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Growing up Playing FIFA

I briefly remember coming home from school, finishing my work just so I could grind the hell out of my custom player’s career in FIFA 13. Come FIFA 15, I saw a slight change in the graphics and the entire game, in general, as I relived my grinding days, but this time with even more passion. Those were the quite the memories.

With FIFA 17 came, The Journey. Dropping into the life of Alex Hunter (& a few other characters), EA took a big step by incorporating a story mode with football. For the most part, I only played the Journey before jumping into the good old Career mode. Well, that was a mistake. I was hyped, only to find a rinse and repeat of FIFA 15.
[You must have noticed an arithmetic progression of the games I’ve played. It’s because I only got a FIFA once every two years, for obvious reasons]

What came next was an even bigger disappointment. I got FIFA 18. The Journey had apparently, piqued my interest to the point where I broke my 2 years, 1 game rule. Breaking rules is bad juju and I realised it soon enough. The sequel to the Journey was good, albeit too small. Smaller than my willingness to buy FIFA 19. You already know where this is going.

Yes, I got FIFA 19 too. Why wouldn’t I, the saga of Alex Hunter and “the other characters” was coming to an end. As usual, the entire playthrough felt small, yet fulfilling. For some strange reason, I believed EA’s marketing and tried my beloved Career mode. Did I like it? Let’s just say that FIFA 19 was my last game of the franchise.

I believe I speak for almost every gamer that not identifying a game while watching some random clips of gameplay is surprising and in some cases, bewildering. As it is obvious from the title, FIFA in 2022 and beyond, has turned out to be THAT game. Any gameplay that I watch makes me think, “That’s somewhere between FIFA 18-22”. Playing FIFA 17 really was the last time I felt some change. Beyond that, the only things that changed are players’ stats, soundtrack and celebrations, basically the only things that don’t contribute to the actual gameplay.

I don’t mean to slander the well-established reputation of the most famous football game in video game history, but this is what happens when you are expected to perform at higher levels, every year, which unfortunately the franchise failed to do. I do feel for EA, if the declining graph of performance wasn’t enough, they have finally severed their ties with FIFA, the game entirely. So, FIFA 23 is the last FIFA. And apparently, a new series by EA is already in order, called EA Sports FC. That doesn’t sound too flashy.

FIFA 22, or is it 23?

With an expected release date in Q3 of 2022, all eyes are on FIFA 23. Speculations are high with people saying that the game would have a cross-play feature, some say that it will be free-to-play, while others think that it’s just FIFA 22 but renamed. Whatever the case may be, I’m looking forward to it.


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