FIFA 2020: Street is back but will it revive the series?
It's that time of year when the hype is at its peak in the gaming world. EA Sports has a trump card for its biggest title. FIFA Street is back in the game. Can it help turn the series' fortunes around after a rough couple of seasons?
FIFA Street first hit video game stores in 2005 as a spin-off from the main series. It offered a very different style, something akin to watching Ronaldinho in his brilliant prime. Tricks, combos and spectacular skills were the aim. Winning didn't really matter. The game's first edition, in particular, was a success. It was lapped up by fans and went on to have four follow up versions. The series came to an end in 2012.
Last week, however, at the EA Play E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, it was revealed a new street mode named Volta will be added to FIFA's 2020 edition. It is a move that will certainly please some sections of the devoted fan base. But is it just the latest gimmick to paper over the cracks?
Recent FIFA struggles
The FIFA game has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years. A pay to win format in the most popular game mode, Ultimate Team, has turned many away. More than that, the gameplay itself has been full of problems. Bugs have been detected, as well as new features like goalkeeper movement and timed finishing being badly received by pro and casual players alike.
For the last three years, a new story mode starring Alex Hunter has been included. Titled 'the Journey', it received a good reaction at first. That's since worn off for most. The mode won't be in FIFA 20.
Most casual and competitive gamers would be satisfied simply by the major bugs being fixed. They want smoother gameplay.
The Volta mode, then, is perhaps there just to hide the series' flaws.
So far there has been confirmation of a few different modes, such as 3v3, 5v5, etc with various rush goalkeeper options. Volta will also include weekly competitions and the chance to build teams, Ultimate Team style.
EA announced there won't be any microtransactions in Volta, which is hugely important to players. It's an area the company has come under fire for across all titles.
Still, many were disappointed to hear that despite Volta having an online mode, it won't include the option to play with friends on the same team. This in itself seems like EA may have missed a big trick. Offering it could have been the mode's main pull, enticing players who are tired of both Pro Clubs and Ultimate Team in their current formats.
For younger gamers, Volta will provide an opportunity to enjoy a different kind of football game. Such hasn't been on the market for seven years.
Fifa's newest game is due to be released in September. With that in mind, it is hard to judge how good it will be until more details are given. Volta is certainly a promising start. It will bring in a different crowd.
However, it remains crucial that EA resolve the game's main problems. As happened with the Journey, new modes can work and people will enjoy them, but when the game's fundamentals fail, then that is how it will be remembered.