FIFA 20 first review: Our verdict after playing an early version
With the launch of EA SPORTS FIFA 20 just over a month away now, some lucky FIFA players have got their hands on the FIFA 20 Beta version, in which they can play a restricted number of game modes.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a FIFA 20 Beta invite, and even if we did, we couldn’t tell you anything about it!
The good news is that we did spend some time with an event build of FIFA 20, which was clearly a work in progress, but there was enough to indicate the direction that FIFA 20 is going in this year.
We want to clarify that this is not a review of the FIFA 20 Beta, which may be further along than the event build that we played, and we weren’t able to collect any screenshots or gameplay during the time we played it.
Here’s what we thought of FIFA 20 from the short time we had with it.
FIFA 20 Review – Event Build
Compared to FIFA 19, FIFA 20 felt very different almost immediately.
FIFA 20 – Tempo
The tempo of the game was unrecognisable compared to last year’s FIFA, or any other year for that matter, with the whole game slowed down, presumably to try and match the tempo we see in real-life football.
I cannot emphasise enough just how different FIFA 20 feels to any other FIFA game I’ve ever played.
The impact of this change was that keeping the ball became absolutely crucial, because when you lost the ball, it would feel like your opponent had the ball for a very long time, with pressing not as effective as in FIFA 19.
Compared to FIFA 19, FIFA 20 felt like your players were running through honey.
FIFA 20 – Pace
Another impact of the lower tempo was that players with genuine pace really stood out, so the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were able to get past defenders with a bit of skill and then a quick turn of a pace, something was was nearly impossible in FIFA 19.
FIFA 20 – Strength
Something else that struck me was how strength and pace together could make players almost impossible to stop, in both an attacking and defensive sense.
For example, Leroy Sane seemed particularly tall and strong, so when he got going, it was very hard to tackle him.
Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk is absolutely incredible, having the perfect mix of pace, power and technical ability. He was able to tackle most of City’s players without much difficulty.
FIFA 20 – Shooting
In the game I played, Manchester City beat Liverpool 2-0, with Sergio Aguero getting both of the goals from just outside the area.
The shooting felt a lot more responsive and realistic, particularly the trajectory of the ball when it’s struck and how the position of the player impacted the effectiveness of the shot.
The two goals I scored with Aguero were pretty much carbon copies of each other, taking a touch, turning onto his right foot and shooting into the far corner from a central position. I didn’t use any special type of shot, just the B/O button itself, but both shots spun way from goal as they were struck, which is a welcome change, as pressing the shoot button on FIFA 19 was a bit of a lottery.
FIFA 20 – Possible META’s
I tried back post headers, they don’t seem to be as effective.
Chained skill moves are much more difficult to pull off though, which is a welcome addition.
One-two’s in midfield seemed particularly good for both keeping the ball and progressing up the field, as they’re quite quick and easy to pull off, with the slow pace of the game, it just slightly changes the pace and allows your players a slight advantage.
FIFA 20 – Realism
The game looks better than ever, with a few subtle tweaks that really add to the experience.
Player likenesses are closer than ever before, even with running styles.
I was amazed to see that Raheem Sterling’s famous running style, where it looks like he’s actually leaning back slightly as he runs, is in the game – and it looks incredibly realistic.
FIFA 20 Overall
I have to say that overall, I really enjoyed how different FIFA 20 feels.
Maybe that’s due to the fact I prefer to play with a possession style, so I may be slightly biased in that regard, but I enjoyed having controlled periods of possession, where you can try and find ways through your opponent, without being worried about players crashing into you at 100 miles an hour.
I wasn’t a massive fan of FIFA 19 for this exact reason, it felt like you had to play a fast-paced style in order to be successful, because that was the most effective way. The FUT Champions Weekend League is full of players who pass and press at an incredibly high-tempo, because they know it’s easier to win that way. But it’s not for everyone.
I also enjoyed how pace actually makes a difference, and it feels like for the first time in a long time that the attacking players have the advantage, over the defenders. Apart from Van Dijk.
It’s obviously an incredibly early version of the game, so it may change between now and launch, but from the short time I had with it, FIFA 20 felt fresh and different, and in a good way.
Check out our round-up on everything we know about FIFA 20 so far HERE .
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EA SPORTS™ FIFA 20 on PlayStation ® 4, Xbox One, and PC officially launches September 27, 2019. However, you can play from September 24th with 3 Days Early Access, if you purchase the Champions or Ultimate edition.