Name: FIFA 19
Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: 28.09.2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose

FIFA 19 has been launched, and this year EA Sports has acquired the license to UEFA Champions League, which might be the biggest overhaul the series has had in the last few years. New of this year is also the feature “active touch”, which allegedly allows for even more control. Does EA Sports still control the footballing throne? Time to find out.

Story

“The Journey: Champions follow three heroes with their own distinct stories. Guide Alex Hunter, Danny Williams, and Kim Hunter through their respective journeys as they reach some of the most significant moments of their careers. As their stories intertwine and occur simultaneously, switch between all three characters at any time to change up your experience.” – About the mode

Where to start with this year’s The Journey? I didn’t play last year’s story segment, so the start was a little confusing. That confusion soon dispersed, and I was able to get more into the story. Personally, I find the story part of FIFA 19 (or FIFA in general) to be a little unnecessary. There’s nothing really wrong with it being a part of the game of course. But I play FIFA for the on-pitch experience, I really don’t need to be an icon outside of the pitch. Technically though, The Journey seems stronger than ever, with things to do, choices to make, and training to attend.

As usual, there’s also a manager mode, and be-a-pro mode, which is the same procedure as last year. I feel like it might be time for focusing a bit more on these modes EA, as these haven’t really changed at all the last couple of years. They’re both relatively good modes, but it’s just more of the same, a nothing new to be offered.
7/10

Graphics

First and foremost, the game simply looks awesome. The grass looks lovely, the stadiums even better and the players – best of all. By all means, it’s not that every single player looks exactly like themselves. For example, none of the players of by beloved Stabæk has scanned faces, but they nevertheless have some way of being recognizable. When it comes to famous players, like Ronaldo or Messi, the similarity to their real-life counterparts is close to perfect. No, it’s not a revolutionary experience compared to last year’s edition, but it’s a steady improvement in all areas, and that’s more than good enough by me. One more thing though, UEFA Champions League – now a part of the FIFA series. The work on this new addition is well done. Sure, there’s one or two things I don’t find necessary, and a few things that could be changed, but for a first try, it sure is a good one!
9/10

FIFA19 - (2)

Gameplay

If you’ve played any of the last editions of FIFA you’ll know what to expect from this game, and luckily, you won’t be disappointed. Once again, it’s not a revolutionary experience, but it’s a steady improvement. New of this year is “Active Touch”, a feature which allows you to receive, kick and move the ball in more ways than before. It also allows for more control and new ways to get around the defenders. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to get into the system, only a couple of matches in, and I found myself being able to use this new feature to my advantage, instead of just fooling around with it.

A cool new feature this year is “Survival mode” where the winning team gradually loses players, which allows for huge tactical differences. For example, you could go all out attack from the start, but then find yourself at a disadvantage with fewer players later on. Or you could play it safe, and hope for a goal in the very last minute, in order to keep all 11 of your selected warriors on the pitch. Time and again I found myself saying “I’ll just give it one more go” because this was simply put; hella fun! And then, there’s the online part of FIFA 19. Which isn’t very different from FIFA 18, let that be clear. There’s some new stuff though, for example, “Division Rivals” where you are matched against opponents with roughly the same skill level, and once you learn to master more sides of the game, you may move up a division at the end of each week.

FIFA19 - (4)

There’s really only one thing I miss, more focus on women. Misunderstand me correctly, which’s in the game is really good, but there are no spectacular new features. It’s more of the same, not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. For next year EA, please let there be more women. I want a career mode in the female leagues. I want to be a female manager. I want more women represented in this fantastic sport!
8/10

Controls

I’ve always found the controlling in the FIFA series to be really good. And luckily, FIFA 19 is no different. You have the same system for controlling your players as before, now adding on the “active touch” feature, which you can read more on above. I realize I’ve used this phrase too many times already, but the same goes here; it’s a steady evolution from last year’s edition.
8/10

Replay Value

This might sound self-explanatory; of course, soccer is about playing loads of matches and try to win as many as possible. As luck would have it, FIFA once again find themselves to make each and every match feel unique. Many of the teams have their own style of playing, and you’ll need a different approach when meeting Brighton than when you met Arsenal last week.

8/10

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Overall
8/10
8/10
  • Story - 7/10
    7/10
  • Graphics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Gameplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Controls - 8/10
    8/10
  • Replay Value - 8/10
    8/10
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Verdict

FIFA 19 won’t be any revolutionary experience, but it is a steady improvement for the series. And that’s perfectly fine, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel if something works, there’s no reason to change it up too much. The Journey is still a fine experience, although a bit unnecessary in my mind. The gameplay is as good as ever, and the players look great too! EA has seemingly followed Alf Ramsey’s wise words: “Never change a winning team.”

Pros

  • Active touch is a cool feature
  • UEFA Champions League
  • Looks good
  • Fun to play

Cons

  • Maybe time for some more innovation?
  • More women, please
  • Microtransactions…

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