FIFA 19 – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of FIFA 19
FIFA to me has always been a bit of a double edged sword, I love football and have played the video game version a lot more than the real life version over the last few years as my aging bones struggle to keep up.
I’ve played various different versions of both FIFA and PES on numerous different platforms over the years and its always been FIFA that comes out on top for presentation and licensing and PES that had shone for the physical game but gradually I’ve found myself leaning more and more to EA’s baby as they have polished it year on year.
This year with the advent of the UEFA licenses leaving Konami and joining the rest of the world EA’s stranglehold on the presentation side of the fence is virtually complete, in usual FIFA fashion the Champion League is polished and looks fantastic in the game, once that music kicks in it instantly feels right at home.
Playing a career game in previous iterations of the game was great but that European competition always was the chink in the armour that made the season seem slightly less believable, now the season has everything you can play through a career in complete immersion to the real world.
With every year and every new version that comes along there is always tweaks and changes that affect the gameplay, some years there is less impact than others but for me this year’s changes I’m really enjoying so far.
The shooting mechanism of the game has now been changed with the trainer teaching you a new double tap method of shooting which is similar to some active reload systems from shooter games where it times a second press of the button which simulates your timing of hitting the ball after your first press sets the power.
It makes for some interesting goals where you can scuff shots but hit them early wrong footing the keeper and on other occasions swing your shot wildly out to the corner flag, when you do hit that sweet spot of perfect timing though you can score some absolutely world class goals.
Add to this the changes to the ball control system and the more realistic passing that the game has implemented and the picture becomes even more realistic, you can pull of some stunning moves and controls using the right stick to bamboozle your opponents but for every beautiful move you do manage you will also lose control of the ball and give possession away pointlessly.
Passing the ball now seems a lot less computer controlled and actually seems like you are passing the ball rather than just pinging a laser guided missile to a teammate, this encourages you to be a bit more intelligent with your passing and using a team set up for the passing game can give you a real sense of satisfaction when you are stringing passes together all over the pitch.
50/50 balls are just what they should be now and the game takes into account the players competing stats, positioning and the timing of the tackle to make everything seem like you are actually battling for the ball.
Away from the main changes to the game the Journey is back for its final season and while it offers a mildly entertaining side-line to the main core game, it is still just a thinly veiled story that paints a picture of you making choices but in reality they don’t have any major impact on how things pan out.
The only major development to The Journey this year is there are three characters, Alex Hunter from the previous games, Danny Williams and Alex’s teenage sister Kim Hunter who is just breaking through, you can either play all three woven into one storyline or play them split up, either way the storyline is mildly entertaining but it could have been so much more.
The kick off mode which is the staple of couch competitive or co-op games has been neglected for quite a while now and this year has been given more than just a lick of paint, you can set yourself up a kick off mode profile which you can take with you to friends consoles by linking it to your gamertag and likewise friends bring theirs with them to your machine, this profile tracks your stats and head to heads against each other for bragging rights.
The biggest and best change for me though is the introduction of ‘House Rules’ this allows you to play games with a twist such as ‘Headers & Volleys’ where only headers or volleys will count, ‘Survival’ where every time a goal is scored the scoring team randomly loses an outfield player so the games becomes a bit more tactical as your team thins and you get overrun.
The funniest of all though is ‘No Rules’ which gives no offside, fouls or bookings just beware these games can cause arguments as you end up mauling each other with some horrendous challenges.
I’m still to experiment with Ultimate Team mode as that is my least favourite part of the game but the mode is mainly unchanged, as far as I can see the only real addition is Division Rivals which seems to allow you to play against other players of a similar skill level for weekly rewards.
For the first time in a good few years I’ve really enjoyed jumping into the game and learning to play using the new additions, lump in all the presentation changes, the UEFA licences and FIFA 19 is walking away with it for me this year.
Anyone with EA Access can jump in and play a 10 trial of the full game now prior to release on 28th September and some versions of the full game allow early access to the game too.
Developer: EA Vancouver
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Twitter: @EA @EASportsFIFA
Price: £54.99 – £89.99