Fifa Street is coming back – sort of.
Fifa 20, which is due to be released in September, will bring back 5-a-side matches which will rely on skills and tricks as much as it does traditional gameplay.
The Volta mode, as it is known, appears to be an entirely new game mode. As such it will be the first truly new feature to come to the series since Fifa 17, when EA Sports introduced its narrative mode called The Journey.
But Volta will be very familiar to long-time fans of the franchise: it brings all of the same features from Fifa Street.
As well as allowing for extra skill moves in the gameplay, the feature allows players to battle it out in urban landscapes and on small pitches. And it will bring whole new kinds of games, such as 3-v-3, matches without keepers, and a Futsal mode.
“Express your style in VOLTA with a custom-built gameplay system grounded in football realism,” EA Sports said in its announcement. “Inspired by the authentic small-sided form of football played in streets, cages, and futsal courts across the world; VOLTA gameplay immerses you in the flow of the street with new tools including simplified flicks and skill moves, new flair animations, and even the option to use the wall to your advantage.”
The mode appears to sit separately from the other parts of the game, such as career, kick-off, seasons and Fifa Ultimate Team. But it appears to include some part of all of them: it will allow players to make their way through a career, gradually levelling up as they play matches, but will also offer its own kick-off mode to allow players to jump straight into games.
As well as the different game modes, the various arenas will change the game, EA Sports said. There will be a variety of different styles and sizes of arenas and environments – “From an underpass in Amsterdam, to a neighbourhood cage in London, to a Tokyo rooftop” – which will each change the gameplay in various ways.
Many of the images and video released from the game so far suggest that it not only borrows some of the same game mechanics but also includes places to play that are throwbacks to the original locations in Fifa Street.
It will be possible to customise male and female players with new boots and clothes as well as tattoos and hairstyles, EA said.
Such a mechanism has been incredibly popular in NBA 2K, which offers a similar MyCareer mode that allows players to gradually unlock new cosmetic items. It has also proven very financially rewarding for developers, since players can also buy those same cosmetic items through microtransactions that allow for more money to be made after the game is released.
Just as with Fifa Street, the game will allow players to use versions of real teams.
Fifa Street was one of the most beloved editions of the Fifa games. But it was released in 2012 and very little has been heard about it since.
The hype behind every Fifa game that has been released in the intervening years always included some suggesting that Fifa Street would return, or that its features would be folded into the main version of the game.
Now that appears to have finally come true, at least partly, with the addition of the new Volta mode.
Volta means “to return” in Portuguese, and so is presumably at least partly a reference to the mode’s comeback.