the keeper makes the save and then the ball slingshots close to the half way line like some sort of possessed blunger in a quidditch match!
Goalkeeping decision making is again questionable this year, especially when it comes to crosses. When bringing the goalkeeper out, catching and punching when crosses come in doesn’t seem to be well thought out. There have been so many occasions where a goalkeeper could easily catch an incoming ball but has opted for a haphazard punch, granting my opponent an undeserved opportunity to continue their attack.
Teammate Contain Simply Doesn’t Work
Such an important aspect of my defensive organisation for the last few years has been the use of teammate contain. Whilst the “teammate” contains, I can then take control of another defender and mark an opposition player making a run or cut passing lines.
This year however, the teammate contain button has been rendered completely useless. The teammate no longer presses the opposite player, but simply ambles along side them. There’s absolutely no motivation for them to win the ball back. Instead, the opposition player can simply run down the wing in a straight line resulting in a cross or chance that simply should not be happening.
Defending Is A Bit Iffy In General
Besides unhelpful teammates, defending in general seems a bit lax this year. I’ve never encountered so many situations where opposition players can can cut inside from the wing, come up against a good defensive line and move from one edge of the box to the other with such ease.
Eventually, I find a opening to tackle but it is long overdue. Defenders just don’t seem to want to press as aggressively this year which leads to unrealistic attacking situations like the aforementioned one. As a very aggressive defensive player, this has been a very noticeable change in FIFA 20 and one that I don’t welcome.
Passing Has Never Been This Hit Or Miss Before
Whenever you get your hands on a new FIFA game, it always takes some time to acclimatise to the amount of power you need to place on different passes to create the outcome you desire. Passing is an art-form and, as this writer’s favourite player of all time is Paul Scholes, I like my computer game passes to reflect that of my footballing idol from time to time.
However, this year, there really does seem to be no consistency with power applied to a pass and the end pass result. I’m not even talking about the hollywood cross-field balls. Even a simple ground pass isn’t consistent at all. I’ve experiment with 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full power passes for ground passes, through balls, lofted through balls and crosses. The result of the experimentation has created more confusion as I simply cannot find a consistent route to passing success. My passing accuracy has been the lowest in years.
Even players in the high 80’s and godly passing accuracy stats, I’m struggling to find consistency. It’s resulted in me playing very safely (not my usual style) which does not bode well for the year ahead!
Why Are Fullbacks Bombing Forward On Balanced
On the balanced setting, why do my fullbacks seem to want to take such a high defensive position compared to my centre backs. It opens up a massive amount of space for easy passes that opposition wingers can exploit. I’ve never had to manually adjust the positions of my players before but I had to with my fullbacks this year.
Couch Coop Penalties
Final gripe for now. When recently playing a local kick off match against a friend, one of our game went to penalties. Due to the new penalty system, we now both knew exactly the direction the other player was aiming at with each spot kick. Our keepers still didn’t save everything but it definitely lessened the thrill fo the shootout.
I didn’t see anything wrong with the old penalty system as you could operate it without the need for the arrowed indicator assisting year. However, with this year’s crosshair, you’d be a brave man or woman to take a penalty without.
That’s everything have so far in terms of gameplay problems in FIFA 20. Did I miss anything out? If so, do let me know in the comments section below!