EA Sports FC 24 Review

EA Sports FC 24 Haaland Header

It is the start of a new era for EA Sports. After almost 30 years of FIFA branded football games, EA has chosen to forge its own path, rebranding its flagship sports game as EA Sports FC 24, and with a new tagline ‘It’s the world’s game.’ When it comes to this new beginning, what has changed? Or is it more like FIFA in a new kit?

Updated 25/09 – This is now our full, scored review of FC 24.

The first thing you will notice when loading EA Sports FC 24 is that lack of FIFA branding, and the impact it previously had in the background. EA has clearly tried to carve out a new visual identity for the menus as part of this shift. Gone are the big blocks from seasons past, replaced with a cleaner list menu with the options in white, while animated players move in the background. It is much easier to navigate, and feels like EA has gone back to basics for this new era. In this menu, FC Live is the first option followed by Ultimate Team.

Ultimate Team has gone through an evolution of its own, as well. For the first time, teams can consist of players from both the men’s leagues and women’s leagues playing together. So if you want a strike partnership of Haaland and Kerr in your team, you can. It’s obviously not realistic, but is a big step forward to put all players on an equal footing. Chemistry has been altered slightly to accommodate this, but will still be familiar. For example, when having a striking pair of a male player and female player, the chemistry will improve if they are from the same nation, play in the same country, and even if they play for the same club.

Another update for Ultimate Team is player evolutions, which sadly aren’t as exciting as they are in Pokémon. You can get evolution cards and apply them to a player to permanently improve their stats and traits, though you have to meet and objective before that evolution takes place. It adds a new dimension to improving your team and players, as well as potentially making them prospects that are more attractive if you choose to sell on the market. In terms of the Ultimate Team economy, more time is needed to see if the rewards earned are fair allowing players who do not spend money to compete with those that do. You will find the usual game modes within Ultimate Team and the challenges, with Rivals being the mode that many will play.

Ultimate Team’s economy is better than some other sports games, with coins awarded regularly for completing objectives and match performances of your team. Coins can be built up relatively quickly, though if you’re aiming for premium packs (7,500 for a premium gold pack and 15,000 for a premium gold player pack), they’ll take a good while to save up for. The alternative is the transfer market. You won’t get the best players cheap, but can build a decent team to compete without spending too many coins. You do not need to pay for the microstransactions, though players who want the very best players like Haaland will be tempted to pay to get him.

Through the rest of the game’s modes, there’s a smattering of new ideas and a lot of familiar ground. The 3v3 street football of Volta is its own standalone mode with its own coins and games, and it remains a fun side distraction from the main meat of EA Sports FC 24, though not enough to overshadow it.

If you’re not into Ultimate Team (or even if you are), it will be a player or managerial career that’s sure to take up most of your time. Player career is the more streamlined of the two as you are just building up your player (fictional or real) and their career – I created a new player and joined FC Koln, thanks to random.org.

You choose your position and personality type which are Maverick, Heartbeat, or Virtuoso, the same as the last entry, and start with a rating of 70. That goes up quite quickly depending on hitting objectives, doing training, and performing well in matches, where you can either player as just your pro, or take over the full team whenever your pro is on the pitch. It’s not really changed an awful lot compared to FIFA 23.

So I’ve spent most of my time in the Manager Career, where you either create your own manager or choose to step into the shoes of a real one, using their approaches and styles for the game. I chose to choose a real manager, opting for De Zerbi and Brighton – there is a strange dissonance here where De Zerbi is welcomed to the club like a newcomer, despite having been manager since 2022.

There have been some changes to the mode, perhaps the biggest coming to coaching. There’s now an ideal rating for each part of the team – goalkeeping, defence, midfield, and attack – and each coach has a star rating to see how good they would be for coaching an aspect of the team, with higher ratings giving greater player improvements. Coaches also have their own preferred styles of play. This means you will be looking for coaches that fit your playing philosophy to maximise returns. It’s no good having a highly rated coach who prefers gegenpress if you want to focus on wing play. Coaches can improve over time too, the more time they spend with the team and players.

While the front menu has been overhauled, you see a fair bit of returning menu design here, with plenty of tabs to access various aspects of team management. There’s also common ground with cutscenes in transfer scenarios being essentially the same, as well as the way that transfers are negotiated. After a player is sold or bought, you are rated on the deal, the game telling you if you could have saved money on the deal. There is also a funny cutscene where the manager and a coach lead a player out of the club if they are sold or sent on loan, as if being flanked by security.

Heading to the pitch, and I’ve settled on professional difficulty for a decent balance of challenge without becoming frustrating to play. Player traits have become Play Styles, giving players their own approach to matches. Ahead of a match, you can do pre-match mini-games that will give temporary styles to players that are involved. Then it is on to the pitch for the big game.

For the overarching presentation, EA Sports FC 24 still looks like football and isn’t a massive departure from FIFA 23. With the various licenses for pro leagues around the world, it retains familiar stadium views and match day graphics. However, the action itself has been noticeably improved.

One of the biggest touted changes on the pitch is Hypermotion V, an evolution on Hypermotion2. Hypermotion V has used volumetric data from over 180 matches across the world to capture more realistic player movement, bringing the number of animations to 11000, almost double that of FIFA 23. It really shows on the pitch, with players reacting better to each other and the ball, with smoother runs being made and player match ups being more realistic. For example in one match, one of my smaller players essentially bounced off a larger player, falling to the floor while the other player retained possession.

Players also fall into one of seven different Accelerate 2 models, varying their acceleration, speed, and how long they can maintain sprints. The more explosive a player is, the faster they can move in a sprint, but it will not last long and they will need a bit of time to recover before they can go again. Referees come across as more lenient, allowing play to continue instead of stopping matches for every foul.

Sports FC 24 is not the complete departure from FIFA that its name would suggest. Most of the fundamentals remain in place and the career modes have barely been updated. Then again, Ultimate Team is the series' real money-spinner, coming with the addition of evolutions and mixed gender teams. Overall, the on-pitch gameplay is good, and you can see the extra animations enhancing the football sim, but it isn’t a massive evolution of EA’s flagship series.
  • Good on-pitch gameplay
  • Mixed gender teams in Ultimate Team is a great big step
  • Ultimate Team is playable competitively without spending money
  • Single player career modes have barely been updated
  • If you want the best players for FUT, you will have to pay, grind, or get really lucky
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From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.