FIFA ’21

FIFA ’21

Have you ever laced up the boots and headed out to the pitch ready for a game of football? Not American football but the football played around the world? I have since 1996 on the Sega Genesis and still doing it on the Xbox. Another year another FIFA soccer by EA Sports. Believe it or not this is the number one played sports game not only in reality but also in virtual reality. This game is like many other games such as Madden football, MLB The Show, NBA Live and 2K basketball in which it just feels like we’re getting the same game with minor alterations year after year. This year’s different because we have a shiny new interface that looks as if we getting something new, but are we?

All the game modes are back from last season such as Ultimate Team, Volta, my career and of course franchise. This year they give you a new mode, “My Stadium”. In this section of the game you get to customize your home stadium. From anthems, crowd noise, sideline trophies and stadium seat colors are just a few of the settings available to you. You earn more items as you play along and unlock different tiers.

 Of course, the highlight of any FIFA soccer game, since 2009, is always Ultimate Team. If you are not aware of what ultimate team is, you basically build a team from decks of cards that you either purchase with FIFA points, real money or earn by playing the game. You can build your Ultimate Dream Team by having Cristiano Ronaldo play with Pele alongside Lionel Messi. It is and forever will be the most attractive part of playing this game. It’s what constantly brings me back every year to play this game but the flaw is you can grind all year long with FIFA 2020 and once you buy the new game all that you worked for goes away. Did you have a superstar player or maybe 10 of them where you don’t anymore because you have to start from scratch just like everyone else. If you pre-ordered the game you’ve got new packs to start your team with and possibly get yourself a decent team. But in the end, it just feels like the same game as the prior eleven iterations.

Sports games are basically a tradition in the sense that you know you’ll always buy them like clockwork every time they come out on the same week of every month of every year. They’ll always look slightly better with slightly better gameplay with 500 new animations that you never noticed because to you it just all looks the same. I kept telling myself I would not purchase this year’s game because it is going to be the same as last year and people are still playing last year’s games because the servers are still up and my team is very good and I do not want to get rid of that. That did not happen as I did purchase the game and here we are with FIFA 2021.

FIFA has a few draw backs. The biggest one in this EA franchise is, unfortunately the biggest draw, ultimate team. Year after year you grind, earn and sometimes spend real money to get packs of cards in hopes of getting a big star for your squad. Chances are that you don’t get who you are looking for unless you are willing to fork out a lot of cash. I have always had my suspicions that the packs are on several different servers. One server holds packs of cards that you earn through game play and can purchase with the in-game coins you earned. And a separate server holds the packs of cards that you buy with real money. These packs rarely give you the star you are looking for and so you keeping buying in hopes that the next pack holds what you want. If you like gambling, then this is the way to go. Again, this is my suspicion and I have no proof to this. Only proof that I have is that all the grinding and money spent means absolutely nothing in the end when you buy the new version. None of that carries over. It would be nice if EA would at least give you in-game coins in the value of your team.

Another one is the game mode Rivals, in this mode they supposedly match you up with the same skilled players as yourself. This so far has never been the case. Prep yourself, unless your skills are outstanding, this mode is not for amateurs or casual players. And according to EA and its skill placement algorithm, I am at World Class skill level and have yet to not receive a lashing of 5 goals or more. If you want to play other squads and earn coins to buy packs then Squad Battles is for you.

Finally is the transfer market. All successful transfers are charged a 5% transaction fee from the final transfer price. I don’t really understand the purpose of this and it’s never explained as to why.

There isn’t much new in this year’s offering then there was from last year’s version except for the new My Stadium mode and roster updates. So, if you love playing FIFA soccer and you enjoy updated rosters and new team kit’s then you going to love FIFA 21 from EA Sports.

This game was reviewed on the Xbox One X and there will be a huge massive upgrade to the Xbox series X version on December 5th.

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