The gaming world is buzzing with the release of EA Sports FC 24, the latest installment in the football simulation series. While the game boasts a new name and logo prominently displayed across menus, the overall experience may feel familiar to seasoned players of the franchise. In this review, we explore the subtle improvements on the pitch and the incremental additions to long-standing game modes, shedding light on what sets EA Sports FC 24 apart from its predecessor, FIFA 23.
On-Pitch Action and Gameplay:
EA Sports FC 24 introduces nuanced improvements to on-pitch action, offering a slightly slower pace compared to its predecessor. The game’s movement mechanics and player responsiveness are commendable, allowing for agile maneuvers to navigate through the pitch. Notably, the connective animations between various movements contribute to a smoother and more natural visual experience.
However, some persistent issues mar the gameplay experience. Goalkeepers occasionally exhibit erratic behavior, and passes may veer off target unexpectedly. Defending poses challenges, with successful tackles often bouncing back to attackers, creating frustrating situations. Off-the-ball AI struggles to track runs, and referees exhibit inconsistency in their foul decisions. Despite these drawbacks, the overall back-and-forth football experience remains engaging.
New Features: PlayStyles and Evolutions:
EA Sports FC 24 introduces PlayStyles, a feature that accentuates player strengths by highlighting specific attributes. With 32 distinct PlayStyles spread across six categories, players can showcase their unique abilities seamlessly during matches. Additionally, world-class players receive a PlayStyle+ that enhances their regular PlayStyle, ensuring they stand out on the field. This dynamic system adds depth to gameplay, encouraging strategic choices when building teams.
The Ultimate Team mode undergoes significant changes with the integration of PlayStyles. Players from women’s leagues join the roster, providing additional squad-building opportunities. While attributes between male and female players are equal, individual strengths and playstyles vary, offering a fresh dynamic to team composition.
The introduction of Evolutions adds an exciting dimension to Ultimate Team, allowing players to improve and customize their club members. By completing challenges, players can unlock permanent stat upgrades for their favorite athletes, providing an alternative to relying solely on pack luck or in-game purchases.
Microtransactions and In-Game Economy:
While some aspects of Ultimate Team have improved, concerns about microtransactions persist. Evolutions, while an exciting addition, introduce paths that require in-game coins or real money for significant upgrades. This raises questions about the balance between players who invest in microtransactions and those who don’t, impacting the competitiveness of the gaming experience.
Other Game Modes:
Player and Manager Career modes receive attention in EA Sports FC 24, with the introduction of Player Agents and tactical identities in Manager Career. However, some objectives in Player Career mode appear nonsensical, detracting from the immersion. Manager Career’s tactical identities, while a solid concept, may not translate tangibly into the feel of player control.
EA Sports FC 24 emerges as a marginal improvement over FIFA 23, with notable features like PlayStyles and Evolutions enhancing gameplay. The addition of women’s leagues in Ultimate Team adds diversity, but persistent issues, particularly in on-pitch action, may frustrate players. Microtransactions continue to be a contentious aspect of the in-game economy, impacting the overall experience.
While EA Sports FC 24 offers moments of footballing joy and maintains the series’ signature gameplay, it falls short of a revolutionary reinvention. The blend of the familiar and the new creates a gaming experience that is both captivating and challenging. As players navigate the ups and downs of the virtual pitch, EA Sports FC 24 stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the football simulation genre.