EA FC 24 Review: Steps in the Right Direction

EA FC 24 is a solid step into the future, but a small one that needs building upon.

Image via EA Sports
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Another year, another FIFA video game. Only this year, EA Sports’ uber-popular football sim has received a new coat of paint. Due to disagreements pertaining to licensing, FIFA has become EA FC 24. Granted, this is largely a cosmetic change. The game is still running on Frostbite — EA’s proprietary game engine — and has retained most of the club and competition licensing the franchise has had for years now, give or take a few teams here and there.

It’s also still running on a lot of code that has seemingly been around forever. Still, EA FC 24 has presented EA Sports with a formidable challenge: how does a massive franchise deal with a rebrand after 30 years? And can it shed some of the baggage that’s plagued the series for a number of years now? While we can’t speak to whether the name change will hurt or help the series in the long run, EA FC 24 does seem to represent a positive step forward for the often-maligned sports franchise.

EA FC 24 Review: Steps in the Right Direction

Image via EA Sports

From a gameplay perspective, the game feels like it’s improved. It’s not a drastic step that many fans may have wanted, but EA FC 24 definitely feels more complete and rewarding than it has since the franchise’s glory days in the early-to-mid 2010s. Shooting feels good. Dribbling has changed, but it still feels effective when opponents are closing down space. Defense has definitely gotten harder, but it somehow feels more rewarding once you’ve figured it out.

For the first time in what feels like forever (or maybe the first time ever), I felt like my knowledge of football and my nerdish obsession with the sport was actively helping me against the opposition. From the first time I logged into Ultimate Team and began playing Rivals, I found it all too easy to watch opposing players lose their minds as I built out of the back, using triangles in the midfield to escape from the overly used press and breaking through the back line on a through ball in behind.

Another notable change in EA FC 24 is the addition of PlayStyles and PlayStyles+. In previous years, we were limited to traits that felt either superfluous or only marginally helpful. However, with the inclusion of these PlayStyles and PlayStyles+ — which essentially act as perks and/or performance badges — certain players that might have been considered anti-meta in the past are now viable options. Yes, pace still reigns supreme over many other attributes. But having a midfielder with Incisive Pass or a striker with Power Shot always makes you feel like you have a chance.

There are issues, though. In a fun twist, EA has introduced female players into Ultimate Team. This is undoubtedly a great move for the franchise. However, there seems to be some growing pains in terms of balancing, where female players are slightly overpowered. There also remains game modes such as my beloved Clubs or the popular Career Mode that either have only received minimal upgrades or have been left untouched. Don’t even get me started with Volta and EA’s dedication to making it a thing.

Microtransactions Are Still a Problem, But Not as Much as Previous Installments

In my review for NBA 2K24, I noted that 2K’s massively popular basketball franchise still suffered from its blatant pay-to-win schemes and predatory microtransactions. It severely hurts the game in my eyes. And considering that EA has been less than coy to include their own ethically ambiguous microtransactions into past titles, I was somewhat expecting the same thing with EA FC 24. What I was greeted by was not quite as bad as I expected, but nonetheless worth mentioning.

Yes, EA FC 24 has microtransactions. And yes, any player that’s willing to spend bank on the Ultimate Edition or splurge on the newly branded FC Points will have a greater chances at pulling some quality players out of packs. However, EA has surprisingly offered players a ton of ways to get valuable packs without spending additional funds.

One way this is done is through Moments in Ultimate Team. You can grind through some short and easy scenarios and accumulate Stars to claim packs. The season structure — at least in this first season — is also giving away high-value packs for merely playing. So even if the microtransactions are still there and tempting players to fork out some extra cash, there seem to be free ways to collect high-value cards.

EA FC 24 Review — The Bottom Line

Image via EA Sports

Pros

  • Improved core gameplay.
  • More depth.
  • PlayStyles and PlayStyles+ adds new dimensions.
  • Less reliant on microtransactions than past titles.

Cons

  • Microtransactions are still plentiful.
  • Improvements help but aren’t drastic.
  • The Frostbite engine feels outdated.
  • Modes such as Pro Clubs and Career Mode feel either marginally better or flat-out untouched.

Overall, I can’t fault EA Sports for its efforts with EA FC 24. The developer has taken the bull by the horns and given longtime players of the franchise hope for the first time in a very long time. However, it’s only a slight improvement.

[Note: The writer purchased the copy of EA FC 24 used for this review.]

Image via EA Sports
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EA FC 24 Review: Steps in the Right Direction

EA FC 24 is a solid step into the future, but a small one that needs building upon.

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About the author

Christian Smith

Christian Smith is a musician, sports fan, and lifelong gamer. After spending time in and out of bands during his formidable years, Christian began his writing career in 2017. Since then, he has amassed bylines on websites such as Collider, SVG, Looper, and SB Nation among others. Outside of writing guides for GameSkinny, Christian can be found either playing through Metal Gear Solid 3 or in attendance at NYCFC matches.