Soccer fans rejoice! Most leagues will kick off their 2020-21 season at their normal dates despite the issues surrounding COVID-19, and for gamers, this can only mean another FIFA game is coming fast upon us. Yes, my soccer-loving friends, FIFA 21 is on its way and is slated to drop on October 9th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, with the next-gen versions made available once the systems come out. And if you’re anything like me, you probably want to hear about a reason you should go out and buy yet another edition of a FIFA game. Well, let me tell you now this year’s iteration of the long-running series is shaping up to be the definitive way to play FIFA together with your friends.
For starters, Volta makes its return as the newly dubbed Volta Squads and, besides the addition of a noun at the end of the title, will now include a cooperative mode that allows for you and up to four friends to join together and compete against other teams online. Volta Squads will come with more customization options available for you to style your avatars and new levels for you and your friends to demonstrate your skills on the field. EA also says on the gameplay side, Volta Squads has been tweaked in order to create faster-paced, intelligent squad movement, and more rewarding one on one situations.
Many of these same cooperative features will also be extended to FIFA Ultimate Team, which now has a new co-op functionality that finally allows for a friend to play alongside you on the pitch. Both you and a friend can compete in either Division Rivals and Squad Battles to earn weekly progress and rewards. FUT also comes with a bevy of new options, including some new ways to customize the look of your team on the field and your supporters in the stands. EA also notes players who purchase FIFA 21 on the current-gen consoles will be able to transfer their progress over to the new consoles if they choose to make the jump this holiday season.
The campaign mode returns with new additions that create additional depth in matches, transfers, and training to give you more control over your team. These new functionalities allow you greater insight into your team’s performance, including a new Interactive Match Sim that lets you monitor game data while giving you the option to jump in and out of key moments of each match. FIFA 21‘s career mode is said to give you greater options to simulate real-world experiences both on and off the pitch, such as new ways to sign and loan players. EA also enhanced the opposition’s AI to make both attacking and defending more challenging, keeping each game feeling fresh.
Gameplay-wise, FIFA 21 looks to switch the attention back to attacking after last year’s emphasis on defense. EA says they added a new agile dribbling system that gives you greater control and responsiveness in one-on-one situations. They also claim to have created greater positional awareness in the AI, meaning less probability of an offside call as you move up the pitch. Other additions include manual headers, more balanced blocking, and more intelligent passing options. But whether or not these additions truly impact the gameplay, only time will tell.
Stay tuned for the full reveal in August this year. For all other inquiries, visit EA’s dedicated FIFA 21 page here.