An early Christmas present to soccer fans around the world, FIFA 21’s next-gen upgrade is free for all those who currently own the game on PS4 and Xbox One, and adds fancy new hair tech for some star players like Lionel Messi, improved textures and lighting, and other graphical flourishes.
We booted up FIFA 21 for a kick about last night (the upgrade actually dropped early) and were particularly impressed by the game's new lighting system which adds another layer of realism to proceedings.
The next-gen version gives the ball a makeover, too: the ball will now compress when it’s struck by a player, so players will “feel that sense of weight on the ball, which creates a more authentic experience,” according to FIFA producer Sam Rivera.
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There’s also a brand-new camera angle that players can select, called EA Sports Game Cam. This angle is supposed to give a more realistic, TV-style presentation, but it will also let you see more of the pitch.
FIFA 21 on PS5 also benefits from some clever DualSense controller implementation. Haptic feedback will indicate which foot your player has struck the ball with, and the adaptive triggers will increase in resistance the more tired your player gets – expect the R2 trigger to furiously fight against you when tracking back as Paul Pogba, then.
There are even more tweaks and changes with this new FIFA 21 PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrade, such as “off-the-ball humanization”, where players will carry out new animations such as a captain adjusting their armband, or players pointing into space more realistically. But all you really need to know is that the update is out now and… you’ve probably already gone to play it, haven’t you?
Remember that this upgrade is a free update for existing owners of FIFA 21, but if you opt for the standalone PS5 / Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S version that is out today, you’ll need to stump up $70 / £69.99 to kick a ball about.
Unfortunately, if you own FIFA 21 on PC you're missing out on these upgrades, as EA isn't bringing the same features to the platform.