EA has revealed the first details of what’s to come in FIFA 20, more than a week before the game is officially announced.
Huge changes are coming to both ends of the pitch, with an overhaul promised for defending as a whole as well as changes to skills, passing, shooting and tackling.
Fans and pros alike have been clamouring for changes to FIFA’s new defending system since the game came out.
Talking to Sun Online before the ePremier League finals earlier this year, Southampton’s Owen Venn singled out timed finishing and keeper movement as among the reasons FIFA 19 is “the worst we have had” before encouraging EA to roll all the changes back and try again.
It looks like they’re taking his advice, because both of those issues are getting major changes.
Timed finishing is going to get harder for everyone with the time you’ve got to hit a perfect shot being halved, and the accuracy being dialled down across the board, with trickier shots being hit even harder.
The effectiveness of keeper movement “is being heavily reduced” according to the developers.
Goalies’ speed is going to be reduced to more realistic levels, and players will be forced to “commit to a direction” when controlling keepers manually.
The biggest single change is to computer-controlled defending, though.
EA admitted this had been “continuously mentioned and requested” by players, but said it couldn’t be changed mid-year because of how far-reaching the changes are.
Next year “manual defending will be emphasised” and be made “more rewarding”, and a new system will reward manual tackling too, rather than just letting the game’s AI do the job for you.
At the other end of the pitch, one-on-one situations are going to become easier for strikers.
Goalkeepers will have less “superhuman” reactions, and other changes are being made “resulting in more shots on target and better consistency in easy situations”.
The idea is that these changes will reward good play that sets up what should be easier goals, rather than the current system that makes scoring a worldie easier than setting up a standard team goal.
Top player’s tricks are getting slapped down too.
Currently “chaining” tricks together, such as doing multiple stepovers in quick succession or doing repeated flick-ups, is almost impossible to defend against and results in unrealistic and ridiculous plays.
That should happen less next time out, with the chances of the playing fluffing it increasing exponentially with each trick you do in sequence.
FIFA 20 is going to be officially unveiled at EA Play, the fan festival EA is throwing just before E3 kicks off in Los Angeles, next Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m.
In the meantime, you can read about all the changes in even more detail on EA’s site.