FIFA 20 debuted at EA Play today, and while we didn’t get hands-on with the new FIFA Street-esque Volta Football mode, we did come away with plenty of details about how it works and what it does and doesn’t have, as well as gameplay impressions from regular 11 v 11 play.

You can read the basics and take a look at the first trailer here. Plus here are some more details on Volta.

  • Microtransactions – “We’re not launching with any kind of microtransactions in Volta,” says executive producer Aaron McHardy. “Everything you get in the game you unlock through challenges or by earning the in-game currency.” It’s unknown if that means there might be mictrotransactions after launch, but that might be reading too much into McHardy’s wording.
     
  • Online Play – You can play others online in the Volta League, which features promotion and relegation, but there is no Pro Clubs-style online co-op team play. A friend can, however, come over and you can both play on the same side in the league against another online player. Referring to online co-op team play, McHardy says, “We’re not dumb, we know it’s what people want.”
     
  • Customization & Content – Apart from the normal custom clothes, celebrations, tattoos, and other ways to make your avatar your own, there are both preset facial options and analog face morphing for features like your nose or mouth.
    You pick your home court, but you can’t apply custom graphics, for instance to the ground.
    In terms of getting more diverse looks for your crew, like Ultimate Team’s squad battles, as you play matches in the mode you’ll go up against the A.I. representations of real-life players. Win and you can steal those players for your side.
    New content will be added via seasons every four to six weeks.
     
  • Volta In Other Modes? EA Canada isn’t saying if your progress in Volta unlocks something in Ultimate Team, for instance, or vice versa. However, given that this kind of thing has happened in past years between The Journey and Ultimate Team, we’d be surprised if it didn’t.
     
  • Taunts – Apart from flair moves like skill tricks and fancy shots, etc., Volta also has taunts. While these don’t dupe your opponent into a stun animation for instance, they may be used as part of a progress challenge.
     
  • Volta Story – This part of Volta Football isn’t a story mode per se like The Journey. Instead it introduces small-side football in general, trains you in skill moves, and is a good multi-hour, optional, starting point.
     
  • Simplified Volta Skills – You can perform all the normal skill moves you already do in FIFA, and you can also make use of simplified skill moves using the triggers and moving in a direction. From here the game will choose an appropriate flair move for you.

What about regular 11 v 11 gameplay? I got a few matches in, and here are some of my initial observations. The game doesn’t come out until September, so it’s still early for changes to be made.

  • Jostling – Added refinement in this already solid gameplay element produces more loose balls as well as even stumbles for the defender and some fouls.
     
  • Shots – While I want to see more shots in different situations, in my limited play time I’ve already seen some new goals as well as some off-target shots when using the outside of the foot. I’ve also seen some shots taken from otherwise good spots take appropriate deflections off defenders.
    In terms of shot and pass power, I still had the odd time when both felt weaker than I was expecting.
     
  • Defending – Developer EA Canada has already said it wants to make it so players can’t just let the A.I. do all the defending, and in this sense I’ve seen times when your A.I. teammates don’t always aggressively steal the ball. Going forward this is a tricky area, as A.I. defenders still need to make smart choices and not just stand around.
     
  • Penalty/Free Kick – New this year is the ability to add spin by flicking the right analog to curve the ball around the wall or apply top spin or hit a knuckleball or driven shot.
     
  • Game Speed – Overall the default pace felt slower than last year.
     
  • Player Switching – As of now, this is an area that still needs work.



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