Career Mode is back to winning ways in EA FC 24

David Purcell
sancho ea fcEA SPORTS

EA Sports FC was always going to be a defining moment in the series after moving away from FIFA official licensing, but a change of focus confirms a new chapter has been opened for the developers. EA FC 24’s Career Mode is more realistic than ever before.

One of the biggest criticisms within the community in recent years has been the focus of Ultimate Team and how other modes have potentially suffered during that period. That same gripe can’t really be leveled at EA FC‘s first installment.

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Ultimate Team has received a facelift in the way of women’s players being added, a new Evolutions feature, and changes to rewards for its competitive modes – all of which are welcome additions. On those points alone, if you’re a regular in that game mode you will be quite happy ‘joining the club’ this year.

However, the jewel in the crown this time is undoubtedly Career.

EA FC 24 Career Mode shines bright

EA SPORTS
New trophy celebration cutscenes are the icing on the cake.

Career Mode not receiving significant updates has sadly been priced into our thinking in recent years. Logically, you can usually conclude that it doesn’t make the same revenues through monetization and microtransactions, so it will be a few minor tweaks to keep things fresh.

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But that same narrative changes in EA Sports FC.

Tactical Visions are a game changer

One of the biggest shifts in modern football has been the importance of a football philosophy. Giving your team an identity fans can buy into and ultimately improve players is something you can actually achieve in the game this year.

FC 24 takes that concept and really runs with it. The new Tactical Vision option allows a manager to come in and assess different ways of playing – so you can Park the Bus like Jose Mourinho to Gegenpressing like Jurgen Klopp. Of course, in recent installments, you could do this with custom tactics settings, though casuals may have found it to be quite technical and time-consuming.

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EA SPORTS
Tika Taka really benefitted my team, after a few terrible games on Counter Attack. Choose wisely.

Everything feeds into the Tactical Vision, too. Just like the NBA 2K series, you can now hire different members of coaching staff to focus on delivering your way of playing with the squad of players. These coaches are graded differently based on expertise and all come at various costs, meaning managers need to squeeze as much as they can out of their wage budget.

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Once they are hired, the coaches focus on specific members of the squad to improve their game in the ways you ask of them. It’s a more immersive version of player development.

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EA FC 24 coaching, transfers & scouting

On top of that, your assistant manager is more helpful than ever. You will come to learn quite quickly that using their guidance will be crucial in managing sharpness and fitness across the season. In my Career Mode save, the fixture pileup that came with Europa League football provided a big test in the second season with a smaller squad, injuries, and fatigue.

Choosing the right training plan per player sounds like an irritating job if you just want to play games, but it makes the marathon that is a season-long campaign feel more rewarding.

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On the transfer side of things, there are more viable free agent options in the first season, and loans aren’t as difficult to come by as last year. Really exciting prospects like Brighton’s Evan Ferguson, Real Madrid’s Arda Guler, and Liverpool’s Stefan Bajcetic are available.

If you want to set up a scouting network too, there’s an option to filter by players who fit your Tactical Vision and search for specific playstyles.

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Tactical Vision is a major feature that feeds into everything you do as a manager.

Just like real football, you can decide if a pressing monster like Dominik Szoboszlai fits your Gegenpressing system and then make the signing. And for the scouting network, you may find the next big star that is on nobody’s radar.

EA Sports FC changes the game

Retaining a lot of league licenses despite the name change was crucial, too. There are more stadiums, leagues, and teams officially licensed than ever before. The only minor criticism here really is the ‘Play as a Real Manager’ option. If you’re going to give the option that name, there needs to be official face scans for all coaches available for selection – and we can’t find Ted Lasso, either.

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That said, non-Ultimate Team players have a lot of new features to keep them occupied this year, outside of being a manager or carving out your journey in Player Career. Pro Clubs is cross-platform for the first time ever and with a new season system, no doubt many of us will be sinking many hours into that mode once again.

ea fc 24 career modeEA SPORTS
Winning trophies feels more rewarding than ever.

EA FC 24 changes the game in many ways. The most realistic Career Mode experience they have ever created is additional value to the already successful Ultimate Team. While it is not perfect, there’s enough evidence in this first launch to suggest we’re on an exciting path.

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And I’m not just saying that because I’ve won the Europa League already…