FIFA Mobile - 5 things we do and don't want to see

Just a little Pep talk for EA

FIFA Mobile - 5 things we do and don't want to see
| FIFA Mobile

EA recently announced FIFA Mobile - a new approach to the world's biggest footy franchise on mobile.

From this year onwards, EA is doing away with the premise of releasing a fresh mobile FIFA every year. Rather, the core FIFA Mobile experience will be continuously updated. Out goes the incremental annual release approach, in comes the 'game as service' model.

We also learned of a brand new Attack Mode feature that wisely borrows from arguably the greatest mobile footy game of them all, New Star Soccer. Smart move, EA.

There's also a new Live Events feature that looks to reflect the goings on in the real football world. Many of the precise details remain elusive, though.

Like Manchester City's Pep Guardiola frantically directing his team from the sidelines, here's how we want EA to play things out with FIFA Mobile.

We don't want console FIFA

Let's do away with any lingering misconception here - one thing we really don't want from FIFA Mobile is the slightest attempt at a direct console conversion. It must me tempting, given the amount of power on tap in the latest mobile processors, as well as the ongoing success of the FIFA franchise.

But mobile is no place for a fully-fledged FIFA game. Despite its mainstream appeal, it's a game that requires the precise use of every button on a modern physical controller. That just doesn't translate to a touchscreen.

EA took some welcome steps forward in terms of a fluid mobile experience with FIFA 16, which was a lot more forgiving and flexible than before. It needs to continue that good work in FIFA Mobile.

Intelligent play and making the ball do the work

So how to you make a simplified brand of FIFA feel like a proper footy game? By getting the basic physics and mechanics of play right - something that really can be lifted from the console series.

Allow the ball to move and react realistically - which means, to a certain extent, unpredictably. Further to that, make the AI feel like it's responding, you know, intelligently.

The biggest bane of any footy game's longevity (including FIFA) is when you discover set avenues of play, whether that's the exaggerated effectiveness of kick-and-run wing play or the high success rate of a low angled shot across goal from just inside the box. You don't need a million flicks and tricks to make FIFA Mobile feel like real football, EA. Just make the basic match play feel alive (and kicking).

We do want a career mode

Just because we don't want the full console FIFA experience on our mobiles, doesn't mean we don't want a meaty campaign mode. One of the key components of any football video game over the decades has been taking your team through a season or three.

FIFA 16 got a fair few things right, but its lack of any traditional single player content was a major oversight. Not everyone plays Ultimate Team, EA, and even those that do like to tackle the odd regular season from time to time.

At least let us have a kick-around

Related to that last point, FIFA 16 didn't even let us have a one-off kick-around using our favourite team. That's kind of the core FIFA experience, so its omission of a basic match mode was faintly ludicrous.

Don't make the same mistake again, eh, EA?

Sort that UI out

One thing you can count on in an annual EA sports game, without fail, is top notch presentation. And we're not just talking about the graphics - its UIs are typically crisp and fluid.

We're not sure what went wrong with FIFA 16 on mobile, then. The UI was an absolute mess, with too many stages and a general lack of responsiveness.

Mobile UIs have been steadily perfected in recent years, whether you're talking about the latest versions of iOS and Android or the best apps in the business. There's really no excuse for a sloppy interface in FIFA Mobile.

What would you like to see from FIFA Mobile? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.