Home Reviews 4.5/5 Review EA Sports FC 24 Review

EA Sports FC 24 Review

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For thirty years, FIFA was the go-to game for the most authentic football experience and I would spend tons of hours playing each new instalment. But FIFA, as we know it, is no more. EA Sports have ended their licensing deal with the football governing body and now start over as EA Sports FC 24.

Is EA Sports FC 24 just the same old game, but with a new name and the usual minor tweaks, or will the rebranding see a host of fresh ideas kickstart the series’ rebirth?

EA Sports FC 24 Review pic
Erling Haaland taking in the atmosphere before the match

Right out of the blocks EA Sports FC 24 shows off a new image for itself through the overall presentation. Menus are noticeably more sleek and professional looking, giving off a simple, yet effective, vibe as you navigate through the different modes on offer. Before delving into what modes you can play, it’s best to focus on the actual gameplay first. EA can’t reinvent the wheel here, but they’ve certainly had a crack at altering aspects all over the pitch.

Giving you more control is the latest mandate, seeing various ways introduced for you to take the initiative and leave less of the action to the AI. Instead of relying on divine intervention, advanced defending lets you decide whether to shoulder barge, block the opponent’s path using strength for a seal out, or go for a standing tackle. It definitely seems as though taking charge and dealing with defensive situations yourself is vital to success.

Conversely, when on the front foot, performing an accurate and manually aimed through ball or aerial pass on a whim is possible thanks to the precision passing technique. Instead of hoping that the in-game assistance plays the ball into the area you want it to and cut through the defence, a simple modifier button gives you licence to do your best Kevin De Bruyne impression. Should you need to beat a fellow player with a dribble however, the first touch knock-ons can really catch the opponent off-guard. Meanwhile, the controlled sprint brings a happy medium speed between jogging and running full pelt. Both of those allow better command of the ball at your feet.

Upon creating chances, you’ll be able to try precision shooting, which replaces semi-assisted shooting and forces you to focus on your aim when lining up a shot. It’s incredibly rewarding to score a goal via this method and the increased accuracy boost gained for attempting to do so is a nice perk. Another nice addition is the ability to dictate that your player throws themselves at an incoming cross to go for a header. Furthermore, the length of time and amount of camera zoom-in is reduced for power shots, which makes them more bearable.

The HyperMotionV technology, which collates data from real-world matches, ensures authenticity is apparent in the movement and reaction animations too. Both myself and a friend instantly noticed the mannerisms of Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana during an EA Sports FC 24 match and couldn’t believe how bang on it was – he even palmed a goal into his own net with those weak hands of his. Obviously it’s less realistic for players outside of the top leagues, but generally it still appears fairly natural.

Sam Kerr is overjoyed with the goal she scored!

And then there are the PlayStyles shaping exactly what the men and women of the football world are capable of. If someone is well known for cheeky chips as keepers rush out towards them, they’ll have the chip shot PlayStyle and improved accuracy in doing them. Despite entering semi-retirement after joining the Saudi Arabian league, Cristiano Ronaldo possesses a host of PlayStyles, including the ability to jump high, pull off fancy manoeuvres, and take enhanced power shots. There are lots of standard types as well as upgraded versions for best ballers in the business. Knowing the players and what they can do will help you decide how to approach certain situations in a match.

Combining all of the new gameplay features makes for wholly unpredictable and exciting match-ups every time. That means FC 24 feels the freshest EA football game for a long, long time. It’s not perfect though, and there are some strange goings on that need patching. I’m talking about bizarre offside decisions and red cards being dished out for the lamest of tackles. Outside of those, EA should also consider removing the random stat overlays covering the entire pitch, mostly as they are bloody annoying.

Moving onto the game modes and the cash cow that is Ultimate Team. Naturally, it receives the biggest influx of new features; the most important of which is the inclusion of women. That’s right, players from the Barclays Women’s Super League (England), D1 Arkema (France), Liga F (Spain), and more, have bolstered the already massive pool of players by over 1500. It’s a no-brainer to incorporate the ladies into Ultimate Team, especially after the World Cup shone the spotlight on many talented individuals.

So, now you can create a hybrid fantasy team with the best of both realms, but there are caveats to bear in mind. The chemistry is reworked to enable teams across the men’s and women’s games to gel as well as those of the same nationality. What makes it trickier to obtain max chemistry is the fact you can’t gain a boost from the leagues; the Premier League and Super League aren’t classed as the same. I get it, however, that will absolutely see less people mixing them and will likely fall back into old habits with the players they’re more used to. And that would be unfortunate.

Evolutions are another prominent feature, which allow you to upgrade cards you already own. For a price, you could evolve a player and improve the core attributes pertaining to their preferred position. It’s not quite as straightforward as that though, with criteria to meet in regards to the evolution chosen and specific challenges to complete to receive the upgrade. I like the idea because you can make your favourite players better and more useful, even if they start out a bit rubbish. Of course that means that one by one, I will evolve the Manchester United team.

The Allianz Stadium is packed for this Juventus home tie

There’s still tons to do in Ultimate Team too. Go it alone in squad battles, friendlies, the draft, and rivals/champions, or partner up for some co-op action in most of the aforementioned match types. Almost everything you do will see progress towards the massive amount of rewarding objectives, including the seasonal timeline filled with packs, players, and club customisations to earn. You’ll also earn coins throughout the mode to spend on the transfer market or opening a variety of packs. Your dream team awaits.

As for Clubs, the mode allowing teams of up to eleven players to battle it out against each other, and changes are afoot there as well. The ten divisions of FIFA 23 are now condensed to five leagues, with seasons taking place over a set time period. At the end of a season, playoffs begin against those in the same league in a bid to earn fans, reputation and trophies. After years of yoyo-ing from division ten up to seven and back down again, it’s morale boosting that relegation is no longer a possibility. Gaining a higher reputation for your club is the focus to improve the overall ratings of the AI teammates, unlock more prestigious stadiums and access extra customisation options.

Matchmaking is much more reliable in Clubs and finding an opponent seems pretty quick on each attempt. I believe this is, in part, due to cross-play being enabled. If your on Xbox Series X|S then this lets you matchmake with, and line up alongside, players on PS5 and PC.

You might not think it’s much, but Clubs enthusiasts have been feeding on scraps for years, so this is a big step. For some reason it’s lumped in with Volta Football again though, with shared seasonal progression and certain virtual pro rewards available in both.

And speaking of Volta Football, the street football style offering that isn’t a patch on the FIFA Street series, there’s not an awful lot to shout about. If you usually enjoy Volta Football, then expect more of the same, just with new gear to kit out your character and a selection of silly mini-games. That’s assuming you aren’t denied entry due to server errors which are affecting some players. Thankfully, I couldn’t care less whether it works on one day and not on another, but it’s a blow for the ardent supporters of the mode.

If you prefer playing by yourself, the solo Careers have plenty of depth to captivate for hours and hours. Beginning with the highlights in the Manager Career, you’ll be imprinting your tactical identity on the team and hiring staff to support your vision. There’s also the opportunity to train players pre-match and give them a PlayStyle boost for that particular encounter. The new touchline camera doesn’t do anything for me personally because it’s hard to see what’s going on from the technical area.

Jude Bellingham applauding the supporters

As for the Player Career, it’s the usual drill of training hard, catching the manager’s eye whenever you get a chance, and hitting targets to trigger contract extensions. Aside from the new ways to spend your earnings and refine your personality, the player agent is the only other notable addition. The agent essentially pops up with potential opportunities to join another team and provides an outline of how to achieve the transfer. It’s surely the bane of every manager’s life, and to be honest I didn’t enjoy being offered a move to Brentford just two weeks into my career at Old Trafford.

Still, the dual Career offerings are worthwhile options thanks to everything present from previous iterations. Other than the aforementioned modes, you’re left with the dregs of EA Sports FC 24. I’m joking, obviously, as it’s not really that bad delving into online seasons, tournaments, friendlies, or even kick-off. It’s just these game modes don’t have the same draw and substance as Ultimate Team, for example. The brand new training mode, Learn to Play, is excellent for newcomers and regulars alike to get a handle on everything though, so don’t skip it folks.

EA Sports FC 24 has really stepped up for the rebrand and the gameplay is the most interesting it has been in years. The majority of game modes are improved, with changes across the board and Ultimate Team finally incorporating the women’s teams. It’s authentic, professional looking and exciting to play time and time again.

If you love football, there’s no doubt you’ll be gripped by the dynamism of EA Sports FC 24.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
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Been gaming casually since the SNES as a youngster but found my true passion for games on the Playstation 1 (the forbidden word ooo). My addiction grew to its pinnacle with the purchase of an Xbox 360 & Xbox Live Service. A recovering GS hunter that will still play literally any game.
ea-sports-fc-24-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>A fresh start with improvements aplenty</li> <li>Exciting and dynamic gameplay</li> <li>A plethora of game modes</li> <li>Women incorporated into Ultimate Team</li> <li>HyperMotionV delivers authenticity</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Volta Football and server issues</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - EA</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (reviewed), Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 29 September 2023 | £69.99</li>
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Darrin
Darrin
5 months ago

I think its crap not any better than the last one actually worse I’d say waste of money, if you have 23

Hugh Turner
Hugh Turner
9 months ago

an informative review.
It’s not a ‘rebrand’. EA and FIFA have parted ways.. there was news that FIFA were getting 100mill per year from EA on royalties.. someone in marketing at EA decided enough was enough.. that’s why the game’s changed name becayse they cant call it “FIFA” anymore.

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