FIFA is… back?
And this time for real?
No more single-season, shilly-shallying, toe-in-the-water, yes-it’s-nice-but-I’m-ready-to-go-back-to-PES-now?
A true and proper, in-depth, Master League-style Career Mode career?
One that could potentially continue for several weeks, months – or even for the rest of the football game year?
IS IT POSSIBLE?It bloody is possible.
In fact, it is happening.
At the time of writing I have played three full-fat, hugely impressive sessions on a modded version of FIFA20.
I’m playing on the PC platform, using several mods that alter certain fundamentals of the game. Which needs to be understood right off the bat.
This is NOT the FIFA20 that comes out of the box. From next week on the blog there’ll be a new sidebar info box containing a list of all the mods and tweaks in use at any one time, that will be updated as time passes.
And that is the key to this exciting new FIFA era: mods.
Vanilla FIFA20, which I played several matches of a few months ago, was still firmly in the ‘good but not great’ category, for me.
Modded FIFA PC is currently in the ‘great’ category. Possible even the ‘bloody fantastic’ category.
I’ll expand on all of this over the next few weeks (and maybe months).
At the moment it’s safe to say that it’ll be a good FIFA test this year. I’ve used up a lot of footy gaming energy on PES2020, to the point where I can barely stand to think about the very idea of PES2020 anymore. I imagine there’ll be some PES along at some point before season 2019-2020 is over and done with…
But for now – modded FIFA PC! Hereafter known simply as FIFA20(PC).
Here’s a taster of the game running with scoreboard, pitch and texture mods, and most significantly, a gameplay mod (much credit to FIFER for this – I was a sceptic). There’s also a comprehensive Realism mod for Career Mode running that might or might not have taken root in my save – it’s one of the issues I will have to hammer out before getting up and running properly.
For now, here’s a glimpse of match action within a Leeds Utd CM save that I started at random to do some testing. I have already taken so much of a shine to it that I might even continue this save. I could change my manager name – A A Manager – using a handy PC utility, predictably.
Or I might just leave it at A A Manager…
(Best viewed in 1440p.)
It’s hard to convey just how different and good the above action feels in the bones of your gamepad-holding hands.
It’s slow and steady and majestic. The world ‘rugged’ would not be out of place. One of the dislikable things about vanilla FIFA of recent years has always been how it can quickly spiral into a frantic, hand-cramping melee that reminds you you’re only playing a videogame. So far, that isn’t happening.
I’ll be doing my best to show and tell what I mean by all this, over the coming weeks.
I haven’t mentioned fouls yet, because I don’t want to jinx them. One of the supposed features of the FIFER gameplay patch is to make fouls more likely. Such ambitions in football game patches and mods tend to be so much moonshine, in my experience, but so far I am seeing a few fouls in every match. Not at excessive number, usually in the 2-4 range, but any amount is a higher number than the usual 0 foul-count of recent FIFAs. I have free kicks in shooting range that I comically have no idea how to take. More practice, of course.
Career Mode’s time in general has come. Master League… poor old Master League. I don’t even want to think about what they’ve done to Master League. Year on year, it has only got worse when they claim to be making it better. Ugh.
Some context: I am also playing Football Manager 2019 right now, and loving the whole thing more than is healthy. So my thoughts and general attitude are in sync with the greater complexity of Career Mode. The stars are truly aligning here.
I traditionally do a 1st Impressions post for every new PES and award it a playful score out of 10 rightaway. At the time of writing I can safely say my first impressions of FIFA20(PC) merits a 9.5/10.
FIFA on this blog has a deep and lively history all of its own – more than you might think, if you are a reader of recent vintage. The curious can go back and look at how I played some FIFAs for months. Particularly the likes of FIFA08, FIFA09, FIFA12, and FIFA15.
FIFA20? Let’s see. Let’s just see….