FIFA 20 Ultimate Team Preview
Truth be told I’ve never dabbled in FIFA Ultimate Team, better known as FUT. As it turns out, I’d been living in the shadows because following the FUT 20 presentation I attended last week in lovely Redwood Shores California, I’ve gained a newfound interest in the ever-evolving game mode. I, for one, enjoy personalizing individual players, teams, and brands, and fortunately for my sake, you can represent your FUT club with a dabbing unicorn. Exceptionally ridiculous, borderline asinine, but more importantly it’s one of several new additions to FUT debuting in FIFA 20.
Most notably, progression has been entirely overhauled. In addition to seasonal and daily objectives, and group rewards, you can now play toward conquering Milestones. Milestones are objectives designed to keep you busy throughout the year, like scoring 100 finesse shots or free kicks. If you’re an avid FUT player, Milestones are bound to keep you much more active than previous years. Objective rewards were relatively skimmed over, but two that stuck out to me included the 16-bit ball and FIFA 95 ball, both of which look stellar in action due to the realistic bounce and spin improvements the ball has received in FIFA 20.
Another focus of FUT 20 is accessibility. Concerning your squad, your tactics, formations, instructions, roles, and records can all be found in one tab. Additionally, all of your stats are now logged in-game, eliminating the necessity of seeking them online. FUT Friendly stats are also better organized whether you’re playing with a friend on the couch or online during a Friendly season. Between those who have a few hours to play a week and those who have countless, FUT 20’s updates are intended to keep players busy.
My favorite additions are the new game modes, including Max Chemistry, Swaps, King of the Hill, and Mystery Ball. Max Chemistry enables you to build a team comprised of any players you desire, like a squad of strikers exclusively, and have their chemistry maxed out as the name plainly suggests. In Swaps, three players from each team are swapped to the opposing team at the beginning of the match. An odd idea, undeniably, but it’ll undoubtedly lead to some unique showdowns. In Mystery Ball, attributes are added to the ball every time there’s a new possession like speed boost, dribbling boost, and shooting boost. It’s definitely the most chaotic mode to witness in action.
In my personal favorite mode, King of the Hill, an ever-changing section of the field is squared off where players in possession of the ball must dribble within it for as long as possible to generate a number. If players score off their possession, they’re awarded the number of points they produced within the square. Interestingly, the opposing team can earn those points if successful in stealing and scoring the ball. Better yet, each goal is blocked by a barrier until the team in possession generates at least one point within the designated section on the field. The brief highlight video I witnessed looked incredibly fun and highly competitive.
Customization has forever been a key aspect of FIFA Ultimate Team, and it’s more flamboyant than ever in FIFA 20. From the design of your jerseys to the look of your stadium, there’s a wide array of options to choose from. Lastly, from Didier Drogba to Ian Wright, there’s a ton of FIFA icons to look forward to. Overall, I’m genuinely interested in giving FUT 20 a go. The fundamental updates alone have me more excited for FIFA than I have been in years, and the improved FIFA Ultimate Team is the cherry on top of the delectable sundae that FIFA 20 is shaping up to be. For more on FIFA 20, you can read my thoughts on the standard 11v11 gameplay where I describe the updated mechanics in-depth here.
***Travel, accommodations, and access to preview event provided by EA***