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EA Sports FC 24 review: a brand new game

More than just a new label
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There’s been months of talk, but we're finally here. Goodbye FIFA, welcome EA Sports FC 24. It'll take some time for us to get used to it, and we know the majority of you will keep calling it FIFA 24, but after spending several hours in the game, it's clear that EA Sports poured a lot of effort in making sure the franchise felt new and fresh.

Whatever you call it, the game keeps a great deal of continuity with the recent past, in an attempt to avoid alienating the large FIFA 23 user base. At the same time, FC 24 also features a wide makeover in a number of aspects to give us a true glimpse of next generation of soccer.

Let's kick it off with Ultimate Team, the most played mode in the series. It may no longer be the FUT we knew, but some things haven't changed: we still have tennis-like scores, even against the AI, and overall it still feels more like fantasy football rather than a credible squad builder à la Football Manager.

EA FC 24 view of the pitch from the sidelines.

Looks familiar, eh? No worries, there is plenty of new things to discover.

Progression is a bit steeper this year: the game gives us three players from the nation of our choice, and then leaves it to you, in our experience even making you start from zero coins. Even credit boosters have disappeared. Prices on the market seem sky-high, too, with some hits from last season (Anguissa, to name but one) sadly countered by an unreasonable auction base on FC 24.

On the pitch, you can't help but notice how many ads are in the game. Amazon Prime, Pepsi, PlayStation, Uber Eats, not just on the side pitch hoardings, but even in the UI. When it comes to parting ways from FIFA, you could guess this is what EA meant by "freedom" – they're now free to getting closer to NBA 2K.

Evolutions are a nice idea, and make sense – especially in the early stages of the season. They want you to play even lower-quality cards, and it can be fun doing so. We put quite some effort into growing a bronze defender's attributes, and just improving their individual stats and seeing they grow into a "special" card of sorts on the pitch - it gives you a pleasant bonus. On top of that, you have several challenges to complete related to that card, which are simple and within reach (for now). This, linked to the (again, for now) price hikes on the market, feels as if EA Sports wanted to push on a deeper RPG component, closer to eFootball Dream Team's.

EA FC 24 live analysis of goal chances during a match.

Need some live data to analyze your gameplay?

Players can now have up to another two roles on top of their original role, and once deployed in a compatible position, you'll see the card change role automatically. This way, the game is moving further away from consumables and modifiers altering player positions, which has often been out of control - CM Messi, we know what you did.

The big news here is the introduction of mixed teams. As the devs clearly told us over the last few months, women players work exactly like men. If a woman is short and fast, she's inclined to have good pace and agility, but she'll be weak and easy to push away. Conversely, good physics and slower pace will see her more planted, but less useful in counterattacks. It's basically the way FIFA has always been, now bringing in each player's features and attributes as measured within their home competitions, no matter the gender.

It's ultimately an intriguing and fun addition, because we learned about so many great women players just by finding them in packs. But it's also a new spin on a now fairly predictable game. The only con is, it may be more complicated to reach a full chemistry with an Italian or a Serie A team, if you want to play women players - and that's because there are so few women players from areas of the world and Europe outside of the UK, France, and Germany. So, there's obviously some work to be done on the player pool in the future.

EA FC 24 replay of a close goal chance.

Expect the usual use of common broadcast tools you'd see on TV.

In our EA Sports FC 24 hands-on preview, we mentioned how slower the gameplay felt, and the final build has confirmed just that. While we've been asking for a more reflexive action for years, you now see your players taking an extra second to start their animation, and it can be a little frustrating. I wish they were more snappy and responsive, whereas they feel a little floaty, and even lacking some of the pinpoint accuracy we've grown used to since Hypermotion's introduction. EA claims this is because of the number of player animations that have been added this year, especially to the first touch.

As a result of that, we've seen the game relying even more on quick wingers, running away where they have room to do so. And that's always more fruitful compared to central routes. It's a great FIFA classic, and perhaps players feeling a bit slower and heavier will only further incentivize the trend.

While we didn't feel like the new PlayStyles have much of an impact compared to attributes and performances shaped up last year, we've seen the goalkeepers do very well, whether it's them spreading their arms to cover as much of the net as possible, or being surprisingly effective on low shots. It's almost weird to see them doing so well on an EA Sports game's day one.

EA Sports FC 24’s Career mode has not received a major overhaul, but it has added some interesting features when it comes to management. You now have a single budget, not split into wages and transfers anymore, and signing a deal feels smoother. It also helps that a player only been with a club for one year now doesn't automatically refuse your offers.

EA FC 24 Career Mode transfer screenshot.

A look at the transfer screen in Career Mode.

Tactical visions do not have a noticeable impact on the pitch, failing to break down either users' habits nor the AI's pinball game when it decides to score. The same goes for hiring coaches - once hired, you tend to ignore them the way you've always done with training sessions over the years.

On the other hand, pre-match reports are interesting and useful, providing you with information such as your opponent's squad and stats about how they've been doing. This information really helps you out before getting on the pitch, as opposed to the training session just before the game - like the weekly training sessions, you'll end up ignoring them in the blink of an eye.

However, you now have an opportunity to put together individual training plans for your players. This is quicker, and features a major impact on your players' condition. It's sharpness versus form, and now it's up to you to decide which one wins, while it's always been quite random in the past.

If you thought our focus on Ultimate Team and Career was suspicious, that's because there's little to say on other modes. Moving into EA Sports FC, you'd expect new and unique modes, which has not happened. Even the likes of Volta and Clubs are staying basically the same, despite receiving a potentially lifesaving cross-play for the first time.

Even though the feeling on the pitch is only slight different, not all of the new gameplay additions hit the mark - but even so, there's something that makes EA Sports FC 24 feel like the freshest games in the series, and certainly a good way to leave FIFA behind.

Score: 8/10

Version tested: PS5

  • Visuals: 9/10
  • Audio: 8/10
  • Gameplay: 8/10
  • Technical performance: 8/10

EA Sports FC 24 technical performance

As we mentioned, FC 24 goes to great lengths to give the idea of something new, and it succeeds at doing so, thanks to minimalist concepts. Off the pitch, you have an effective, vertical-oriented UI. On the pitch, you have new lighting systems, with a warmer and more defined look, AR bringing in some really interesting data on how you're playing, and little touches like referee's body cam views.

We're also fans of the new default camera, which has unexpectedly convinced us to switch away from the one we've used for ages. Wider and more TV-like, the Tactical view gives you better proportions on the both axes, and follows the action across the board - that's not taking into account how late the game fades in back to free-kicks and penalty kicks after a replay.