FIFA20(PC) is still happening.
The modding-and-testing phase is pretty much over. The playing-properly phase has begun.
Career Mode, Professional difficulty, Leeds United.
Incredibly there are still over 7 months of our September-to-August football gaming year remaining. We won’t be halfway through until early March.
A long way to go, and a long time in which to have a proper Career Mode/FIFA experience – for the first time in 5 years. Many readers will be amused and sceptical and just waiting for the ta-da! of a return to PES in some form.
My several seasons of FIFA15 were a long time ago – and even they only happened because PES2015 was delayed to November that year.
I think this time is different. The main reason being the capability on PC to modify the game more to my liking. FIFA20, like all its recent iterations, is already a good game out of the box, but traditionally one that eventually palls for me. With mods, all of that changes.
I completed enough of a modding setup to get going. A Realism mod, a gameplay mod, a graphics mod. All I have to add are a couple of scoreboard mods. There aren’t many mods – FIFA modding is much more centralised and straightforward than PES modding, because it’s so curiously unknown.
Back at the actual game – the main reason for everything – Leeds United are a decent enough Championship outfit for me to have the possibility to progress. Or get sacked after 1 season, which is probably more likely.My avatar in this game. The beard is the colour my beard used to be, 20 years ago. If I grew my beard out today it’d be silver-grey with gingery tufts here and there.
Post-match interviews with visible effects on Team Morale are a thing. My recent Football Manager adventures (still going strong, by the way) have prepared me for this sort of thing, and if anything the options in FIFA20 are a touch more elaborate.
The game moves and plays brilliantly. Here is a full match from last night. One of my early league matches at home vs Nottingham Forest.
This match had something of everything. Goals, a penalty (for me), a sending off, the lot. Best viewed in 1440p, although this will make playback stutter on some browsers/connections.
Is that green too green? It’s like when Charlie Bucket transitioned from his drab grey reality into the glorious Technicolor of Willy Wonka’s factory. In the Gene Wilder original, of course.
I like the colours for now, but if my eyes start complaining about things (as they do a lot these days) I can adjust things down a notch or two if I want, via an in-game overlay that can be summoned with a keypress.
For comparison, here is a little clip I made before I applied the Reshader mod:
Derek Rae and Lee Dixon are fantastic commentators, it should be said.
I’ll want to see the tactical settings having palpable effects on play and how I run the club. Having picked Leeds United, they have a Board Expectation of winning the Championship this season. I already know that is going to be very difficult to do. I accept in advance the conditions of the game I choose to play.By Friday I should have three or four huge sessions under my belt, and we will know if this really is it – a FIFA Career Mode, from nowhere! – or not.
My PS4 is a Death Stranding machine right now. I’ve also got The Witcher 3 on there and intend finally getting around to that this summer. I’m happy with the PS4 because I already have games for it that I plan to attend to, but I wonder if I will ever buy a console game again. I also wonder if I will be at the front of the queue for the PS5 next winter. Waiting to see the rumoured specs in action.