FIFA is one of the most consistent sports titles out there. EA’s been in a fantastic groove with the series, with last year’s 2018 edition showing exactly how good the series could be. This year’s iteration is more small changes than anything else, but those changes add up to something very special.
FIFA’s a game that lives and dies by its controls, and they feel great in this iteration. One of the tightest control sets yet, this iteration of the annual series really puts players in control of what happens on the pitch. While there are still a few bugs here or there, this is probably the most satisfying offensive play that the series has ever had. You’ll find yourself pulling off big plays with relatively little ease, but this will come largely due to the player’s skill rather than exploiting loopholes in the game’s logic.
The bad news is that the game isn’t quite so fun when you’re playing defense. Dribbling, passing, and ball-handling have all gotten a lot of love since last year, but the same can’t be said for playing defense. The player on offense is always going to have a huge advantage, of course, but the new passing and dribbling schemes make defense feel slightly too underpowered. Next year’s version will almost certainly take this into account, but for now, defensive players are just going to have to get used to higher-scoring games and a more dominant type of offense than they’ve seen in the past.
One thing that you can be sure of is that the latest edition of FIFA will always have better visuals than the year before. This year’s version of the game looks spectacular, especially if you are running it on a console with 4K capabilities. While it’s gotten almost passe to point out exactly how great the pitch looks or how much more realistic the players look than in years past, the truth is that FIFA really brings a lot to the table when it comes to making the game come to life.
This year’s real standout is probably the lighting. It’s the little details that are going to stand out more and more as the years go by, and the more natural lighting is the kind of thing that you won’t notice until you go back and play an older version of the game. This seemingly-minor graphical upgrade makes a huge difference, especially for those viewing the game at its best settings.
FIFA’s dip into true storytelling really began to shine with FIFA 2018 and 2019 brings more of the same. You’ll continue to follow the same character as last year, though on a much grander stage. The story’s lovely and hits all the right notes, though it’s not going to convince anyone that games are art. Instead, you’ll get a nice throughline that helps make the career path that much more meaningful to returning players.
Ultimate Team is also back, and it’s spectacular as always. This really is one of the best modes in sports games and the good news is that EA seems fine with the idea of leaving it alone. You’re still going to have to deal with the usual team-building issues, but a few minor tweaks and some minor additions to the formula make it even more fun than the last iteration.
FIFA’s notorious for its microtransactions, and they’re still here. Yes, the game still feels like it wants you to keep paying after you buy it – but, as always, players can ignore these purchases at their leisure. It should be noted that the microtransactions aren’t nearly as obnoxious as they are in some of EA’s other sports titles, though that might not be saying much.
Online matchingmaking also feels very solid this year. While those with poor connections are still going to suffer, playing online is still a great deal of fun. Given some of the launch problems that many other sports titles have had recently, it’s nice to note that playing FIFA with friends around the world still feels very smooth.
Using FIFA simulations
For those of you that want to go beyond a video game and intensify game-watching, you may want to consider fantasy sports. I’ve heard of players using the simulation in FIFA and their AI to project outcomes for players and games. Utilizing the power of FIFA AI is a novel approach to fantasy sports and one you may want to explore. If you’re in NJ, our favorite is Fanduel and they have a promo code that gives you a great sign up bonus. In fact, Lineups.com has the highest fanduel sportsbook sign up bonus we’ve seen.
FIFA 2019 is by far the best FIFA game released so far. While it might just be an iteration on what worked last year, it’s still a fantastic game that deserves to be played by soccer fans around the world. It’s certainly taken some great steps forward when it comes to storytelling, but perhaps the most impressive thing that the game has done is refusing to change systems just for the sake of change.