Last month, We Got This Covered flew out to northern California to take a deep dive into the this year’s highly anticipated FIFA 20. We’ve already dissected the new additions to FIFA Ultimate Team, and now we can talk about the brand new VOLTA Football. This exciting new mode offers players a new option in their FIFA journey, and it’s stacked with features to make even the casual fan take notice.
“Volta” means “the return” in Portuguese. In short, this is the return of streetball, built on the foundation of great gameplay and a free-flowing, fun experience. VOLTA takes the player on a journey around the globe, playing soccer on smaller pitches, with fewer players. But unlike, say, NBA Street, this is not arcade play. VOLTA retains all of the stellar gameplay mechanics that makes EA’s FIFA series an international hit each year while adding new and exciting ways to play.
VOLTA Football offers simplified rules, custom ball mechanics, various environments, different match types (Rush Keeper, Street with Keepers, Futsal), along with a whole lot of flair that adds to the authentic soccer experience — in a smaller, more intimate setting that is.
The smaller pitches and teams of 3v3, 4v4, and 5v5 make the game faster and, dare I say it, more fun. One “field” is a rooftop in Tokyo where teams gather to see who’s best. It’s enclosed with fenced walls and the goals are much smaller, all of which adds to the excitement. Players can use the walls as if they were another teammate, angling kicks, passes, and shots for an almost air-hockey-like strategy.
With smaller teams, there is no dedicated goalie, so players have to play all three positions in a game: offense, defense, and netminder. As an added touch, the commentary being delivered is in the native tongue of wherever you’re playing. For a match on a Tokyo rooftop, for instance, the commentary is all in Japanese. It really helps suck the player into the experience.
Player skill matters — the more skilled you are, the better your ability to pass, shoot, and score. You start by creating yourself — or rather, your in-game avatar. FIFA 20 has one of the deepest player creation modes I’ve seen in a sports game. The player creation tools extend past the physical, as you can create new kits as well. As you progress in the world of VOLTA, you’ll unlock new skills and items (with varying levels of rarity) to further enhance your created player. There are also seasonal items that can be unlocked by completing timed objectives, making VOLTA Football a long, dedicated gaming experience.
Licensed players are also available in VOLTA’s Kick-Off mode, turning the games into a mix of pro and amateur talent, and giving players a taste of trying their hand at playing as Renaldo in a 5v5 match on a gymnasium floor in Holland. You can choose from a variety of options with VOLTA House Rules, depending on what you want to play, including Survival, No Rules, and First to X number of goals. This level of match customization leads to fun and thrilling matches, depending on your taste and skill level.
In addition to Kick-Off, VOLTA Football is broken down into smaller “sub-modes.” The first is a VOLTA Story mode that takes the created player through a narrative journey into the world of street soccer. FIFA 20 producer Jeffrey Antwi made it quite clear that this story mode does not replace The Journey. At this point, we have to expect that The Journey’s story will continue for a third year, though EA has yet to offer any further details.
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VOLTA Tour is an online connected world, populated by user-generated squads. As you play matches, you’ll get the chance to recruit players from the squads that you defeat, building a super team as you progress. And your created player can, in turn, can be recruited by other teams online. You could see your player pop up on other squads, and you could very well play against yourself, making for a rather bizarre, almost surreal experience.
VOLTA League provides yet another way to play. The League has 10 divisions and features online multiplayer. The player will tour the planet with their squad, playing tournaments in cities like Amsterdam, London, New York, Cape Town, Mexico City, Rome, Paris, and the aforementioned Tokyo locales. There are many more locations in the final game — we only got a taste of a few pitches. I got a glimpse at the world map and the “locked” areas, and it looks like gamers will be playing soccer in every corner of Earth.
FIFA 20 is looking to bring its A-game to the world of soccer when it releases on September 27th. With a revamped FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) and the new VOLTA Football modes, this legendary franchise is set to continue its domination in the sports video game marketplace. We will have more information as we get closer to launch, including a story on the new gameplay mechanics and a final review, so keep checking back for more updates!
Hands-on time with FIFA 20 was conducted at a preview event at EA Redwood Shores. Electronic Arts provided lodging and transportation for this press event.