Playing FIFA on a mobile screen feels like a dream come true. But, is it?
FIFA has been, for a very long time, one of the most renowned gaming franchises in the world, let alone the greatest soccer gaming franchises. However, FIFA fans grow weary of the diminishing returns they’re getting with each year’s release, to the point that it almost feels like EA is only releasing roster update patches with some reskins instead of a fully recreated title.
On mobile, the story is a bit different, and the reasons are obvious. Mobile graphics technology has advanced more exponentially and, while it still doesn’t match the power of desktop or console GPUs, the gap between both technologies has shrunk considerably. This essentially means that, with each passing year, the graphical differences between old and new FIFA mobile launches are much more noticeable.
Decent Gameplay… At Least At a Pitch Level
The current FIFA Soccer on mobile looks and feels remarkably more advanced than previous versions. There have also been various enhancements in ball physics and player movement, and while there may still be some obvious room for improvement, EA manages to deliver the most polished sports gaming experience on mobile, for better or worse.
Don’t get me wrong, though! You’ll still find the missing MFi controller support to be a major bummer, and it’s preposterous that, in 2022, games like these still struggle with these kinds of issues! Touch controls are not horrible, but there is absolutely no way that they can replace your trusty controller.
Still, for a mobile game, this game is enjoyable, at least in its core gameplay mechanics. However, I can’t help but rant at EA for basically butchering virtually every other aspect. Get ready, because it will get a bit whiny!
Ultimate Team And Not Much More
Back when I daydreamed about playing FIFA on mobile, I imagined a compacted yet feature-packed career mode wherein I could choose my favorite team and embark on my quest for glory and possibly even the Champions League title (or Champions Cup as it used to be called before EA obtained the Champions League license).
However, FIFA Soccer, apart from some moderately interesting time-limited events, does not stray from Ultimate Team, which for the longest time has been EA’s biggest money-making machine, and one which they seem to be unwilling to let go of anytime soon.
I applaud that they are able to offer people with a competitive spirit a chance to play against other human players, but I sorely miss my offline game modes and can’t seem to really wrap my head around the reasons they decided to scrap that.
Well, at least they let me play with Manchester United this time around (the real one, not a half-cooked UT version of it), but I would have loved to be able to play in the actual Premier League against Premier League teams. Alas, EA is unable to even consider that a possibility.
I don’t even mind paying upfront to be able to play a proper career mode. And in the event that someone brings up “mobile limitations”, we used to have career mode in FIFA 14 Mobile, so there’s that!
It Looks Good!
On a more positive note, I’d be lying if I said I was not impressed by this game’s visuals. 10 years ago, I would not have even dreamed of having a mobile soccer game that looked like this, and it even gives me FIFA 13/14 vibes (the console/PC port).
As said before, the boost in visuals from the previous game is definitely worth praising. The grass looks awesomely detailed, and apart from some baked shadows, the lighting looks impressively good and quasi-realistic. It still has a long way to go in order to match the graphical delivery of console/PC FIFA titles, but you can’t ask for a better compromise than this.
In the end, FIFA Soccer is hit-and-miss, though it misses the mark more than it hits it, if you want my honest opinion. This is not even close to the FIFA experience that I had envisioned and which, for a while at least, was actually offered to us.
Heck, just bring career mode and, if you wish, put a price tag on. If EA does that, I’m bought!
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