EA Sports FC 24 may not roll off the tongue as well as FIFA 24, but that’s all you’ve got to worry about with EA’s rebranding of its popular FIFA football game franchise.
Long ago, the diehards would dismiss EA’s FIFA games as commercial sellouts, a rudimentary football arcade game compared to Konami’s superior Pro Evolution Soccer. PES fans, dismissing the familiarity of the licenced clubs in EA’s FIFA franchise would, instead, have to pick the likes of “North London” instead of Arsenal, or “Merseyside Red” instead of Liverpool. Teams made up of phonetically named players similar to the real ones but spelt differently for licencing reasons added to the cringe. The inevitable (unofficial) patch would then be released, post-launch to rename all the teams and players properly. But this was back when the FIFA licence was worth something and Pro Evolution Soccer ruled the roost.
EA Sports has long got to grips with its digital rendition of the beautiful game, the annual FIFA games rarely leaving the top ten of the best-seller list. Whilst each iteration was never a revolution, over the years, the developers have transformed the game into a technical marvel, perfectly capturing the essence of what makes football the world’s game.
So, when EA’s FIFA licence wasn’t renewed, it wasn’t the big deal that the global football governing body thought it would be. Unlike Konami back in the day, EA Sports secured all the teams, players, tournaments and cup licences to continue their franchise without the blessing of FIFA. All that’s missing is the FIFA World Cup, which is no loss, to be honest.
What we have with EA Sports FC 24 is, effectively, everything that a FIFA 24 game would have been, with just a different name.
EA has taken this opportunity to spruce up the menus a bit, but they are still as unintuitive as most EA Sports titles. So, if you are familiar with the usual EA Sports arse-backwards menu systems you’ll still feel right at home.
As well as the rebranding, the game has all the usual visual tweaks and stat updates that are the bread and butter of annual sports games. The game uses a new version of the Frostbite Engine and something called “Play Styles” that better interprets players’ real-world abilities into the game.
FC 24 does look good and the player animations are incredibly realistic. This is likely down to the big improvement this year- the implementation of Hypermotion V Technology. I don’t want to sound like I’ve been drinking from the EA fountain, but the game really does have a next-level vibe to it. Whereas recent FIFA games have used data captured from real players, Hypermotion V Technology uses the captured volumetric data of entire 11-person teams from over 180 elite-level matches.
All the game modes that you’d expect are included. You can jump straight into a quick friendly against a computer control opponent or friends, locally. There’s the player career mode, allowing for a more personal journey through FC 24, or you can get involved in the details of running a club with the manager career mode. There are all the competitive online modes and, of course, the collectable card game/fantasy football mashup, Ultimate Team.
For the first time, EA Sports FC 24 Ultimate Team brings male and female players together in the same team. Despite the new franchise name, I was pleased to be able to bring my currency across from FIFA 23 and start fleshing out my own Ultimate Team with new card packs. Still massively deep, it’s easy to sink lots of time (and cash) into building up your perfect squad.
For those that like their football short and sweet Volta Football offers players quick Futsal-type matches on open and fences courts. Volta now offers online cross-play, the same as other online modes, with players using the same generation of hardware (i.e. PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC) all being able to play together.
All the above is for nought if the players are not responsive on the pitch, which they very much are. As with its FIFA predecessors, FC 24 perfectly captures the nail-biting excitement of football. Missed goals and fouling opponents will have you shouting at the TV, with perfectly-timed offensive attacks rewarding you with exhilaration. FC 24 is a beautiful game, both visually and in its gameplay.
EA Sports FC 24 is the complete package continuing the legacy of EA’s FIFA franchise. The amazing gameplay, and incredible on-pitch visuals, all wrapped up in the signature EA TV broadcast-style presentation make this a must-buy for FIFA fans.
Released: August 2023
Platforms reviewed: Xbox Series X
Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: EA Games