Coming off the back of much criticism of last year's effort, EA Sports have formally announced a number of new features for career mode in FIFA 21.
The FIFA 20 career mode was widely panned by fans due to a number of bugs and was far from a high point for the franchise. Likely mindful of this, EA has greatly revamped the mode for their 2021 release.
The most noteworthy addition is the creation of an interactive match sim, which will allow players to jump in and out of the action, taking charge of key moments within career mode matches. Very much drawing inspiration from titles such as Football Manager, FIFA 21 will offer players enhanced match data upon which they can make changes. Indicators such as player performance ratings and stamina will be readily available in a more in-depth way than ever before.
There will also be an increased focus on player development in this year's career mode. It will now be possible to retrain players for new positions (i.e. to turn a right back into a right winger). A reworked growth system will allow players a greater insight into how their squad is progressing, with the ability to closely monitor changes in player attributes.
Another way in which players will be able to track performance levels in FIFA 21 career mode will be via the new Active Training System. Gone are the days of simply going through the motions of the training mode as FIFA 21 will give players the option of setting up group training sessions in order to focus on particular skills. A new "match sharpness" attribute will also provide an indication of how likely a player is to translate their form in training into a match situation.
Control over squad training does not end there, though, as FIFA 21 will also allow players to set up weekly training schedules - where the balance between rest and time spent working on the pitch will be crucial to the chances of team success.
One new option that looks sure to prove crucial to team selection will be the FIFA's 21 Player Feedback System, which will give a visual representation of a squad member's readiness for an upcoming game. The system will also track when a player could do with being rested and monitors their effectiveness when being played out of their usual position.
FIFA 21 also appears set to offer the most realistic career mode experience yet when it comes to opposition decision making, both on the pitch and in the transfer market. Rivals will react realistically to the decisions that players make - ensuring that each match or transfer deal is a unique event. Loan-to-buy offers, future fees and player swap deals will all be a part of a revamped transfer system.
Players will also have the option to customise their career mode experience from the outset. Users can either opt for a more realistic true-to-life experience with the Authentic Transfers feature or can choose to boost their spending power by opting to play in Financial Takeover mode.
As has become customary with FIFA, the number of available leagues to play in career mode continues to expand once again. Custom league-specific themes will be available, with many of the world's top competitions represented - including the UEFA Champions League and CONMEBOL Libertadores.
FIFA 21 career mode certainly has the potential to be one of the best-ever modes in the history of the FIFA franchise. With a release date of October 9 set, we are now just a few short months away for getting our hands on it.
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