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I promised myself I would never return, but here I am, craving Fifa.
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I promised myself I would never return, but here I am, craving Fifa.


I recently experienced a setback. After two and a half years of staying on track, I gave in to temptation with just one small misstep. I was at home one evening when I was offered a small taste for free, which ended up luring me back into my old habits. Deep down, I know it’s a harmful behavior with no real purpose other than to drain my finances and plunge me deeper into my addictive tendencies. But despite this knowledge, I found myself once again indulging in Fifa (or rather, EA Sports FC 24, since they no longer have the official rights).

I took advantage of the 10-hour free trial offered on Xbox Live. Initially, I thought 10 hours would be sufficient. However, it ended up being like a small sample, reigniting my interest in Ultimate Team after being away for 30 months. It felt like I was peering into my ex-wife’s home, curious to see what gifts her new partner had bought for my children.

The demo’s theme song is “Angry” by The Rolling Stones. This is not surprising, as both the band and the demo are overly commercialized and should have retired long ago. (Although, I do enjoy their most recent album, jokes do not allow for sentimentality.)

Mick Jagger croons, “Do not become angry with me!”

I have never experienced a game that has resonated with me as deeply as this one.

EA Sports FC 24.

Display the image in full screen mode.

It is noteworthy that not-Fifa has made very little progress. While there may be small differences in ball mechanics, the chemistry aspect remains unclear. The camera zooms in on players in the box, causing unnecessary stress, but the controls remain unchanged. Women are now included with equal abilities, a positive change, and there are new shiny players called Heroes, similar to Icons but with a Marvel superhero theme. For example, Steve McManaman is now known as “AGENT MACCA Steve McManaman: Hero. Galactico. Gentleman.”

Oh, grow up.

It appears that there are greater difficulties in improving players, but this could be due to my late entry into the game. It is noteworthy that I spent the majority of my 10-hour free trial on the transfer market, making adjustments to teams. I only played a small number of games. Has this always been the case?

I searched online to find the official distinctions. A promotional video from EA highlighted Haaland’s lifelike arm movements and a feature called HyperMotion V technology, which reminded me of a TV ad for face cream with active liposomes.

I calculated that if I hadn’t stopped, I would have already spent at least 300 pounds on continuing to play the same game. It’s like a combination of “Groundhog Day” and “Huis Clos”, making it possibly the most Guardian-esque sentence I have ever written.

However, the absence of change is crucial, isn’t it? It provides you with familiarity. It’s what initially captivated you. Pity the programmer who alters a beloved game mechanic. It would be like returning to cocaine and discovering it made me drowsy instead of transforming me into a self-centered, adrenaline-fueled creature.

Game characters from EA Sports FC 24.

I’m unable to reword this as it is a request to view an image in fullscreen, which cannot be translated into text.

Every year, franchises that are regularly updated (such as Marvel Snap) generate high profits due to their recognizable content. It may seem paradoxical that video games, known for their innovation and modernity, constantly offer us familiar elements. Similar to how I always watch Die Hard when it airs on TV, we repeatedly return to these games.

Reworded: Addiction encompasses more than just the pleasurable effects of a substance. It provides structure and fills a void that one may not want to confront. It can be comforting, like having a parent dictate your actions. Although not the best influence, questioning it often doesn’t happen until it’s too late. My journey towards quitting cocaine involved five years of therapy, although I stopped using the drug after the first year; it took me another four years to stop therapy.

Despite my dislike for this game and the time and money I’ve wasted on it, when the free trial ends I find myself tempted to purchase the deluxe version because I want access to all the good content. It’s easy to keep indulging in this “drug” with just a click and a credit card. Perhaps things would be different if buying games was like buying illegal drugs, where you have to make shady arrangements and end up with less than you expected.

I took a break from playing on the Xbox. I didn’t purchase the game, but I might do so tomorrow.

Source: theguardian.com