EA Sports are on a mission, not quite Tom Cruise impossible style (sorry I thought it was apt with his new film out), but a very possible mission of creating the most realistic football game the world has ever seen. SPORTbible were lucky enough to get some hands on time with the first version of the EA Sports FC game and get a sneak peek behind the curtain ahead of the games launch on September 29.
ADDITION OF WOMEN IN ULTIMATE TEAM
For the first time ever in the game, men's and women stars will be playable together, with users able to mix and match with players when building their teams. Women's teams were first introduced to the franchise back in 2015 but this will be the first version of the game where they are available to use in one of EA Sports FC most popular modes. One of the most asked questions about the introduction was how the female players would be measured against the men in terms of physicality and attributes. Players will be rated based on their real-life opposition so for instance cover star Sam Kerr will be compared against City Women's defender Steph Houghton rather than Ruben Dias of the mens team but overall the attributes will be the same. It is another groundbreaking step for the women's game after Kerr became the first female cover star last year.
HYPERMOTION V TECHNOLOGY
Arguably one of the most innovative and exciting announcements regarding the new game is the introduction of Hypermotion V technology. What is Hypermotion V technology I hear you ask? Well if you're familiar with EA Sports football games, it was first brought in back in FIFA 22 and upgraded to Hypermotion 2.0 in FIFA 23. It was an engine that enhanced real animations of players to make the game as real as possible. Learning from millions of frames capturing real life game play and creating animations in real time to provide unprecedented realism in the game. (that was as simple as I could explain it)
'HyperMotionV looks unbelievable to be honest. The level of detail that has gone into the gameplay is frightening and we're still months away from launch and it feels much more personal. Rather than learning from generic 11v11 games which was already impressive enough, it now has the ability to learn from individuals and create a more unique experience for each player.
THREE LEADING INNOVATIONS
Along with Hypermotion V there are two more innovations that will improve the overall gameplay.
- Hypermotion V (Move) - focuses on movement
HyperMotionV captures the game as it’s truly played, using volumetric data from more than 180 professional men’s and women’s football matches to influence player movements in-game.
- Playstyles (Play) - All about play, ensuring every player on the game has a distinct way of playing.
PlayStyles comes from real-world player data from Opta and other sources, giving players unique capabilities that make their way of playing look and feel more authentic
- Frostbite (Look) - Ensuring that the gameplay looks as real to life as possible
All-new SAPIEN character technology transforms the way players look and move with realistically redesigned player models that are 10x more anatomically precise and correct down to the smallest detail, and GPU cloth stretches and ripples to showcase more athleticism, making every slide and every celebration more like real-world football.
ULTIMATE TEAM EVOLUTIONS
Disappointed that your favourite player has never received a team of the week, team of the season or upgrade card? Fear no more! Introducing the 'Evolutions' feature which will allow players to upgrade ANY player of their choosing with in-game challenges. If your favourite player happens to be Andy Carroll, you can complete objectives with him - e.g score 2 goals to give him a special card with upgraded attributes.
PRO CLUBS DITCHING THE PRO IN NEW LOOK
Clubs is no more, instead the mode has been rebranded as just 'clubs' as part of a whole shake up. In a move possibly inspired by the popular Ultimate team mode, relegations have now been scrapped, replaced by a division style like UT where teams need to gain enough points to move up the divisions and reach the 'elite' divisions. A feature that might mean me and my mates stop deleting our club every time we get relegated. There will also be playoff matches introduced to add an element of excitement to the mode with the divisions being reset every 6 weeks (much like Ultimate team)
Another bit of news that will delight fans is that there will now be crossplay available across Clubs. The EA community have long cried out for the ability to play the game mode with friends across Xbox, Playstation and PC but until now have only ever been able to play with those on the same console. The addition of crossplay will allow players to link up with people across platforms to play friendlies, league and cup matches as well as drop-in games.
Not only are EA attempting to make the most realistic game possible on the field, there is a lot of focus on improving off it too. With the introduction of total management, they want players to have more control over how their team plays. Users will now have seven tactical visions to choose from including Tiki Taka, Gegenpressing and Park the Bus. You can now fully embrace your inner Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp when preparing your team for matches as well as new training plans and pre-match reports on your opposition with EA attempting to 'make each match a unique experience'.
AGENTS ARE HERE
As well as making improvements to manager career, EA are also making changes to player-career mode to again ensure players have the most realistic experience possible when playing as one individual. Part of that effort is the introduction of player agents to give users 'more control over their career'. Agents are a big part of real world negotiations and now players will be able to employ their own agent to negotiate their deals. There will also be more 'personal' play styles to give players a unique experience, focus camera on their pros as well as cut scenes if you're ever lucky enough to win the Ballon d'Or.
NEW COMMENTARY TEAM
Don't worry, we aren't saying goodbye to Derek Rae and Stewart Robson, a secondary commentary team in the form of Guy Mowbray and Sue Smith is being added to EA Sports FC 24. The pair will be bringing their dulcet tones to 'Kick off Mode' and 'Ultimate Team'. Mowbray has been a mainstay on BBC Match of the Day, commentating on the Premier League and FA Cup as well as international tournaments. Sue Smith is a regular pundit on Sky Sports as well as a former England player.
EA have really shown they are listening to their community ahead of the new game and another improvement they have made has been to ICONS. One of the criticisms in previous versions of the game was the lack of chemistry ICONS provided to teams making them less inviting to use. Icons will have more ways to boost your chemistry in Ultimate Team this year. The new Chemistry system has divided opinion with some players wishing to revert back to the old system of red, yellow and green links but it seems EA are more keen to improve the current system rather than revert back.
You can watch the full gameplay deep-dive on EA SPORTS youtube channel