Review – FIFA 20 Legacy Edition

After the release of the excellent eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 (still a dumb name, by the way), I was curious to see how EA would respond. For the first time in more than a decade, they were truly facing massive competition from a much more competent football simulator. I decided to tackle the Switch version of FIFA 20, hoping that EA had learned from past mistakes. Given how Konami is still reluctant to release PES on Nintendo’s system, this was EA’s chance to cover some ground. Boy, was I wrong by thinking EA, of all companies, would learn from their previous failures. FIFA 20 for the Switch is the most disastrous football game released in decades.

20-1

Meet Cristiano Roboto.

Just like other versions of FIFA for the Switch, FIFA 20 doesn’t feature all the modes included in the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions. No Volta mode, the one meant to bring back the careless fun from FIFA Street, included in here. I don’t understand EA’s tone-deaf reluctance to deliver a complete product, but what can I do? With games like Witcher 3, The Outer Worlds, Doom, Wolfenstein II, Dragon Quest XI, and many others, being ported in their entirety for the console, EA is still the only the one that ports botched versions of their games with removed chunks of content. Granted, it costs ten bucks less than other versions of FIFA, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the package is worth the asking price.

No, the worst part about FIFA 20 isn’t the lack of a Volta mode. It isn’t the fact that the career mode, the only somewhat substantial single-player mode included in here, is glitchy as sin. It isn’t the fact that, miraculously enough, the Ultimate Team mode, that egregious football-themed casino, works flawlessly on the Switch’s hardware. My main gripe with this game is how terrible it is to play it!

20-3

It’s like watching two poorly made action figures pretending to play football.

A lot of people keep saying that FIFA 20 is just FIFA 19 with an updated roster and new uniforms. I wish that was the case. I don’t remember FIFA 19 featuring such terrible gameplay. Doing short passes becomes a useless action, as even the players with good passing skills perform poorly. You’ll basically just stick to doing through passes with the X button. Heading is useless as well, be it defensively or offensively. I get the point of making things a bit more realistic, but professional footballers should know to head a damn ball into a goal when told to do so. Penalty kicks and free kicks are as convoluted as they have been for a while. In short, playing FIFA 20 on the Switch is a chore.

Finally, there’s the performance aspect. I made sure to re-download FIFA 18 on the Switch and check if EA had improved the visuals in any way, shape or form. Somehow, it looks worse! I don’t remember seeing such an ugly iteration of FIFA like this one ever since I stopped playing those games on my PSP. The character models look simplistic, the lighting effects are average at best, the crowd is comprised of the most simplistic pieces of cardboard you can find on a trash can, and the animations look too robotic. I swear, not even Winning Eleven 7 on the PS2 featured janky animations like this game. The only thing I can praise about FIFA 20 on the Switch is that it runs at a somewhat stable 60 frames per second, but with such terrible visual fidelity, I’d be impressed if it didn’t.

20-5

The commentators sound even less enthusiastic this time around. I thought that was impossible to achieve.

I could have considered forgiving the Switch version of FIFA 20 if the only issue it had was the lack of the Volta mode, but that ended up being the smallest of my concerns. This game ended up being worse than other Switch ports of FIFA in every single conceivable way. It manages to look worse, sound worse, and above all, it features a much less fluid gameplay. This is one of the most incompetent ports of a game I have ever seen, and without a doubt, the single worst football game I have ever played.

 

Graphics: 5.0

Somehow, it manages to look worse than the other visually disappointing versions of FIFA on Switch. The animations look even more robotic this time around.

Gameplay: 4.0

What happened to the gameplay??? Passing is a chore, heading is now nerfed to the point it’s absolutely useless, and the teammate AI manages to act as bad as the one featured in FIFA games from the beginning of the century.

Sound: 6.0

The soundtrack is less impressive than in previous iterations. The commentators also sound even more uninspiring than before, as well as excessively compressed.

Fun Factor: 4.0

The fact that the Switch version of FIFA 20 doesn’t feature the Volta mode, yet it still costs a lot of money, isn’t even the most insulting bit about it. The fact it is a lot less fun to play, due to its awful gameplay, is the most insulting bit. This is the worst FIFA released in years.

Final Verdict: 4.5

FIFA 20 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC (standard editions), as well as Switch (Legacy edition).

Reviewed on Switch.

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