(Image credit: EA)
Your wildest Joga Bonito fantasies are about to come true, courtesy of FIFA 20’s all new Volta mode. Alright, not that one about Ronaldinho and the bath of milk, but certainly the ones about pulling off effortless streetball skills with the world’s best footballers in a variety of stages. And even the one about unlocking new shorts to wear in story mode. Stop leaving your diary of obscure fantasies around, and we’ll stop reading it.
Anyway, let’s dive into the details of Volta mode, a substantial new addition to FIFA’s longstanding suite of modes which promises but narrative-led solo play and online competition in a variety of configurations.
FIFA 20 Volta Story mode
Carrying the narrative torch after the conclusion of The Journey in FIFA 19, Volta’s story begins with your customisable streetballer joining a new crew. They’re familiar stereotypes in cutscenes, yes, but this is a football game after all, not an interactive exploration of Voltaire. Before too long your pro must go it alone and find a new crew after falling out with the aforementioned stereotypes.
FIFA 20 Volta modes
In addition to story mode above, you can hop into a quick solo or online multiplayer match, or Volta Tour, in which you take on AI-controlled teams of real players from around the world of football. Finally, Volta League offers an analog of Online Seasons mode.
FIFA 20 Volta styles
You’re treated to a variety of team styles across Volta modes. The first is rush keepers – in other words, the outfield player nearest the goal at the time acts as goalkeeper as needed, in teams of either three or four. This is the most free-flowing of all the available styles – you won’t see play stopped for much here, except genuinely life-threatening challenges, and the goals are the smallest available.
Next is street with keepers, which is just what it sounds like: the above rules, but featuring dedicated goalkeepers rather than outfield players rushing into net when play calls for it. Larger goals are found here. Finally, futsal offers the more regulated street football variant: five-a-side, dedicated keepers, corners and kick-ons, and a referee with cards in his pocket just twitching to bring them out.
FIFA 20 pitch sizes and surfaces
Like that wasn’t already enough variables to keep you interested for a while, three different pitch sizes are available. Fancy cramming 5v5 into a tiny storage cupboard-sized playing area? It’s done. Want some room to stretch your legs and practice skills with time before your marker descends on you? Job done. Walls can be toggled, flick-ons to yourself are possible when they’re enabled, and different playing surfaces affect ball speed and behaviour. It’s detailed
FIFA 20 Volta team composition
Whichever of the above styles you play, striking the right balance of players is key in Volta. This is skill-based football, so 4.5 and 5 star skill ratings are a must-have for anyone you field. Ashley Barnes need not apply.
There’s more to consider, though: if you’re playing with smaller goals, shooting is fully manual. In other words, bloody impossible. Shooting accuracy suddenly becomes crucially important. Ok Ashley, you’re back in mate. But at least watch that old Nike video of Ronaldinho hitting the crossbar over and over again to show you’re willing, would you?
Finally, at some point, you are going to have to defend in a Volta game. It’s not fun, and it’s not stylish, but sometimes you just need to stick a foot in and get the ball back so you can start tricking your way to the opposition goal again. Therefore, defensively minded players with high skill ratings become incredibly valuable – think Marcelo, Dani Alves and the like.
FIFA 20 Volta autoskill
You might be reading all this and becoming visibly damp with sheer dread at the thought of having to lollop around, failing skill after skill in front of an online opponent. You needn’t: by holding down both triggers on a gamepad, you’ll initiate an autoskill mode in Volta which gives your players license to pull of silky tekkers without you having to squabble with the right analog stick like a Street Fighter player having a sneezing fit.
The idea here is to get all players, regardless of skill level, playing Volta in the spirit it’s intended in: graceful, balletic manoeuvres within a confined space, rather than sprinting 20 yards at full pelt and hoying it at the goal over and over again.
FIFA 20 Volta aerial skills
Holding down R2 L2 won’t get you everywhere, though. To get the ball off the ground and unleash some impressive aerial feats, a tap in of the right analog stick is required. Once the ball’s airborne, taps of the right stick control the direction of your aerial touches. It’s not easy, but with some practice it’s possible to negate the whole opposing team with two or three clever flicks.
FIFA 20 Volta customisation options
This is a FIFA game after all, and it’s 2019, so of course there are pages and pages or shorts, hairstyles, and other incidental bobbins to cycle through, unlock, and customise your character with. Although you’re given an Alex Hunter-style archetype at the start of Volta story, you can go ahead and craft your own potato-headed clothes horse just as the spirit takes you.