I had an okay time with Volta, FIFA 20’s new street football mode, during my solid afternoon with it at that same event in July where the FUT part of the day saw EA Sports take a bit of a grilling. It’s snappy, easy to grasp but still with a little bit of nuance to it, if you play for a while, and it’s plenty generous as a mode itself, too. There’s a sort of Journey, crossed with Be a Pro, crossed with Ultimate Team feel to things. Absolutely my type on paper, as the kids say – only it’s just missing that bit of magic to tie it all together.
There are two main ways to play the mode: with your own player, created from scratch, and a team of made-up street stars that you can “steal” from defeated opponents (really it’s more of a copy – you get to choose which of their players to nab but they still keep the player themselves); or with real clubs, online or offline, picking a selection of players – Bale, Ramos and Modric from Real Madrid, say – to make up your small-sided team.
Much of the basics were made clear back at E3, but if you’re unfamiliar, you can play with various team sizes – 3v3 with rush ‘keepers, 4v4 with or without ‘keepers, 5v5 with futsal rules, and so on – and similarly you can tinker with the pitches themselves, turning walls on or off to allow you to play rebounds to yourself or keep things slightly more traditional. When you play online, that customisation is worked in through a ‘house rules’ system, where whoever plays at home plays on their preferred pitch with their preferred team sizes and rules.