FC 24 is the best FIFA yet.
It’s not FIFA but even EA Sports knows it’ll take a generation to move on from it.
EA FC 24 looks better. The same way, it plays better too though some fans are unhappy with the understandably tardy gameplay given the huge number of animations of key player movements.
But the biggest changes are inside the game. Leaving aside the online section, I find the FC 24 Career Mode the best yet by a distance. Loads of new features that make sense shows that EA devs were really listening to the fans.
Here’s the whole bunch.
FC 24 Career Mode: Manager Career
Until EA comes up with a Player Mode that works in first-person, us players will keep to the Manager mode. This time out, we get a Manager mode that takes a bit from FM to bring more tactical and managerial customization to the game. And this is probably the best thing EA has done in years.
Changing team mindset is not new.
Putting a more attacking mindset always meant that I can expect the fullback to go higher up the pitch to put in deep crosses and the CM on the top of my midfield diamond to make it into the box.
The team mindset in FC 24 is the game ‘plan’.
In EA FC 24, you can set up customized team tactics with almost as many options as in FM.
This will determine your team’s shape, individual player movement, playstyle (not PlayStyle) of your team.
So with Tiki Taka on, you’ll always find a player in half space to pass. And when you put it in Counter Attack, expect your Striker to start jostling with the last defender waiting for the long pass forward.
The best part is that the game AI is organic and intelligent enough to tactically implement this if your game play and style is in tune.
Plus, you can attach a tactical vision to each plan, e.g., Tiki Taka to a Defensive plan and Counter Attack to Attacking plan to quickly transition between them.
Tactical Vision Scouting
Including Tactical Vision was the first part. Matching it with player abilities to completely overhaul the scouting system comes next.
Although FM players understand the related complexities all too well, this is new for ex-FIFA players who may not have played FM.
With Tactical Vision Scouting, you can now scout upcoming or potential or established players who match your Tactical Vision.
This helps in getting the right set of players on the team roster.
So now, you can find a potential young defensive winger to make the best of your Counter Attack style. Or an agile CM to play the engine in your Tiki Taka midfield.
FC 24 career mode now includes coaches who can increase anywhere from 3 to 9 player attributes if compatible and contribute towards your team’s tactical efficiency.
Increasing player attributes with the coaches comes down to both the tactical vision in place and position of the player.
Each coach is rated on the 3-tiered knowledge level for Tactical Vision and 1-5 stars for Player Development.
A Wing Play coach will increase player attributes for players in positions crucial to wing play, like crossing, dribbling, acceleration, etc. for wingers and heading, strength, jumping, etc. for strikers. A Tiki Taka will increase other attributes if the tactical vision matches.
The game will automatically put the coach with a matching tactical vision to your selection as the head coach.
Coaches will also play a major role in individual player development.
Player development is divided into 4 departments, from Attack to Goalkeeping. Higher the star rating of the coach in a department, faster the players in that department will achieve their development plans, i.e., grow.
In FC 24, you now need to manage player fitness and sharpness with Training Plans.
Assign player or team specific training plans to manage each player’s and the team’s overall sharpness and fitness.
Not managing this accurately will lead to reduced sharpness or fitness or both leading to higher injury risks and potentially ruining your season.
Another big thing FC 24 has drawn from FM is pre-match analysis.
You can now check your opponent’s tentative line-up, key threats and weakness, form over the last 5 matches – details that will help you pick the right team and the best tactical vision.
EA has done even better to add pre-match training where you can complete specific drills to earn related PlayStyles for key players in your team, for the match ahead.
Watch your simmed matches from varied angles including options to change game plan, between ultra-defending and ultra-attacking, Live.
This is another change, one that has gained strong traction from the community over the years, to be able to watch and manage matches put into sim.
With so many FM features already in the game, this was another one worth the wait.
FC 24 Career Mode: Player Career
Almost an overhaul, player mode is fun but heavily reliant on the AI. That’s gone now with EA adding a better Ai and a lot of new features to it.
FC 24 career modes for player careers have now changed forever with the addition of player agents.
All club interactions, contracts, wages, objectives, everything related to your player career progression are now shared with you via your agent, adding a new dimension to the gameplay.
Target Team & Objectives
You now need to choose a target team earlier on to get your transfer to it. Also, you need to complete Mandatory and Optional objectives that will determine the status of your existing contract with the current team, including whether it’s extended or if you’re asked to look for other clubs.
A major FC 24 gameplay overhaul from the previous Traits system, PlayStyles, and PlayStyle+ will let you add more personalization to your player attributes and skills.
The base personality setup remains the same from FIFA 23. You get to choose between the same 3 personalities – Heartbeat, Maverick and Virtuoso.
You can upgrade your player character to the max level 7 personality. During this, you will get to add PlayStyles available as options to that personality.
This is somewhat similar to in-depth character customizations on RPGs strangely enough but it’s a welcome one.
Although we have yet to get the first-person camera, FC 24 will include a new Focus camera.
Common issue with previous Player Career modes – if you’re playing forward, chances are you might not have the player and the ball in the screen.
With FC 24, that will change as the camera angle will auto zoom to help you check ball trajectory when you call for a long pass while you try to beat the offside trap on the other side of the pitch.
The camera will also zoom in when you’re about to dribble or score or make a tackle for a better gaming experience, lacking even in FIFA 23.
Leaving out the cosmetic changes like player tattoos, more player attire combinations, etc, both FC 24 Career modes bring in a lot of pure gaming features and most of these are doled out almost how we wanted them in the first place. Even if this is not FIFA, EA has outdone themselves with FC 24 and the verdict is commonly unanimous.