On 18 June, EA – one of the world’s biggest video game publishing companies – hosted their annual EA Play livestream.
These yearly streams are a chance for the publisher to announce big new titles, and give fans updates on games already in the works; this year’s presentation was no different.
As part of the stream – which also saw the gameplay reveal of Star Wars dogfighting game Squadrons – EA condensed the reveals of this year’s EA Sports roster into a handy montage.
A montage made sense, these games have been yearly releases for decades now, and a new Madden game isn’t going to surprise anyone. We’re confident in predicting there will be a FIFA 27, and that’s six years off!
During said sizzle reel, we got our first glimpse at this year’s entry to the FIFA series, FIFA 21.
Here’s everything you need to know:
What’s new in FIFA 21?
FIFA’s footballing foundation is arguably the strongest out there, each year giving fans of the beautiful game an authentic virtual recreation of what it’s like to step out onto the turf of some of the world’s most hallowed pitches.
But each yeah, the developers introduce subtle new tweaks to improve the overall experience.
As FIFA 21’s EA Play showing was only as part of a bigger montage, EA didn’t get a chance to show off what differences are coming to the game.
But in a tweet posted earlier this week, EA announced the “reveal schedule” for the new game, outlining when they will be detailing the changes coming to some of FIFA’s most popular modes.
The information that shared was almost comically vague, and all we know is that updates on ‘Gameplay’, Career Mode, Volta, Pro Clubs, and the all-important Ultimate Team will be coming “in August.”
What is ‘player humanisation’?
We did get a few teases of new features in the montage though, and it seems this year’s pre-release marketing buzzphrase is going to be “player humanisation”.
Harnessing the power of next-generation consoles, the developers are able to include more realistic AI behaviours for your team.
“From adjusting shin pads in the 89th minute to screaming for passes, player humanisation unlocks the most authentic behaviours ever seen in sports games,” they said.
“This lets you feel all the emotion of football at the highest level.”
Will The Journey return?
For the past three years, the FIFA games have featured surprisingly good story modes going under the name, The Journey.
But since that mode seems to be absent from EA’s reveal schedule, does that means it’s getting the chop this year?
It would appear so.
FIFA executive producer Aaron McHardy previously warned fans The Journey would likely only last the length of a “three-year trilogy”, but its loss likely won’t upset too many fans; despite the narrative mode’s unusually gripping story, it was never a fan favourite.
Will it be on next-gen consoles?
Most excitingly, as part of the reveal montage we got our first look at what EA’s sports games will look like running on next-generation hardware like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
You want realistic weather effects that really capture a dreary away day at a League 2 club? You got it.
Or maybe you want to see the beads of sweat on the faces of football’s more glamourous, higher-league icons? That’ll be there too; the 2020 release will overhaul player bodies to take the virtual soccer stars to “a whole new level of realism.”
The footage shown in the trailer may not have been taken from an actual FIFA 21 match in motion, but it was at least all captured “in-engine”.
It also demonstrated what EA are calling a “new deferred lighting system", which aims to create an “ultra-realistic football experiences” and “enhance the game in every part of the stadium.”
When can I play FIFA 21?
FIFA 21 is currently scheduled to release on Friday 9 October.
It will be released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, as well as next-gen consoles the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Where’s the cheapest place to pre-order it?
FIFA 21 is already available to preorder for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC here.
These pre-orders are through EA directly though, so expect them to be far from the cheapest price available.
We’ll update this article with cheaper offers as and when we find them.