By Coach Alex
As we approach the end of the FIFA 20 cycle, here’s a look at five things that EA needs to change going into FIFA 21!
NEAR POST FINISHING
Usual near post shots should have no chance of going in – they hardly do in real life, but for some reason EA deemed it a good idea to make near post finishing an overpowered way of scoring, creating a massive imbalance in FIFA 20. With limited space and a hoard of defenders breathing down your neck, near post shots should be a product of wishful thinking. A hope that somehow, someway, the ball will find its way into the back of the net, even though you know that deep down, the goalkeeper should save it without any hassle. Near Post Finishing should be nerfed hard on FIFA 21! It’s necessary to make the game more balanced, less random and more skill based.
AI defending made FIFA 19 a pain to play, but even after the furor from the FIFA community, EA decided to include AI defending in FIFA 20, making it easy to rely on AI-controlled players to make blocks and intercept the ball. AI defending on FIFA 20 might not be as OP as it was back on FIFA 19, but it’s still far too OP for a competitive game. EA needs to nerf it on FIFA 21 and channel their efforts towards making manual defending more rewarding, which brings us to our next point:
FIFA’s tackling mechanic is broken and it has been the case for years now. It is much more rewarding to jockey and intercepts the ball than it is to dive in for a well-timed tackle. Because when you win the ball back, it almost always finds its way back to your opponent’s player. EA needs to make tackling more possession-based on FIFA 21 in a bid to make it more rewarding. A possession-based tackling system will allow you to retain possession of the ball after a clean tackle instead of giving it back to the player you just stole it from. This will remove a lot of randomness from FIFA 21 while adding more depth to its overall defending mechanic.
This is a problem that stretches into the past few iterations of FIFA. FIFA 18, was pretty much the last FIFA title that had intelligent attacking AI, since then EA has gone down the route of making the game’s attacking AI less dynamic and more static. A decision which has reduced the game’s pace of play and made it difficult to play fluid football. AI-controlled players barely make intelligent runs on FIFA 20 – they stand around waiting for you to make pass after pass before they even bother to exploit free space – this is why we’ve had to deal with a boring ‘pass and turn’ META. EA needs to increase the game’s pace for FIFA 21 and to do that, they need to buff the attacking AI. This will make the game more fun, while also raising its skill gap!
Icon Swaps was presented as a way to make icons more accessible to the average player, but in reality they’ve done the complete opposite. By removing Icon SBCs from the game, EA made it incredibly difficult to get top-tier icons for the majority of FIFA players. At this point in the FIFA 19 cycle, tons of FIFA players had icons like R9, Gullit, and Vieira through completing their respective icon SBCs. But because there is no prime icon SBCs on FIFA 20 most players can’t afford these cards anymore. EA should bring icon SBCs back, in order to give the average FIFA player a chance to have top-tier icons.