Sorry for what seems like an overly dramatical title but its the conclusion I’ve come to after a copious amount of minutes thinking about it. The reason I’ve come to said conclusion is because of way the fans or I want the game to be improved. The way I want the game to be improved is certainly the right to go about it. So I will say how the game should be improved and then the reason why it won’t be, but first I want to talk about simulation.
FIFA is a sports game it is also a simulation game, you know what else is both these things, Football Manager. Interestingly both are getting criticism for basically releasing the same game year in year out. Do they deserve this criticism? Maybe, but one of them has a better explanation when it comes to that particular criticism. Football Manager can easily state that the core of the game can’t or doesn’t need to change because the simulation is in the best quality it can possibly be. Thus the game will only require small more subtle changes that will either add to the overall simulation or add to, or be something mechanical. Football manager is a very good management sim whereas FIFA is not a good simulation in general. The only factor the FIFA games take into account is the skill of the player, let me give you a quick example from both games to illustrate my point.
Here in one of my Football Manager saves I’m Inter Milan about to take on Sampdoria, I’m 4th in the league their 7th. Here is a list of factors the game will take into account while simulating this match.
- Starting 11’s
- Team form
- Individual player form
- Training level
- Pitch condition
- Home and away
- Opposition instructions & team instructions
- The team talk
- Pre game press conference and tunnel interview
Theres more than that but you get the point, thats what the game will take into account. The manager of Sampdoria could also react to things I’ve done or said and change his tactic, I wanted to mention that point just before doing the same with FIFA.
Here I am in FIFA 17 as Barnet manager playing Oxford United, I’m top of league one their 6th. I’m not confident on what the game takes into account when simulating, it must consider the quality of team and the press conference you can do may impact the game but thats probably it. One thing is guaranteed and that is regardless of opposition strength or how many points they’re after Oxford will not change formation or tactics. If I was to play the game myself the only thing the game will take in account is the difficulty level the games on.
FIFA is a sports simulation despite the fact that there is hardly any simulation happening. In Football Manager there are things happening constantly, whether its stuff you can see or its hidden in the background. Remember the saying everyone was using for No Mans Sky, Its wide as an ocean but as deep as puddle. A spin on that for FIFA would be “As wide as a backyard pond but as deep a Jack Daniels tumbler”.
In my FIFA career mode improvements post a few weeks back I said FIFA will never be like Football Manager. That for me will always be true, there is no sign that EA will take the game in that direction, but thats fine as long as we get improvements that add to the depth of game. Then over time perhaps the game will have things going on in the background that change the experience of every match day.
The reason FIFA 18 won’t be an improvement is because of the history EA have with their “additions”. This year for example we got a manager avatar that basically adds nothing and a screen of text filled with objectives. The objectives add zero depth to the game, its like a shopping list this is what we need can you go get that for us. FIFA 16 added player training and preseason tournaments, again neither of those features add any depth. Player training means you can improve your players even though they improve enough naturally. Preseason tournaments means you just play more games and you might get a bit of money, I could go on all day about this.
Another reason is ultimate team, its makes so much money that its worth EA’s time and money to work and improve it because they’re pretty much guaranteed to make it back and then some. They don’t make more money after the initial purchase on career mode (yet) so they add features that actually don’t add anything. Hopefully I’m wrong and they blow us all away at this years E3 with something amazing, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Im sorry if this is just a bit of a ramble and maybe even a rant towards the end. Hopefully there’s a point in there somewhere, if you want to read the original post about the improvements to career mode here it is.