FIFA 19 is almost here, and the reviews are in

At last, FIFA 19 is almost here. Set to release on 28 September, the newest footballing outing is already making headlines. The game has been available on EA Access for a few days now, and the reviews have been rolling in ever since. Opinions have been mostly favorable so far, but the general consensus is that that the game, while definitely fun, has a few minor but notable issues

Don’t have EA Access? No worries! Read on to see what critics are saying.

FIFA 19: Review Roundup

Eurogamer has called FIFA 19 a “spectacular, troubling video game.” The site notes a marked improvement over its predecessor in terms of gameplay, but also flags some problematic aspects of FIFA 19’s online mode, Ultimate Team.

IGN reports that FIFA 19 is a “distinct improvement upon last year’s effort,” praising the game’s new modes and improved ball control. However, the reviewer takes issue with the “Gears of War style” shooting mechanic and lack of consequence from the in-game choices.

GameInformer’s review is slightly more mixed. One on hand, the site commends the game’s natural feel, which it calls an improvement over the previous installments, but overall states that the game is “more exciting on the pitch than off due to the small additions made to the former and the lack of progress for the latter.”

GameRevolution called FIFA 19 a “unique, utterly gleeful soccer game” and praises the new Division Rivals mode. The site does criticise the lack of changes made to some of its play modes, most notably in the game’s Career Mode.

Read on to find out everything we know so far about FIFA 19.

FIFA 19: Featuresfifa_19_release_date_-_3

The main headline of FIFA 19’s showing at E3 was the confirmation that the game would be getting not just the UEFA Champions League, but also the Europa League and Super Cup. This will bring all the branding bells and whistles to all parts of the game, from one-off single player tournaments to the main game where achieving that top-three Premier League Finish will see qualification to the world’s most competitive club tournament.

It’ll also extend to season three of The Journey – EA’s story mode where players play out the (heavily sanitised) life of a professional footballer. This will be taking full advantage of the new licences, according to EA Sports’ creative director Mat Prior, who told Engadget: “It was always a goal for ‘The Journey’ to end with the pinnacle of club football. It was something we wanted to showcase as the ultimate goal of a player. 

There will be a lot of surprises and it will be centred around seeking the glory of the Champions League.”

It’s extremely likely that these surprises will involve the careers of Alex Hunter and Danny Williams, which is a shame, given how many other more interesting stories there are to tell outside the top flight.fifa_19_-_release_date_features_and_rumours_-_2

Elsewhere, Engadget reveals a number of gameplay tweaks. Active Touch will allow for interesting new first touches, apparently enhancing fluidity and realism; 50/50 battles have been revamped to balance player stats and gameplay reactions; and Dynamic Tactics allows for players to alter game plan with a flick of the D-pad. Finally, Timed Finishing allows players to risk a flair shot with a well-timed second touch of the shoot button. Getting it right will add a killer swerve, more accuracy and speed, but getting it wrong will end in an embarrassing miskick. 

One other possible new addition for FIFA 19 would be dynamic weather conditions. This is something that the Frostbite engine used on Xbox One, PS4 and PC specialise in. As EA Dice’s Patrick Bach told Metro: “It’s not only a pretty effect, it actually changes the way you play the game.” Okay, the game he was talking about was Battlefield, but it uses the same engine, and as FIFA rival Pro Evolution Soccer has had dynamic weather for a while, it’s not a huge leap to guess that a similar fix may be up EA’s sleeves with FIFA 19. If it starts raining mid-match, maybe you’ll want to take off your tricksy winger, and bring on a no-nonsense striker who thrives in the mud.

FIFA 19: Formats

PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC are a given. Nintendo Switch will unsurprisingly follow suit, given how well the system is selling. The Switch version of FIFA 18 has sold a not unrespectable 73,000 units to date – not bad for a version that was missing key features like The Journey thanks to an older engine. Whether the Switch version will get all the features of its Xbox One and PS4 rivals remains to be seen, but Prior says that that version will be getting big improvements to make teams play more realistically at the very least. In other words, you’ll be able to tell the difference between Barcelona and Barnet at a glance.fifa_19_-_release_date_features_and_rumours_-_4

Speaking of the older engine, will we see Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game? Yes! Despite only pledging to keep 360 and PS3 support going until 2017 the company has confirmed that FIFA 19 will make its way to older formats – presumably with the old engine and without The Journey, but hey: it’s better than nothing.

FIFA 19: Release datefifa_19_release_date_-_2

FIFA 19 will be released on 28 September 2018, though like past years, EA Access members can play the game right now.

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