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Fluid FIFA 21’s serious approach to Career Mode will keep you hooked all season

It’s that time of year again when FIFA threatens to completely take over our lives.

And well, given what’s happened this year, we’re just about okay with that!

After a long weekend of nothing but FIFA, pizza and a very limited amount of sleep, we want to share our thoughts on EA’s brand new game.

Fluid, fun and fast

One thing that was instantly noticeable with the new game was the pacing. The gameplay in general just feels slicker, contrary to previous years where the build-up to goals has felt rather sluggish in places.

The ball moves more quickly across the pitch and players who thrive on that in real life do so in the game.

And speaking of goals, they’re much cleaner this time around. No stunted delays, no small steps before finally putting the ball away, just clean and authentic finishes.

Volta Football is back for another year and looks cleaner than ever

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Volta Football is back for another year and looks cleaner than ever

Team press

Now this feature is something FIFA fans have wanted for a long time, and with FIFA 21 it feels like we’re just about there.

When you lose the ball, ‘team press’ is particularly useful for trying to win back possession, and much like it would be in real life, it’s just not sustainable for the entire game. Sorry, Pep fans.

Authenticity is a trait fans want from these sort of games, and with fluidity and lifelike pressing functionalities in the mix, FIFA 21 is up there already for making the game feel like a genuine football match.

Kylian Mbappe is an absolute menace on FIFA 21

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Kylian Mbappe is an absolute menace on FIFA 21

Co-operative play

Now we all love a bit of Ultimate Team, and this year, the folks at EA have introduced a great new feature.

Both you and your mate receive rewards for playing, which gives an added incentive for those Friday night FIFA sessions over winter. If you’ve been playing FIFA for a long time with your mates, this is a lovely touch.

I have to admit, I wasn’t blown away by the new live FUT friendlies, but you can’t have it all!

Stadiums look better than ever in the new game

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Stadiums look better than ever in the new game

Career mode

Now if you’re like me, career mode has always been a big part of my FIFA experience.

With FIFA 21, it very much feels like they’ve tried to make a step towards a more Football Manager-style system. There is a far bigger focus on training this time around, and if you’re the sort of gaffer that likes to bring through the next generation of talent, you’ll be spending a fair amount of time with this feature.

The interactive simulator for match-days is something I’ve waited a long time for, and as mentioned before, it gives you a real FM-feel to proceedings in its own EA way.

If you’re serious about career mode, FIFA 21 is definitely for you.

Career Mode on FIFA 21 is the best part about it

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Career Mode on FIFA 21 is the best part about it

Verdict

After a full weekend of playing, FIFA 21 is an absolute delight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not quite perfect, and updates like the stadium customisation in FUT just wasn’t what I was looking for.

But for me, FIFA was always about high-scoring games and general end-to-end madness. With the pace of the game certainly ramped up this time around, I’ve loved every second of it so far.