EA Sports has significantly redesigned the way penalties and free-kicks work for FIFA 20.
As revealed in an EA Play livestream, the penalties and free-kicks have a new aiming mechanic designed to be more accessible, but with elements of skill to retain depth for those interested in mastery.
Here's how penalties look with the new aiming mechanic (I assume the target can be removed when you're playing against another human player).
And here's how the new free-kicks look:
In FIFA 19, free-kicks involve moving the camera to help direct where the ball will go. In FIFA 20, the camera appears to remain fixed while you move a target you have to lock in place to trigger the player run-up. Then it's over to the right stick.
What's interesting is that with free-kicks, you have full control over the spin you apply to the ball (there's a line drawn from within the target you can move to control spin in the run up). With this you create your trajectory. You can do side spin, top spin, no spin, or a combination, which is based on how you swing the right stick.
The trajectory lets you move the ball around the wall or over the wall. You can even do a Ronaldo-style knuckle shot (swerving or a dipping motion, but no spin).
Sam Rivera, lead gameplay producer, said that when it comes to free-kicks, "Basically, you swing the right stick and you see the trajectory being created."
In the clip shown, the player sets the target outside of the goal, but the ball curves in enough to hit the back of the net.
EA, clearly, is trying to add a fun factor to penalties and free-kicks, and I can see how flicking the right stick will help with that. Hopefully there's enough depth there though to make it rewarding, though.