FIFA 23 lets sensitive gamers turn off 'critical commentary'
Never hear a bad word about your terrible performance with this new FIFA 23 feature
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: FIFA 23 commentary
🔇 FIFA 23 includes an option to turn off commentary that highlights how badly you’re playing
👀 The option to ‘Disable Critical Commentary’ can be found in the game’s settings
🙊 If ‘Disable Critical Commentary’ is turned on, your poor performance on the pitch won’t be called out by the commentary team
😔 Some developers have started to include changes that protect gamers from feeling bad
FIFA 23 contains a new feature that lets you disable negative in-game commentary, protecting those who may get upset at being criticized for playing badly.
The new option was spotted in FIFA 23’s settings (thanks, Eurogamer), which is available to EA Play subscribers, who can play a 10-hour trial before the game’s September 30 release date.
Simply turn on ‘Disable Critical Commentary’ from the game’s audio menu, and your performance, no matter how abysmal, won’t draw the wrath of FIFA 23’s commentary team Derek Rae and Stewart Robson. I’m surprised there isn’t an option to hide the scoreboard entirely, quite honestly.
It appears like this option has been added to help stop younger players from getting frustrated when they’re on the end of a hiding, but I can’t help but roll my eyes at its inclusion. It’s not like the commentators criticize the player directly – they’re merely commentating on the performance of a bunch of virtual men and women, which is supposed to be reflective of a real-life football broadcast.
I’m fully aware that the option to disable critical commentary doesn’t impact me directly, as it’s something that I’d never dream of turning on. But have we honestly reached the point where gamers can’t even hear an accurate comment on what’s happening on screen? There are countless assists and difficulty settings to make the game easier if that’s an issue, but removing the threat of Derek Rae chastizing Granit Xhaka over a misplaced pass seems ridiculous.
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We’ve seen a gradual trend from some developers to obscure certain information to protect the fragile egos of some gamers. Examples include the removal of an end-of-match scoreboard in Battlefield 2042, which was eventually reinstated, and hiding players’ kill/death ratios.
A huge part of football culture is the excitement of winning a game, but losing and drawing are also part and parcel of every matchday. This step by FIFA 23 feels as welcome as when professional footballers criticize fans for booing the team, even though they paid good money to watch them, and are completely entitled to their opinion if they put on a shocking display.
Maybe that should be the next step, actually. Ban booing or jeering from the crowd noises. I’m sure Manchester United’s Harry Maguire would love that. Maybe just give both players a win online as well, then no one’s feelings are hurt.
The irony that FIFA 23 developer EA has been accused of selling gambling to children for several years with its Ultimate Team mode isn’t lost on me either. But don’t worry about that, this is clearly more important. 🙃
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