Fifa 21 is a football sports sim game that was released on October 5th of last year and was added to EA Play on May 6th. I have been a fan of Fifa since the early 2000’s and have a real love/hate relationship with it but there’s a few things we need to talk about. Firstly, Martin Tyler and Alan Smith who have been in the game for as long as I can remember have been removed which is a huge blow as they had many infamous lines in Fifa across the years.
We are now stuck with Derek Rae and Lee Dixon for every game which isn’t bad but it wasn’t the same. Other removals include Italian Serie B, the Chilean League and the Colombian League. Some of the Serie B teams have been added to the Rest of the World section. First let’s talk about Volta. Volta gameplay felt very slow in Fifa 20 and this year they have improved the Volta gameplay. It feels much quicker and it’s much more responsive which makes it more fun and enjoyable to play.
The shooting has improved as well and Volta is not really the main mode of Fifa but it’s still fun to play a couple matches here and there with the improved gameplay in Fifa 21. You can also party up with some friends and play Volta online and there’s also a story mode that you can complete within a couple of hours. Pro clubs has not had any real improvements since it was released but they did add extra customizations and tactics which is at least something.
Career Mode in Fifa 21 is definitely an improvement over Fifa 20 but it still feels more or less the same as FIFA 20’s Career Mode but with some nice improvements that everyone wanted to see. There’s a new player conversion system in Fifa 21 that lets you convert players to a different position and I’ve already converted a few players to fit better with my formation. This is a very nice feature and one that was welcomed by Career Mode fans.
There’s also a new visual sim which lets you have more control in sim games and lets you jump in and out of the match within seconds. Other improvements include training sessions, pre match lineups, a youth academy, negotiation strictness and a financial takeover. Overall Career Mode had some decent updates and if EA keep adding features that fans want, they will have a winner on their hands in a couple of years.
In Ultimate Team they have added a stadium upgrade feature, fitness has been removed from FUT which is a good thing and there’s also a FUT co-op mode which lets you play Ultimate Team with friends. FUT is EA’s money maker but you can easily create a team with no microtransactions as every mode in FUT can make you coins. There are also weekly and seasonal challenges which awards players, packs and coins so there’s always something to do in FUT. FUT is also currently in TOTS so there’s lots of overpowered players you can get from packs and rewards.
Defending in online modes is a lot harder this year, so people can’t just sit back after scoring one goal like previous years. Pace is still king in online modes so if you want to have a better chance at winning, definitely buy some pacey players and learn how to defend them. Other gameplay features include better AI runs, agile dribbling, directed runs and more.
To be honest I haven’t used many of these new features though, probably because I have been playing Fifa almost the same way since FUT released. I do wonder at times if these things are just gimmicks because I don’t really use them that much. Passing feels like it has a bit more weight behind it in Fifa 21 and you can do some nice little build ups and counters with the passing.
Like I said earlier defending definitely feels more difficult and if you time a tackle wrong your defender will be out of the game for a few seconds as it’s very hard to recover. There’s also a new feature called Competitive mode and this can only be applied to Legendary or Ultimate difficulty. This transforms the gameplay to give you the feeling that you’re playing against a real Esports pro.
For me the Competitive mode turns the AI into some sort of Fifa Street mode where they just spam skill moves all the time. They are much more unpredictable and very hard to defend against. So, if Legendary or Ultimate difficulty was too easy for you, you should give Competitor Mode a try as that elevates the difficulty a lot. In terms of the graphics Fifa 21 looks pretty good on current Gen consoles as they are still using the frostbite engine.
There are still some generic faces for players like Greenwood but they have added some new faces like Bruno Fernandes and a few other players. Lighting changes are also noticed inside stadiums and little details like the goals moving when the ball hits it and the overall match day presentation is pretty nice to look at as well. The gameplay just feels like an incremental update over Fifa 20. It’s not trying to be different to Fifa 20 and it is just trying to improve it.
Overall Fifa 21 looks to be an incremental update but with key improvements in certain areas. It still feels like the same Fifa experience and for some that could be a good or a bad thing. There’s a decent Career Mode in Fifa 21 with massive improvements. FUT is still the fan favorite mode that everyone wants to play and they have added some new features there as well and the latest rosters. So, if you have been holding out on playing Fifa 21 and you want your Fifa or football fix you should try it out.
It still feels like the same Fifa experience and for some that could be a good or a bad thing. There’s a decent career mode in Fifa 21 with massive improvements. FUT and Volta also had some nice features. Defending is a lot more difficult than previous years so you cant just sit back and defend. Overall Fifa 21 looks to be an incremental update but with key improvements in a few areas.