The opposition keeper has punched the ball from a corner, of all people the ball falls to my left back, first time he juggles the ball over one defender, juggles it a couple of more times before unleashing a volley from outside the box that flies past the keeper, FIFA 19 makes me feel like the best player around.
Here we are again, PES 2019 got their game out during the summer, while EA were happy to wait for the first weeks of the season to pass before releasing theirs. FIFA 19 is more a game that’s making small improvements rather than radical changes. The big things fans of the game will notice is the new Champions League license.
It all looks fantastic, as you would expect from a EA Sports game. The branding and presentation is all on point, they even drafted in a new commentary team which is a great addition. There is also the full Europa League package too. As I mentioned in my PES 2019 review, licensing is a big thing for me, I play football games to get fully immersed as my favourite players and FIFA 19 ticks all the boxes for me.
Of course, it’s more important how well the game plays on the pitch. FIFA 19 is much more of an arcade experience, you’ll see many more spectacular goals being scored. I’ve already scored 9 or 10 bicycle kicks from corners, which look great but for some reason the game feels more arcadey this year. Certainly from an attacking perspective, passing feels better this year, it was pleasing to see that some of my worldly passes that were always successful last year are a lot harder to land, smashing a cross field ball always landed at my wingers feet, but this year there is more chance of it hitting a supporter on the stands, it forced me to be a bit smarter with my passing and considering a possession based style to my play.
The same issues on the field seem to be there from previous years, I still don’t feel like I’m in complete control of my team, there were still plenty of occasions where one of my team could clearly intercept a pass but don’t, even though I smash buttons in an attempt to get them to and despite all the new animations players still fail to transition fluidly when shooting from awkward positions. It doesn’t ruin the game but it definitely is frustrating.
A new shooting mechanic has been added that improves your chances of scoring, after pressing B to shoot a small bar appears and if you press B in the green area you are more likely to score. It will make a big difference in tight matches. It also depends on the player you are using, you are more likely to hit the back of the net with a highly rated striker than you are with an average one.
The Journey returns and to keep things interesting you’ll have the opportunity to take control of not only Alex Hunters career, but his sister’s, Kim and his close friend Danny Williams. The gameplay mechanics are generally the same, but this year they have added some extra challenges to keep things fresh.
The majority of people who pick up FIFA 19 this year will do so in order to play FIFA Ultimate Team. For the uneducated, FUT is where you get to create your greatest team by playing matches to earn coins that let you bid for players on the transfer market, or by buying packs of cards in the hope you get one of the world’s best. However your chances are slim, thanks to new rules EA have been forced to reveal those chances and it’s pretty grim.
Despite not wanting to, I found myself sucked in, I’m never going to have millions of coins but I found myself getting really involved with Squad Battles, where you play other players Ultimate Teams in order to earn points, if you reached a certain tier by the end of the week you were rewarded with coins and gold packs. It works really well and is great if you don’t want to play against real players online. Squad Building Challenges are tough but generate some great rewards, but if you really want to get noticed you’ll want to jump onto FUT Champions, where you’ll player other people to earn points to qualify for the weekend tournament. You’ll need to be good and have a lot of time on yours hands if you want to qualify and get anywhere in the weekend tournament.
As you would expect from and EA Sports title, FIFA 19’s presentation is spot on, from the great International soundtrack to the incredible graphics and match day presentation, it makes for a great atmosphere when playing.
Hardcore fans will pick up FIFA 19 regardless, but if you are new to football games I can highly recommend this game as your entry title, the clever use of the FIFA trainer that gives you on screen feedback of how to play the game, as well as lots of training modes it’s a great way to get the best from the game. With its plethora of game modes you’ll find the release of FIFA 20 will upon you before you realise.
FIFA 19 really is the beautiful game.