Son Heung-min is doing what he does best. He’s received the ball on the left flank, skinned the defending full-back, deftly touched the ball to the right as he reaches the box and – as he has so many times before – aims to send a curling ball arcing into the far corner of the goal from long range. And then a little golden diamond pops up above his head.
This is the moment I first come across EA Sports FC 24’s new feature, PlayStyles+. A moment later, I’ve scored the beautiful goal I was attempting to recreate, I’m 1-0 up, I’m irritating my neighbor with the noise I’m making – and it’s thanks to Sonny’s PlayStyle+ in Finesse Shots.
Think of PlayStyles+ as special abilities – each one aiming to represent the world’s best players’ own personal athletic genius. PlayStyles come in two forms: PlayStyles (without the +) are an evolution of the series’ previous Traits, innate abilities that each player possesses. But PlayStyles+ are rarer, offering extra abilities beyond that of the regular professional’s scope.
Found in among your players’ line-up of stats, PlayStyles are an attempt to not just rate your squad by stats alone, but in what each squad member can do beyond their base abilities. PlayStyles+ elevate the very best players beyond a counterpart who might otherwise share a similar numerical rating.
A PlayStyle+ can apply anywhere on the pitch – players can have them for various facets of goalkeeping, ball control, physicality, defending, passing, or shooting – and can be deeply relevant to how you choose to use that player, or how to set up your team.
“Think of PlayStyles+ as special abilities – each one aiming to represent the world’s best players’ own personal athletic genius.”
Taking Son as an example again, his PlayStyle+ with Finesse Shots – which means they’re taken faster, with more curl, and extremely high accuracy – means that I now aim to use that kind of shot more than any other.
Moving over to Bayern Munich, I quickly discover that wing-back Alphonso Davies comes equipped with the Quick Step PlayStyle+, meaning his initial burst of speed from an explosive sprint is freakishly fast – so I quickly begin routing my counter-attacks through him to make use of that immense speed. With Man City, I suddenly see new signing Josko Gvardiol arc out a leg almost impossibly to stop a shot, in a way I’ve never seen before – all thanks to his Block PlayStyle+ – and know that I’ll be taking control of him the next time a marauding attacker approaches.
In a lovely touch, each time you activate PlayStyles+, an icon appears above the player’s head – and there’s an unexpected joy in seeing that appear for the first time, a scramble for the Team Management menu to check it out, and a desire to see it again. As much as I admire the system for what it adds to FC 24’s simulation make-up, what I’m loving about it is that old fashioned, deeply video game-y feeling of unlocking a new spell, or stumbling on a fighting game special move you didn’t know about. Each time I see a new one, I’m delighted all over again.
EA Sports FC 24 launches on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One on September 29 – but you can play it in Early Access today by playing the Ultimate Edition, with an EA Play trial, or with EA Play Pro.
EA SPORTS FC
24 Ultimate Edition Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S
– Up to 7 Days Early Access, start playing on 22 Sept
– 4600 FC Points
– Access to a Nike Campaign in Ultimate Team
– Nike Ultimate Team
– Nike x EA SPORTS FC
– Untradeable Team of the Week 1 Ultimate Team
– 1 Month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (new members only)
– Plus all Standard Edition incentives
Play by 1 Nov to earn Founder Status*.
EA SPORTS FC
EA SPORTS FC
Feel closer to the game with three cutting-edge technologies powering unparalleled realism in every match: HyperMotionV**, PlayStyles optimised by Opta, and an enhanced Frostbite
HyperMotionV captures the game as it’s truly played, using volumetric data from 180+ pro men’s and women’s matches to ensure movement in-game accurately reflects real-world action on the pitch.
PlayStyles dimensionalise athletes, interpreting data from Opta and other sources into signature abilities which heighten the realism and individuality of each player.
The enhanced Frostbite
Develop club legends and improve your players with the brand new Ultimate Team
Write your own story in Manager and Player Career, and join friends on the pitch with cross-play*** in Clubs and VOLTA FOOTBALL
EA SPORTS FC
This game includes optional in-game purchases of virtual currency that can be used to acquire virtual in-game items, including a random selection of virtual in-game items.
FC Points not available in Belgium.
*Conditions and restrictions apply. See https://www.ea.com/games/ea-sports-fc/fc-24/game-offer-and-disclaimers for details.
**HyperMotionV technology only available on Xbox Series X|S.
***Cross-play enabled in certain modes on same-generation platforms. Cross-play not available on Nintendo Switch
Conditions & restrictions apply. See ea.com/legal for details.
© 2023 Electronic Arts Inc. Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, the EA SPORTS logo, EA SPORTS FC, the EA SPORTS FC logo, Frostbite, the Frostbite logo, Ultimate Team, and VOLTA FOOTBALL are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc.
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Source: MajorNelson Xbox News