FIFA 21 is out now, and this time round, I didn’t rush into getting it at first – mainly because I was deeply involved with a number of single-player games and didn’t have the time. However, after buying a PS5, and seeing the FIFA update release early, I thought the time had come.
There are a number of different ways that you can play FIFA. You can have the immersive experience of the career mode, the money-spinning experience of Ultimate Teams, or just having a few beers and a game with your mates. There are other modes available, but these are the three that I tried.
After an hour of playing the career mode, I was pretty sure I was still playing FIFA 20. That isn’t to say that this mode was awful – as it really wasn’t – but it just didn’t seem to offer anything new. Throughout the review, you will notice that this is my biggest issue. After spending most my time creating my character and making sure I was in my favourite team, I realised that career mode just doesn’t offer what it used to. The character’s faces are nothing short of comical, in a real-life type of way. It really did make me laugh as you could tell quite clearly who they were, but you can’t quite work out what is off about them.
Ultimate Team is quite similar. For those who don’t play this mode, it is quite simply a pay-to-win exercise. You can buy team packs and build your favourite team, but the more your players have in common, then the better their link and the greater they play together. After losing my first five matches, it felt like something was missing. Then I clocked it! No longer do you have to worry about your players’ fitness after each match. Also, no longer do you have to stockpile on fitness cards, as your players finally return to 100% fitness after each match. This revitalised my life for the game mode and, subsequently, nearly got me to get my wallet out again… nearly. Nice try FIFA.
After safely setting my Playstation up outside, three of us went head-to-head on a socially-distanced drinking and FIFA 21 session. This is where I had the most fun on the game. Yes, it is still very similar to FIFA 20, but the game does run well. The matches flow together nicely and it does seem easier to sync together some lovely passes, leading up to a finesse finish into the bottom corner. The soundtrack annoyed the neighbours, but kept us in the zone for the whole five hours we played.
Overall, you need to consider what you want from a game. If you want something which is a lot better than its predecessor, then this is not the game for you. If you want the newest and most updated version of a football game, then this is worth the purchase. One positive is that you won’t have to learn anything new, because the game is basically the same. The odd camera angle infuriated me at times, but I really didn’t have to bother going into the settings and change them.
It is easy for a lot of people to moan about FIFA but you will struggle to truthfully say that this is a bad game… it just isn’t really any better than the one before.
- Publisher: EA Sports
- Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
- Players: single-player, multiplayer
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.