Tuesday, 02 October 2018 15:31

REVIEW: FIFA 19 (Xbox One)

Written by Melekharn
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Soccer (Or football if you’re an avid fan); you either love it or you hate it. There is no in between. EA Sports have described FIFA 19 as a refreshed experience that caters to all playstyles and skill levels so that everyone can enjoy the game and have a chance to become a Champion. Initial impression for the game are anything but. FIFA 19 throws you right into a game without as much as a “how do you do.”

After accepting the EULA you’re immediately transported into a game. For someone who has never played a FIFA game in their life I found this quite confronting and not overly enjoyable at first. This was mostly due to be completely unfamiliar with the controls. Fortunately, like NHL 19, basic controls will hover above your active player, giving you a very basic in game tutorial as you go. While this was helpful, controls in general felt a little cumbersome. Player movement was nice and responsive and quite realistic with players having to slow down a bit before changing directions, but taking shots and passing the ball were not as simple. EA Sports have introduced what they call the Active Touch System, which is designed to fundamentally change the way you receive and strike the ball as they put it. I was unable to master this and found myself well and truly over shooting or coming up short due to the split second difference the game gives you.

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Once you finish (or quit) your first match you’ll be dropped in the games menu to fend for yourself. If you haven’t played FIFA before, it can be a little confusing for new players as things aren’t exactly explained at a glance. Returning players will notice a few new additions and a few little tweaks to the game, with players being able to take part in a story driven game play experience called The Journey: Champions. Players will be able to follow along with Alex Hunter, Danny Williams and Kim Hunter as they progress through their respective football careers. You’ll have the option to dip in and out of all three storylines, or focus on one character and play them start to finish.

Even career mode has undergone a couple of impressive changes as well, one of which being Ultimate Difficulty now being included as standard. Ultimate Difficulty was previously only available in Ultimate Team, but now players will be able to focus their character on a specific set of skills by taking part in training mini-games.

Once again EA Sports have provided the goods when it comes to the games graphics. Player models are highly detailed and their animations are so smooth that if it wasn’t for the halo at the feet of the player you’re controlling, you’d forget you were playing a game; even team uniforms flow freely while you run around the field. Cinematics leave you in awe as you wait for the game to start, during half time and celebrations, but once you’re in a game everything besides the player characters turns flat. The crowd is static and the pitch is left looking like someone has rolled out a green gaming mat. Having said that, when you do score your first goal, be prepared for a graphical masterpiece!

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Unlike NHL 19, FIFA 19 lacks the musical punch I had come to expect. The play list is filled with music of more relaxed nature. I feel that the slower tempo is much more suited to the world of soccer, and in particular the area of the world the sport originated. Occasionally you’ll hear something a little more upbeat, but it’s mostly Indy tracks you’ll be listening to. In game sounds are as good as any EA sports game, sporting roaring crowds and the distinctive thud as your foot hits the balls. In game commentary is expertly executed, and once again seamlessly blended so that you wouldn’t know it was pre-recorded.

Overall, FIFA 19 is a finely tuned game. It offers returning players a host of new gaming styles to try out and master, while those new to the genre will find learning to play an enjoyable experience. You may find it a little difficult to pick up at first, but should you choose to stick with it you’ll understand why the FIFA franchise is one of the best-selling ever.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Electronic Arts, EA Vancouver, EA Romania
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Genre: Multiplayer, Sports