FIFA 19 PlayStation 4 Review

FIFA 19 might just be the best FIFA has ever been, while despite its problems and flaws, is a must have game for any soccer fans.

By RON, Posted 28 Sep 2018

Only three things in the world are certain: death, taxes, and the new iteration of a FIFA game coming each year. After much expectation, FIFA 19 is finally out and, despite the continuous waves of severe criticism FIFA has faced, this title seems like a staple of modern sports games.

Just a few days apart from the release of its closest (and virtually only) rival, PES 19, FIFA 19 shines through and shows why its fan base remains undivided and loyal. The bottom line is FIFA 19 is meant to be entertaining, to be a game. It is the sports game equivalent to a Hollywood blockbuster: shiny and spectacular special effects, over the top production values, astonishing visuals that blend simulation with reality, and yet, in the end, the game itself is just like a summer movie: you know it’s not the real thing, you feel as if it somehow were a product just for entertainment. But maybe that’s not a bad thing; quite the contrary. The FIFA franchise is continuously trying to improve itself but it keeps in mind people just want to have fun with a game about football.
 

FIFA 19,PS4,Review,Trophy,Gameplay,Screenshots,Players,Manchester United


The first thing to notice (because they almost force feed it to you, from the marketing to the first thing that pops up after you start playing the game) is the heroic return of the UEFA Champion’s League license to the FIFA domain. The game sets the perfect stage for the hype to reach unparalleled levels of excitement with the final game of the Champion’s League being played by Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. This is obviously a very scripted playable cutscene that features the two players that made it to the cover of the game’s proverbial Champions Edition, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. . This match serves as an overture of what’s to come and really sets a tone for the rest of the game. It is also a very well-crafted tutorial, in the way it activates the Trainer on by default, which makes it easier for the comers to learn the basics of the game. There is however the fact that even seasoned players might want to leave the Trainer on, because it will help to understand and dominate the shiniest addition to the FIFA toolset: the Timed Finishing, a brand new technique developed under the principle of risk-reward. This new feature will allow for players to achieve better chances for a successful kick to goal if done correctly. As the name might suggest, the move relies heavily on timing. On a first touch, a meter will appear and, on the second one, the player will have to press the button right where the bar is green for the kick to be better than a regular one. This is obviously easier said than done, because the speed of the meter will depend on external factors, such as the controlled player’s speed and abilities.

Speaking of additions and improvements, some of the blandest and most criticized gameplay elements of FIFA 18 have been tackled and overhauled; namely, the “magnetic” and “laser-guided” ball. It is quite obvious that a football should feel like the real thing in such a game, but some players and critics alike complained about the unrealistic manner in which FIFA’s behaved in the past. Now, thanks to the improvements made in the physics department, the ball does not seem to be magically attached to a player’s feet or streamlined directly to another’s with each pass. The ball responds to externalities such as friction, speed, maneuverability and overall skill of the player in its possession, as well as the recipient. This allows for an improved AI to take advantage of any misstep made, alongside the better spatial awareness it seems to have. The AI’s improvement may’ve actually gone a bit too far, for most skilled players AI elite teams actually tend to abuse their power and perform a bicycle kick goal on their own with no apparent difficulty. To be fair, the ball can be easily flicked on the air with the pressing of the right thumbstick button. Nevertheless, the AI feels much more accomplished than in previous iterations of the game, with better handling, much better strategizing and an overall joga bonito feel to their plays.
 

FIFA 19,PS4,Review,Trophy,Gameplay,Screenshots,Players,Manchester United


When it comes to game modes the most noticeable is the final chapter of The Journey, the serialized “campaign” that started two games back. This time, instead of focusing only on Alex Hunter’s career, the game makes a GTA-like trilateral narrative split and also pays attention to Alex’s friend, Danny Williams, as well as Alex’s sister, Kim. While the first two follow a prominent career in international soccer, and get to play in elite European clubs, the small amount of women soccer leagues available limit Kim’s rise to stardom to the US league.

FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) makes its ominous comeback. The game mode that resembles a very odd playable version of a Panini sticker album has proven to be a favorite as well as a constant reminder or the industry’s worst malpractices. For those unfamiliar, this game mode allows players to create their dream team by acquiring better players through a card based system. The real problem stems from the microtransaction system in play. Here, lootboxes are called card packs but are essentially treated the same way. EA will not change the system as long as players and money keep coming.

The most noticeable overhauls come in the often neglected Kick-off mode. This “classic” mode now feature unorthodox variations aimed towards a more fun offline experience. For example, the inclusion of the Survival mode, in which each team will lose a random player each time it scores a goal (to a limit of 4 players less) or the No Rules approach, in which, as it name suggests, no rules are in play, so off-sides and fouls are inexistent. Fortunately, the AI was not built to take advantage of this lack of rules.
 

FIFA 19,PS4,Review,Trophy,Gameplay,Screenshots,Players,Manchester United


In the end, FIFA 19 might just be the best FIFA has ever been. The franchise has the licenses and now it is betting on better and more realistic gameplay. Despite its problems and flaws, is a must have game for any soccer fans.

 

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

FIFA 19

85/100

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): EA Sports
Developer(s): EA Vancouver
Genres: Sports
Themes: Football
Release Date: 2018-09-28

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