EA Play 2019 is in full-swing and Trusted Reviews has had opportunities to go hands-on with a range of upcoming games, and that includes the latest iteration of Electronic Art’s hugely popular sporting sim, FIFA 20.
Alongside all the usual visual enhancements and license updates, FIFA 20 is taking things a step further with some additions that strive to shake up the formula, although it’s too soon to tell whether this will be truly meaningful. The Volta Football mode – a spiritual successor to the FIFA Street sub-series – takes the limelight, but my hands-on time was unfortunately reserved exclusively to stadiums.
FIFA 20 release date – When does it come out?
FIFA 20 hits stores worldwide on 27 September 2019. You can preo-rder yourself a copy right now.
FIFA 20 Cover Star – Who is it?
Nothing official has been confirmed regarding the cover star of FIFA 20 thus far. Although, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah featured in the demo’s menu, and given the team’s recent Champion’s League victory, he seems a likely candidate.
FIFA 20 trailer – How does it look?
During the EA Play 2019 showcase, Electronic Arts released a trailer for FIFA 20, which shows off the new Volta Football mode. Have a look for yourself below.
FIFA 20 Gameplay Preview
During my hands-on demo, I played a total of two games set during the Champions League Final, unfortunately Tottenham Hotspur weren’t present, so I begrudgingly opted for Liverpool. Within seconds I was sprinting about the pitch, trying and failing to steal the ball from my opponent in true gegenpressing style. Movement feels incredibly slick, making small yet noticeable improvements on the ball control and physics compared to last year’s entry.
The set piece system feels particularly different, now letting you aim a cursor like you do when taking a penalty. You can also apply spin to the ball, giving you more control over how you attempt to strike the ball into the back of the net.
Switching between players also seems to have improved and feels more intelligent, putting you in control of team members right when you need them instead of flailing about with few precious seconds to waste. Of course, you can still decide to switch manually if you like, which is just as easy.
Related: Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference
Electronic Arts has said following FIFA 20’s announcement that A.I. defending will be overhauled, and having seen it in practice, they weren’t lying. When controlled by artificial intelligence, defenders still present a firm challenge, but they no longer feel like annoying superhuman athletes. They’re more likely to make a mistake now.
Defenders aren’t quite as reactive to fast-paced dribbles, and they can no longer easily keep pace with fast players like Sadio Mane. This level of realism feels consistent across the entire team, and EA has said this is because they want teamplay to feel natural, allowing you to pace through a match like you would in real life instead of tediously running into wall after wall of defenders.
Described as ‘authentic game flow,’ FIFA 20 is making huge strides, ensuring one-on-one encounters feel like miniature battles as you dribble toward the penalty box. EA Sports has made it easier to score past goalkeepers in such situations in order to reward you for working the ball into deadly areas.
FIFA fans can also look forward to improved dynamic weather, larger, more vivid stadiums and all the usual license updates we’d expect from the world’s biggest sporting sim.
We could spend hours diving into the nitty gritty of FIFA 20’s mechanical changes, and having only playing two matches, we sadly don’t have enough to lean on. What we can say is Electronic Arts has once again pushed its football series forward with many changes – some small and some large.
The return of Champions League is also welcome, and we can’t wait to see how the newly announced VOLTA Street Mode transforms the game. However, this does look like a small, iterative upgrade instead of a massive overhaul. Those who played FIFA 19 will feel right at home, which is a good and bad thing in our eyes.