FIFA 19 sees the franchise finally add the long-awaited UEFA Champions League to its considerable list of licensed content along with a steady stream of changes and improvements.
RELATED: Gamer Food: The Essentials
Here are thoughts on the newly-released FIFA 19.
Unleashing The Champions
Unless you have been under a rock, you would’ve seen the addition to UCL to FIFA 19. It was a big focus in all the trailers and build-up to the launch of FIFA 19. It’s an important addition to the game that helps bump up the realism, with arguably the world’s biggest club tournament being added. FIFA has jumped at the chance and integrated the tournament into both The Journey and as the initial showcase game you play before you head into the menus for the first time. The iconic UCL song always gets the adrenaline going and is a really nice addition to the game this year.
Continuing The Journey
In FIFA 19 we see the third installment of The Journey, as you continue Alex Hunter’s soap opera career through FIFA’s flagship story mode. This year you can expect to play in the UCL, as mentioned, but also expect a bit more variation as you now also get to take the seat of two of the other characters – Danny Williams and talented sister Kim Hunter. The Journey continues to be a nice change of pace from the other game modes, but is wearing a little thin in terms of the overall construct. The entire experience feels very scripted and your involvement almost inconsequential. This surely needs a full overhaul for FIFA 20 next year.
Extra-Time: New Additions To FIFA 19
Quick Game has had an overhaul as well with a much-needed boost in fun. Firstly, it tracks your performance when you are playing against friends. You can keep track of who is winning, but more than that, some fun new arcade style modes have been added. These modes include things like ‘headers and volleys, long-range goals count double and even a survival mode (each time you score you get one player sent off, keeping the teams balanced despite skill levels). These modes are reminiscent of the NHL Hits game that was jam-packed with fun arcade formats. That’s not even mentioning the ‘free foul mode’ which allows you to make dangerous tackles with impunity bringing a truckload of nostalgia from FIFA 2001 with it’s foul button. Well done EA.
Career mode is the same as usual. It features a bit more polish, but is still relying on some, now very old, mechanics. Unnerving a manager in a press conference still results in a news title that says “small time mentality.” Given the popularity of this mode we would expect a deeper overhaul here, but expect the same experience as FIFA 18.
FUT has some new introductions mainly through a new mini-mode, called Division Rivals. It essentially replaces the old online seasons mode. It’s a new shorter way to qualify for the FUT Champions weekend event. The focus of FUT, as always, is live updates and changes throughout the upcoming year and this looks solid again this year with Champions cards, limited-time packs, daily and weekly objectives, special events and tournaments to keep you in front of your console for hours on end.
Staying On The Ball
Now let’s get on to the gameplay. EA continues to refine the gameplay engine to improve realism and we can see some significant changes implemented in FIFA 19. The first, most noticeable change, is to the ball and player physics. It feels more random when colliding as to who retains the ball, with it often popping out and away from both players. This results in midfield battles being more 50/50 and forces you to pass more or think twice about pushing through players. This is mirrored with an increase in strength of bigger players like defenders, improving their ability to push you off the ball.
FIFA 19 also introduced the new timed shooting mechanic, which works as a risk reward tactic much like Gears of War’s timed reload mechanic. Time the shot just right and expect a stronger more accurate shot. Mess it up and expect it going wide or high.
FIFA 19 continues the tradition of subtle improvements with this iteration. The improved mechanics are something that we expect every year. FIFA 19 does add some much needed additions in the UEFA tournaments and new Quickplay modes that really bump it up a notch. If you are a football fan, there is no question you will want this, it has tons of replayability especially with the new multiplayer game modes as well as the best licensed football experience around.
Are you playing FIFA 19? Drop us a comment below and let us know.