FIFA 20 volta and return the laws of diminishing
This is not a problem for modern FIFA. I really liked playing 19 and it’s my most played game of the last 10 months.
The big novelty of this year is the Volta, similar to that of FIFA Street, which at first glance seems to be a deep and attractive addition to the portfolio of the series. These places are the battlefields that host different types of street football.
The presence or absence of solid walls on the outer edge, for example, greatly affects the way a game is played. EA states that these items can only be purchased with the currency in play, without microtransactions at launch.
The Volta matches themselves are a reminder of the restart of FIFA Street in 2012 – although the focus is more on skills and play than on regular football, it’s not as great as in previous years. Street games. There are no game-breakers or classes, and the pattern of control resumes that of the usual FIFA, a move that, according to EA, is designed to help players make the transition between the two game modes diametrically opposed. In this respect, it seems like a successful shot – and bouncing the balls against the walls and sneaking the opponents before kneeling to throw a ball over the line is exciting – but I felt a little bit like I struggled against control system to achieve such feats. It’s as if the framing was a bit too similar to FIFA’s to allow the big moments to pass. Hopefully, EA can tighten that in the last few weeks before the launch.
The integration of multiplayer and solo sub-modes and community squads led by Volta’s AI is a little confusing. I am therefore eager to regain control of this mode when the final game will be launched in late September. My initial instinct is to say that Volta will be a fun option in which I will interfere all year long when I’m tired of Ultimate Team or career mode, rather than a main draw like ‘either. However, at least Volta’s appeal seems to last longer than The Journey, which, although I liked it, has little or no value in the long run.
Volta is a refreshing new way to play at FIFA, but what happens on the pitch still does not seem very different from what happened before. This is a problem that many games have faced towards the end of the last generation of consoles. The reality is that when the hardware remains unchanged, developers can only get a lot of results, especially when faced with the ongoing annual release times and increasing pressure to update existing games as live services. This problem is not peculiar to FIFA and PES suffers from a similar deceleration of gameplay improvements. The games are still improving and progress is still being made – they are just smaller every year.
This is reflected in the way the series are developed and marketed these days. EA and Konami are less focused on gameplay improvements and their somewhat ridiculous labels – Elite Technique, Pro Instincts, Hyper Shooting, Super Space Auto Tackling 2.0, that sort of thing – and more on new fashions or aesthetic changes. For example, Konami has made every effort to acquire its licenses this year, while EA points FUT and Volta before the changes happen in the field. This is not necessarily a problem, as we still have exciting new features that are worthy of being unveiled each year, but perhaps we should, for the moment, adjust our expectations of what developers can achieve during annual development cycles.
With the next generation of consoles on the horizon, I’m sure a revolution is on the horizon for football games. Until then, we will have to deal with an entirely new mode which, without being revolutionary, constitutes a pleasant alternative to the modes that we know and love (and, sometimes, that we hate). I guess the Volta could boil down to FIFA 20 – but a little different. It is very modern.
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