If you’re among the many FIFA fanatics that have had the luxury of playing FIFA three days prior to its release, then I’m sure you’ll agree it’s lived up to expectations. If you have only just managed to grab yourself a copy, then you have some catching up to do! This year’s FIFA 19 has continued the trend of improving on its predecessor. Whilst the improvements are minimal, there are significant steps taken towards providing an authentic gaming experience. Here is IG’s review of FIFA 19.
The biggest improvement in FIFA 19 has to be the inclusion of the UEFA Champions League. After years of battling legal rights, FIFA 19 are now able to feature the prestigious competition. Something that was admittedly sorely lacking in previous FIFA titles, and something that their rivals PES no longer have over them. The Champions League feature is available in both Kick Off and Career Mode menus where stages are available to play in whole, or individually. With the addition of the Champions League, comes the addition of 16 new La Liga stadiums and even Spurs’ new White Hart Lane that is still under construction, and stadiums generally have an enhanced feeling.
Arguably a contender for best development, FIFA 19’s Kick Off menu now includes nine new features; it is unlikely there will be many complaining about the “extortionate prices.” The game modes vary, from Headers and Volleys, to the No Rules segment where fouls and bookings are removed; perfect for relieving pent up anger! In addition, the menu now includes a Survival Mode. Each time a team scores, they lose a player, subsequently swinging the advantage back in the favour of the trailing team. This feature, alongside FIFA 19’s new tactical edge will no doubt revolutionise your abilities on the pitch - it definitely promises many hours of fun!
Alex Hunter returns for his third successive FIFA title, albeit at the amidst the backdrop of complete drama. This year, The Journey also follows the stories of Kim Hunter, Alex’s half sister, and good friend Danny Williams. Each struggle with their own crisis. Alex has hit the big time, playing his trade at Real Madrid. Kim’s breakthrough hangover sees her conflicted with playing for USWNT and her exams. Williams, “the class clown”, struggles to balance the demands of his footballer status off the pitch with solidifying a place at his club. All journey’s can be played simultaneously, or played independently. The Journey has amazing cut scenes that are sure to go down in FIFA history, but one could argue that there is just too much dialogue. With so many decision to make, The Journey is let down by a lack of consequence for our protagonists making one can’t help but feel that the heavy dialogue is an attempt to divert from lacklustre finale of The Journey. The inclusion of the Champions League promises live updates on the player ratings on FUT. The only other major development within FUT is Division Rivals; gamers of similar levels can play each other for weekly rewards, providing more of an incentive for the FUT faithful. Aside from these minor developments, FUT remains relatively the same.
Unlike previous years’ where we have seen an increase in the tempo of gameplay, FIFA 19 has developed the intricate details that have led to massive innovative in-game improvements. Not to detract from the greatness of FIFA 18, but players were far too quick. Often it was far too simple to fly down the wing completely tearing through defences and scoring. The slower gameplay of FIFA 19 essentially forces a tactical mindset to break down your opponent; dominating midfield possession, and crafting through balls and fancy flicks that split defences open mean more now than ever.
With this development, FIFA 19 naturally requires increased attention. Whilst the idea of dominating possession may seem like a walk in the park for most, do not be fooled. Gone are the days where careless tapping of the ‘X’ button would glide the ball with pinpoint precision. FIFA 19 demands care with where you place the ball and with how much power apply. The free-flowing nature of FIFA 19 appear synonymous with Newton’s Third Law; instead, for every sublime piece of control is followed by a sublime piece of miscontrol. Of course depending on the player, you will find some margin for error. Some passes you make may not be pinpoint accurate, but the slower gameplay subsequently allows some players to skilfully rectify their mistake by executing dummies, or using their momentum to add more glamour to their passes.
EA Sports’ strive to provide an authentic football experience has seen a significant reduction in the potential of goals scored from crazy optimistic angles; even if you’re Ronaldo. As previously mentioned, the importance of the perfectly weighted pass, will affect the shot. Not only this, but FIFA 19 is undeniably more physical. No longer can your Raheem Sterling’s and Leroy Sane’s leave Full Backs in their dust. FIFA 19 places great emphasis on players being able to effectively utilise the space to work scoring positions; a far more rewarding development taking FIFA 19 to the next level. Furthermore, defenders naturally use their body position to shield the ball adding to the game’s realism. The reduced gameplay tempo, and player’s reduced agility, essentially compliments the physicality of FIFA 19; the players are always up for a tussle keeping you directly amongst the action.
One criticism of FIFA 19 will have to be the inconsistencies with goalkeeping. At times, the goalkeeper is static in the wrong position, which have led to some questionable goals conceded. Conversely, goalkeepers pull out extraordinary saves that they would otherwise have no chance of saving. Despite these flaws with the goalkeeping aspects of F19, we cannot question there is an added edge in this year’s FIFA 19 authenticity.
Our final words on FIFA 19 remain positive. Its cutting-edge realism provides for a truly authentic experience, even if other aspects of the game have been underwhelming. The games revolutionary gameplay will see the birth of a new wave of tactical players. With the IG platform currently deep under construction, we look forward to finally hosting our very first FIFA 19 tournament.