Overall, I think FIFA is getting a bad envelope.

Yes, he is furious. Yes, it is the same every year. Yes, it could be interpreted as a gaming platform for teenagers. But it's still the best football simulator money can buy. (sorry ESP). For this reason, it remains the must-play game for millions of football fans around the world, including professionals.

Having said that, FIFA 21 career mode still sucks. This really isn't good, especially after EA claimed that the admin mode was undergoing a major overhaul ahead of the game's release. Damn, it even warrants a dedicated trailer for the first time. Forever, so I was frustrated to discover that Career Mode is still the same practice jump and dialog click simulator as previous entries in the series.

But hey, I just said that FIFA is the same game every year, so what did I expect?

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Preseason promises

FIFA 21 gameplay (Image credit: EA Sports)

FIFA 21 gameplay (Image credit: EA Sports)

On paper, FIFA 21's "manage every moment" ambitions for career mode sound good. Given the growing popularity of Football Manager in recent years, a FIFA game with more immersive managerial involvement could only prove to be a welcome direction for the franchise, especially given the historically game-oriented nature of the series.

But what EA meant when it released lines like 'new depth in matches, transfers and training' it was that it had just made existing game mechanics more tedious under the guise of deepening the player experience.

The main 'changes' come in the form of interactive match simulation, more detailed player development, active training and scheduling, new transfer options and improved opposition AI.

Let's start slowly. The former, to be fair, is a welcome addition, allowing you to take part in simulated matches on the go if your team isn't delivering the tiki-taka-style football you were hoping for. The new player development features are really cool too, giving you the ability to train players in different positions if you want to turn Wan-Bissaka from a defensive end to a marauding winger (good luck with that, by the way).

Training Day

Training Day

Training day (Image credit: EA Sports)

"Seriously, there are too many menus and sub-menus to justify the arduous journey you will have to go through to figure out exactly how to put this player in that position or get your team to play a certain way."

Ultimately though, you'll end up bummed to see what new features like this have to offer due to FIFA 21's awful career mode UI. Seriously, there are too many menus and sub-menus to justify the arduous journey you'll have to make. take to know exactly how to put that player in that position or make his team play a certain way.

This boredom is made even more apparent with the new planning and active training feature.. In theory, these tools should allow you to tailor your football philosophy by deciding which calendar days are used for training, rest and recovery. But really, this is by far the worst thing about career mode. Now you must monitor the sharpness of the match, as well as the morale and fitness of the players, to find the right balance between perfecting your plans on the training ground and giving your team enough rest to prepare for the next match.

It all sounds very Pep Guardiola-like, but it's actually super boring. Between each round, you'll have to decide which training sessions to simulate, skip, or play yourself (good luck to those who do), and you end up spending a lot more time on the training schedule than on the really fun tasks like spotting players, negotiating transfers, and adjusting lineups.

Kudos to EA for at least stepping up the training options, but if players were looking for a career mode so focused on off-the-field management elements, they would only play Football Manager. And even with these new options, you still can't create your own style of soccer, at least any kind of identity beyond what your choice of coaching offers.

All of this means that FIFA 21's career mode doesn't have the tactical micromanagement that the Football Manager series excels at, and instead points to a kind of middle ground between game and clipboard that makes you wish you could. your simulator to the next game. estate.

Against the course of the game

FIFA 21 on PS5

FIFA 21 on PS5 (Image credit: EA Sports)

Yes, FIFA 21 career mode is different from FIFA 20, but only in that it gives the player more of the same: more training, more planning, more email responses. What I, and I guess most gamers, want to see is not the augmentation of existing systems, but completely new systems.

The essence of FIFA has always been to offer players the opportunity to experience the emotion of football from their sofas.. The allure of career mode, in particular, lies in the opportunity to build and play an unrealistic galactic squad, the romantic quest to take a Championship team to the level of the Premier League, or the journey to see promising youngsters become megastars. It's a matter of progression, not maintenance. We need to be able to modernize stadiums, buy sponsorships and create new kits, not go through seasons where we spend half our time simulating training sessions.

Ironically, the old career modes encouraged the idea of ​​progression more than FIFA 21. Growing stadiums and revenue was once a hallmark of earlier entries, simpler times where you could easily go from game to game. . Others and create ten really fun games at a game party. These days, though, his eyes have gone square when he's done with preseason because he's clicked through so many menus and tiles that it physically hurts to simulate Tuesday night's shooting practice.

Take a nap

FIFA 21 on PS5 and XBOX X/S

(Image credit: EA Sports)

Career mode is also more symbolic of EA's laziness. The same history as last year is used for press conferences and transfer negotiations, along with the same dialogue options (absolutely lifeless). It's pretty ridiculous, even some of the so-called "new" mechanics are actually just features that the developer added earlier. Adding a new ready-to-buy option when signing players in the last game, for example, is nothing new, but rather a contract item that was removed after FIFA 15. EA he thought we wouldn't notice?

Ultimate Team will always prevail as EA's most valuable asset, that's pretty clear, and there's nothing wrong with that. FUT is a revenue stream like nothing else in the gaming industry, and if you like competitive multiplayer and card collecting, this is a very addictive, often rewarding mode (which brings its own issues to the table). , but that's a discussion for another day).

What EA fails to realize, however, is that a large part of its player base is only buying its flagship soccer game for career mode and couch play: the teenagers who have been up all night. To score rabonas in FIFA 11 now they are deep twentysomethings, and I tell you that we no longer have patience.

Nonetheless, the lure of turning Sunderland AFC's fortunes around with the latest Wonderkid remains an attractive after-work proposition, which is why fools like me continue to shell out what is essentially the same deal every year, I just wish I could doing it once surprises us.

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