I generally only play Career Mode. Because I wouldn’t say I like E.A. And won’t give them all my money like they want you to do (and advocate for in children’s toy magazines) in Ultimate Team Mode. So Career Mode is all I’ll be able to tell you about. And let me tell you that FIFA 21 has the potential to be amazing for us career mode folks. So the answer is a resounding “Yes, but,” as there are still some massive issues/concerns.
Please never spend your money on the limited/champions/whatever special edition(s) of FIFA. Paying $90 for this game would be like spending $10 for a hot dog at a baseball game, just stupid. E.A. tried to be slick and give us Career Mode players a “perk” if we do, giving us “One free homegrown player with world-class talent. At the start of every career mode save!” Although if you’ve ever played career mode, you’d know it takes about 10 seconds to find/cheat your way into getting a super high potential youth player.
Second, they changed EVERYTHING about career mode. Jump-in features, live simulation, new training/development interface, increased detail to valuations, “better” player faces, more unique names and faces for youth players, new board goals/requirements, “better” dynamic potential FIFA 20. Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, as we all know, E.A. usually shovels the same thing down career mode players’ throats. A new title updates every year, basically just paying $60 for fresh faces. Here’s the biggest problem I have with them completely revamping the mode: If they never really sat down and fixed career mode bugs in the past, what are they going to do when ALL of their fancy, new features undoubtedly bug in the upcoming months? This game has the potential to be groundbreaking for Career Mode. However, it also has the potential to be unbelievably annoying for us. In the beta, there were a few pretty glaring bugs I noticed, mostly with player attitudes and complaints that made no sense (No, Perr Schuurs, I have not been playing you at left-wing, you are a center back, stop complaining.) as well as the other odd bugs here and there. (None of them as bad as the “Undefined” bug of FIFA 20 I.M.O., though.) If they were slow to fix the 1–2 major bugs of FIFA’s past, what makes us think they’re going to fix the 10–15 that all these new features will undoubtedly have?
With every good in this new game, there’s also some bad. The new training interface is amazing, but also kind of O.P. already. No longer do you have to worry about your Cristiano Ronaldo regen getting 1-star skills moves, while your L.B. prospect has five stars. With the new system, you can train that Ronaldo regen so that his skill moves increase, and you can change that L.B. to an LM/LW pretty easily. That’s great, but what I noticed in the beta was this was unbelievably O.P. I ended up about five years into a CM save, and EVERYONE on my team, save for my goalkeepers and C.B.’s, had either 4/5 star skill moves. That’s super cool and all, but unrealistic. Not to mention you can kind of use this feature to turn a random player into a god. For fun and memes, I took Mattia De Sciglio and converted him to an R.M., then R.W. in a save and made sure he had pretty good stats, and voila, in 3 years, he went from a mid/upper 70’s to a 90 overall leading the league in goals. Once again, super cool, but yeah, I don’t think that one will be happening in real life anytime soon, sorry Mattia. (Obviously, that’s part of the fun of Career Mode, I get it, but hey, there’s gotta be SOME realism, right?)
Also, don’t forget Frostbite is still doing the physics engine in the game, and we all know how much flak they’ve been getting ever since they started on FIFA 17, A.K.A. the beginning of the real FIFA downfall. (There are some really good YouTube videos on that if you have the time).
I think the most annoying thing, for me at least, is how in about two years, the entire country of Italy might not exist in FIFA. Konami and P.E.S. have been buying the crap out of all the licensing for Italy. You thought “Piemonte Calcio” was bad? Now we got “Roma FC” and uh… “Borgocalcio” as well as no Serie B at all. (This is mostly sad as CM legend Hachim Mastour is on a team that just got promoted to Serie B, and we were all looking forward to him being back in the game.) Along with no Camp Nou or Allianz Arena, it feels like FIFA absorbs at fighting off Konami for licensing, which is annoying because no matter how bad FIFA gets, I have never really seriously considered buying P.E.S.
When it comes down to it. This game has the chance to be amazing, but just as much a chance to be incredibly annoying and frustrating. I will be waiting for a good bit. Probably until the new year, to buy this game, both, so I only have to pay maybe $40 instead of $60 and gauge how other players rate the game over the first few months of release. I have high hopes, though, so hopefully, E.A. doesn’t let us down like they always do. So there’s my long “Yes, but…” answer. I hope this helps.
Side note, the soundtrack is pretty good. But you come to expect that.