Today sees the lift of the embargo on reviews of FIFA 20, one of the biggest games of the year, and something that is available on all the major consoles as well as the PC. Even the Nintendo Switch has a brand new FIFA game to enjoy.
Except, it doesn't. If you already have FIFA 19, hell, even FIFA 18 perhaps, you can probably save yourself $60.
It's not the same FIFA 20
Everything you need to know is right in the product description for FIFA 20 on Switch. I've lifted this directly from the EA website..
The EA SPORTS™ FIFA 20 Legacy Edition launches September 27th on Nintendo Switch™ featuring the latest kits, clubs, and squads from some of top leagues around the world. It will also feature some of the world's most famous stadiums, including a number brand new to FIFA 20.
In the FIFA 20 Legacy Edition you'll be able to experience the authenticity and atmosphere of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, and play modes including FIFA Ultimate Team™, Kick Off, Career Mode, Licensed and Custom Tournaments, Women's International Cup, Skill Games, Online Seasons, Online Friendlies, and Local Seasons.
The Amazon listing spells it out even clearer:
EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Legacy Edition features the latest kits, clubs, and squads from some of top leagues around the world.
Same gameplay innovation from FIFA 19 without any new development or significant enhancements.
On Switch, FIFA 20 is a legacy edition. And quite clearly it's the same game as last year but with all the latest transfers, all the latest strips and the omission of Juventus, whom the license, for now, belongs entirely to Konami for PES 2020.
In my review of the Xbox One version of FIFA 20 over on Windows Central, I was happy to award it a 4/5 rating and our recommended award. That's because FIFA 20 on the Xbox, PS4 and PC is a terrific game well worth 60 bucks. The same can't be said for the Switch version.
What's going on?
FIFA on the Switch has never reached full parity with its counterparts on the other systems. I found that out first hand by foolishly buying FIFA 18 on Switch over Xbox because who wouldn't want to play wherever they go? But it just wasn't the same.
Mostly it's down to the hardware limitations of Nintendo's console. Back in 2016, EA updated FIFA to use its Frostbite engine which made a significant improvement to the overall experience of playing FIFA. EA either can't or simply don't want to make Frostbite work on the Switch, most likely the former, instead opting to create a dedicated engine to power it.
FIFA on Switch is still better than FIFA on the PS3 or Xbox 360 ever was, but it's never been on par with the Xbox One and PS4. The Journey career mode never made it into FIFA on Switch, FIFA Ultimate Team isn't exactly the same, and now as we get FIFA 20 we're even being told straight it's basically FIFA 19 with a new season lick of paint. That means no VOLTA mode, for one, and that's the standout of this year's release.
It's time for EA to change its sales model
On Xbox, PS4, and PC, EA can always push a new FIFA every year, pack it with new modes, features, give the graphics and the gameplay an overhaul, and sell that for full price. Whether you think it's worth it or not is subjective, but the truth is you get a new game every single year in some form.
That is clearly not the case on the Nintendo Switch.
There are obvious technical limitations, and EA has at least provided something for Switch players. But it's time the company changes how it's selling this game.
EA really needs to change the way it sells FIFA on Switch.
If you already own last year's FIFA, then you should be able to either download a patch or update to the new release if necessary for a small fee. Nobody should be expected to pay $60 every year for the same game with literally zero new features or innovation.
Instead of finding reasons to explain why it's not the same, how about thinking outside the box and doing something good for the community. Switch players who don't have FIFA 19 already, go ahead, grab this year's game.
But while I can recommend anyone who plays every year on Xbox, PS4 or PC grabs the new release, I cannot consciously make the same recommendation to Switch players. Use that $60 elsewhere, you'll get more from it.
All screenshots taken from Xbox One X.
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