FIFA 20 review: Flawed release but dependable fun for football fans

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It hasn't broken new ground as promised, and Career Mode has launch issues, but the FIFA fans will be pleased with the same popular gameplay

The tagline for FIFA 20 is 'Break New Ground' and that is what EA Sports claims to do with the newest update of the annual football game, adding street and indoor football after years and years of appeals and demands from fans of the game.

Between 2005 and 2012, they released four versions of FIFA Street, which had been a standalone series released alongside the regular iterations of FIFA.

FIFA 20 review: Volta football

The new Volta Football mode in FIFA 20 attempts to bring the hugely-popular FIFA Street series to the mainstream and this is where the main changes of the game lie from last year's FIFA 19.

Volta uses the same match engine as the regular game with three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five matches included.

It also picks up the mantle of the game's story mode following the Journey from FIFA 17 through FIFA 19 and allows you to create your own custom player to progress from an amateur to being the best futsal and street footballer in the world.

Fans of the Journey will enjoy Volta's storyline, improving their player's stats and customising them with different looks and outfits as they progress, but casual fans can still play indoor football through kick-off mode and ignore the storyline altogether if they so wish.

It's an enjoyable alternative to the regular 11-vs-11 matches using licensed clubs from all over the world, but for many FIFA Street fans, it lacks the warmth and spontaneity of the original series.

For most, the novelty of Volta will probably wear off once they have completed the story or played a few games and will return to the standard game modes that have been popular in the past.

PSG FIFA 20

FIFA 20 review: Ultimate Team

FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) has long been the most popular part of every FIFA and this year's sees the menu system get an overhaul as well as rewards and objectives.

Players can earn XP from playing more matches, buying and selling players, completing challenges and more which gives rewards through Season Objectives.

FUT Champions Weekend League and Divisions Rivals remain the same as last year, while the offline Squad Battles mode has been slightly tweaked to allow players to refresh their opponents when they want rather than having to wait 24 hours for a new batch of teams to take on.

These small tweaks are nice improvements to FUT and follow the mantra of if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

FIFA 20 review: Is Career Mode broken?

However, something that has been broken in the update to FIFA 20 is Career Mode.

Bugs in the initial release have seen AI managers field weakened teams, causing fans of the game to take to Twitter where their reaction saw the hashtag #FixCareerMode trend in the UK.

In the first two patches of the game since launch, these bugs have not been fixed, further annoying fans as these bugs should have been noticed in testing before FIFA 20's release.

FIFA 20 review: Best of the rest & gameplay

Once again, the game impresses with its level of licensing, having over 700 teams from 30 leagues around the world, including the Romanian Liga I for the first time ever.

The Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup remain from last year, but Juventus are not licensed in FIFA 20 and are called Piemonte Calcio in all modes of the game, with the commentators never referring to them by name.

Gameplay features updates and improvements from previous years, which means anyone who has played FIFA 18 or FIFA 19 can easily pick it up and be competitive straight away.

The biggest change to gameplay is with set-pieces, with free-kicks now more intuitive while penalty kicks now use timed finishing and can be incredibly rewarding or frustrating - much like a real-life penalty shootout.

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VAR has not been introduced while short goal kicks are missing from FIFA 20. However, these are minor complaints for a game which has attempted to make proper progress this year.

Once the Career Mode issues are fixed, it will become an essential purchase yet again, especially if you are willing to spend time to fall in love with Volta.

FIFA 20 review verdict

It hasn't broken new ground as promised, but FIFA 20 delivers an exciting update from FIFA 19 and will please the majority of football fans once again.

FIFA 20 review score: 7.5/10

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