THE first Fifa game that isn’t a Fifa game feels very much like a Fifa game.
FC24 may have lost the iconic branding after decades of use, but EA Sports has done a sterling job in pushing on with their latest, and undoubtedly greatest, footie sim.
There’s tons of content in this year’s title, all tweaked and improved in places, with a lovely new sheen and boosted animations really bringing the matchday game to life.
Whether you want a quick Arsenal vs Arsenal classic couch co-op match with your Gunners-mad son or a full-on career mode league push in the Prem, it’s all there.
And you can tweak everything from your formations to your player management and training sessions to get that authentic all-round footballing feel.
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Volta returns and is arguably the most fun part of FC24, with three-on-three or four-on-four matches on arcadey Brazilian mini footie courts, making the street style football, complete with ball tricks and attitude bleeding effortlessly through the telly.
It’s great fun and counteracts well with the highly detailed realism of the rest of the game.
Without Fifa, some may have worried about the loss of real clubs and stars.
But rest assured FC 24 is packed to the gills with the world’s best footballers, competitions and clubs.
There are around 19,000 recognisable players in this game, from Haaland to Messi, Kerr to Mead, and the animation team have done a wonderful job building their images into the game, upping the detail and making player movement seem far more natural than before.
The new HypermotionV technology means that they’re no longer using awkward motion capture suits to feed real-life gameplay into the title.
Instead, they captured movement straight from 180 matches, and that in turn means the game’s characters move more fluidly.
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Squint and it looks indistinguishable from a real match on your screen.
The gameplay itself feels fast and well-balanced this year.
The introduction of Playstyles give a little more video-game to this title, effectively super-boosting top stars and their unique abilities and allowing them to influence a match in those most vital of moments.
Like real-life, these almost superhuman moments are a part of FC24 and allow for some spectacular last-minute goals, in-game jaw-dropping skills and excellent play moments you’ll be reaching to share online with pals.
Cut-scenes also do a good job of building atmosphere, with behind-the-scenes shots and crowd reactions featuring.
On the pitch itself, little breaks in play are used to display core stats like fatigue and your computer-predicted chance of winning directly on the pitch, which gives you a greater sense of urgency and minute-by-minute investment.
Online modes are also well developed and time will tell if this year’s Ultimate Team build is the best yet.
But with the introduction of women footballers into UT for the first time and the ability to mix and match male and female footballers, it’s certainly the biggest overhaul in years.
Overall, a top-tier football game that is packed to the rafters with content and gameplay.
The right tweaks have been made and the visuals have never looked so good.
FC24 doesn’t miss the Fifa branding at all and there’s endless enjoyment to be had here, both solo or with pals either on the couch or online.
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