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FIFA 19 Review: Does the new game offer anything new?

Wednesday 17th October 2018
Does EA's domination continue?
Does EA's domination continue?

Image Via: Flickr/Steam XO

The yearly football video game juggernaut is now out, but how is the latest version stacking up on the field?

Big money signing

EA have always dominated in licences and big names with Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar the cover stars this year. However, they have made a huge signing this year which has been with it’s greatest rival for the last decade. The official Champions League and Europa League licenses have been picked up by FIFA and is the extra shine on top for them.

While there are no completely new modes, some areas have received new additions whilst others have disappointingly stayed virtually identical.

The Journey, the story of Alex Hunter, which has been told over the last two games comes to an end in FIFA 19. Whilst the first version of the journey captured peoples imagination two years ago, this years, like last, feels a bit of a drag. Players will play through it to see the conclusion of the story, but aside from early on, there is a lack of cutscenes which is ultimately why people would play the mode.

Ultimate Team is still the standout part of the game and once again EA has heavily invested into it. Adding on from the introduction of Squad Battles 12 months ago, comes Division Rivals which improves the competitive element for players from Monday to Thursday before Weekend Leagues.

Following on from Ultimate Team, EA has also made a conscious effort to expand their competitive esports scene which is looking like making huge steps in the right direction this year.

However, not all play Ultimate Team and for many, it seems those in charge have put all their eggs, or finances into one basket.

Pro Clubs and Career Mode are basically the same as they were on FIFA 18 so for players who spend the majority of their time here, you will be disappointed.

Kick off has received an overhaul with many new modes including no rules which will certainly spice up offline play with your mates.

On the pitch

Pro Evolution Soccer set the bar high this year and FIFA has gone a similar way with its gameplay. Like PES it is much slower in comparison to FIFA 18. Fast players have much less of an advantage, but the overall pace has dropped making it much harder to simply knock the ball around quickly.

FIFA 19 has an extremely steep learning curve to start with. Every year it takes time to adjust to the new version of the game, but many of the core elements have been revamped meaning more hours will need to be put in before you can compete this time around.

The two biggest changes, apart from the overall pace come at opposite ends of the field. Shooting has been completely changed meaning you will miss many, many one-on-ones in your first games. They have also added a new, slightly complicated, timed finishing move which once perfected will help in certain scenarios.

At the other end the AI/CPU defending has drastically increased making it much harder to break down. However, its biggest impact on games will be felt when you are defending, in simple terms, the computer will do a lot more on your behalf, whilst the timing of tackles is now more crucial.

Overall

It does feel like a different game on the pitch from last year, but some will certainly be put off by the slower pace. Likewise, it also depends which modes you play if you are to feel the full benefits of the newest title. FIFA 19 is a leap forward in terms of realism and certainly will make a fortune again for EA. If it has come on as an overall package since last year is questionable. Yet, despite this, it will still sit atop the football gaming tree for the next twelve months.

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Simon Hahn

Lifelong sufferer following Darlington FC from League Two to the Northern League. Freelance Sports and data journalist. Living for 3pm on Saturday.


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