"Welcome to the Football Club!"
Are you The Special One?
The most popular sport in the world is back on Nintendo Switch as EAFC24 in a complete and extremely dense package. After years of only receiving legacy editions under the FIFA brand, EA has delivered a fantastic and absolutely addictive sports gaming experience that will satisfy any fan of the beautiful game.
Right from the opening menu, players are presented with a wealth of options that scream how rich and dense the game is, which explains why EA soccer games have always been so popular. With a myriad of modes ranging from the ever addictive Ultimate Team (UT) to the number-crunching Manager Career – and even going into the Nintendo Switch-exclusive mode, Local Seasons – any fan will have a hard time putting down their controller since there is something for every player.
My favorite mode, and that of most fans, is undoubtedly Ultimate Team. In this online mode, you open packs and collect players and other items to create a powerful club to take on other teams online. Packs can be bought with in-game currency or with real money, but it is possible to get them also by just playing and completing objectives. Throughout the years with other FIFA titles, I have always had a competitive team, reaching even the highest division, without ever spending extra money on microtransactions, and so far in EAFC24 this is no exception (pro-tip: only buy bronze and silver packs and complete Squad Building Challenges [SBC]).
In fact, SBCs are as addictive as just playing games online. These are small puzzles where you must submit a set of players that satisfy certain conditions and the prizes are packs, players, or coins. However, there are other ways to get items besides playing games and SBCs: namely, by completing objectives. Just like with every mode in EAFC24, the type of objectives are manifold. Some are time-limited to a Season (just like the Season awards in Splatoon 3), others are Daily or Weekly, while others can be completed at any time. Just by playing normally you will complete them, which provides a fantastic sense of progression.
Very soon, and without even realizing it, you will have a stronger team that will help you achieve bigger challenges online, and that speaks volumes to the quality of game that EA has prepared this year. Your UT will need to be strong to face the competition online in modes like Rivals or Champions, where you will face the best of the best. Nonetheless, you can also play Friendlies or take on offline modes if you want a more relaxing scenario.
UT is so compelling and complete that many players, myself included, may go for a whole year without touching other modes, but for those who just want to enjoy the beautiful game with their favorite team without having to build it from scratch, EAFC24 also delivers a wonderful experience. Climbing the Online Seasons with FC Barcelona, or managing a team from the ground up in Manager Mode and then beating the competition with your Tiki Taka is equally addictive.
Or perhaps Player Career is your mode if you have always dreamt of making it to the Premier League from a small team in the middle of Central America. But what if you and your pals want to dominate together? Then creating a Club with them that will conquer the online scene may be the best mode to try. You can make your dreams come true in more ways than one in EAFC24.
In fact, another way to make your fantasies a reality is Volta Football. In this mode, realism leaves the room and instead players get a more arcadey experience in the spirit of Mario Strikers or Captain Tsubasa. Dribbling players to build meters, getting skill points to improve your character in RPG-fashion, customizing your avatar in the flashiest or craziest outfits and scoring impossible goals – it’s all unbelievably fun.
Every single mode in EAFC24 should deserve its own review due to the vast amount of options presented in each one of them. Nonetheless, the variety of modes would be meaningless if the gameplay did not deliver. Thankfully, EA has provided a quality game in every sense for Switch players.
Controlling the players is very smooth and the gameplay is very precise and responsive both in handheld and docked modes. Presentation is superb and there is great accuracy in representing players and stadiums, including the particular quirks of some stars. The game is also very inclusive by adding female soccer stars into every mode, including UT. Having a highly rated player plays the same, be it female or male, so there is no difference in gameplay, which is phenomenal for any fan of female soccer.
Finally, some negatives may be that sometimes it takes a while to connect to an online game; however, that might change as more players get into the season. Although I experienced some rage-quits as I was winning a game (as one can expect), I also experienced some random disconnections even when drawing. So the online aspect of the game needs some fine tuning. The music is also not as outstanding as in FIFA 18 or FIFA World Cup 2002, both of which had amazing soundtracks. On a similar vein, commentary is nothing extraordinary either, so you may just want to play your own music while celebrating yet another hat-trick.
Few events draw as much passion from a person than watching their favorite team play a match and crush their opponents. Likewise, few games successfully generate that “one more turn” feeling that makes every session so addictive – because you’re not just watching these matches; you are playing them! EAFC24 delivers on all of these feelings in every way, while bringing the beautiful game back in full glory on the Switch, shining as brightly as fireworks the night when your team won that championship.
Christian’s a fan of long lists, Pokémon, SMT, Advance Wars, Xenoblade Chronicles, Splatoon, S/JRPGs, VNs...
When not solving mysteries in Ace Attorney or doing supports in Fire Emblem, he can be found doing math or learning languages.