The Sting

Preview of FIFA 19

Game play footage of a Frenchmen doing a bicycle kick. Photo Credit: attackofthefanboy.com

Game play footage of a Frenchmen doing a bicycle kick. Photo Credit: attackofthefanboy.com

Fernando Castillo, Writer, Field Reporter

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FIFA 19 is an upcoming video game produced by EA Vancouver (Canada) and EA Bucharest (Romania) and published by EA Sports. It will be the 26th installment in the FIFA Series lineup and is scheduled to be released on September 28th for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and XBOX ONE. The PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360 versions of the game will be dubbed FIFA 19: Legacy Edition. Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will appear on the cover for the second consecutive time for the standard release while he and Paris-Saint Germain forward Neymar will appear on the Champions and Ultimate Edition release. For the first time, the UEFA Club Competitions like the Champions League will be featured in the game. Alex Hunter will return in “The Journey: Champions”. However, this will be the final installment of The Journey Series.

There is more content to the game for the eighth-generation consoles and the PC. FIFA 19 has included official UEFA Competitions since Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer Series has decided not to renew their license. The new competitions include the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, and the UEFA Super Cup. These competitions will have new commentators when gamers play these tournaments. It will not be Martin Tyler and Alan Smith but Derek Rae and Lee Dixon. Other than those competitions, FIFA has included the Chinese Super League, which is brand new to the series. However, it was reported that the Russian Premier League will not be in the game. The graphics are better than they were on FIFA 18 as new as brand-new stadiums like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (home of the Tottenham Hotspur, or Spurs) and the Molineux Stadium (home to the Wolverhampton Wanders).

Gameplay in FIFA is a critical point, but I’d like to think that EA have totally outshined themselves this time. The first thing that comes to mind is the new “Active Touch System”. According the EA Sports website, “the new Active Touch System fundamentally changes the way you receive and strike the ball, providing closer control, improved fluidity, more creativity, and increased player personality.” Basically, it means that it would look more realistic when a player receives a pass or shoots at a certain angle. Then there is the “Timed Finishing” technique. This allows you to shoot the ball like a professional with one more press of a button that is perfectly timed. FIFA has included “Dynamic Tactics.” This provides in-depth control over your team’s tactics not only before the match but during it as well.  You can switch in between without the need of pressing the pause button. Then there are the 50/50 Battles. Depending on how you react and how good the player is your controlling, the probability of you winning a loose ball can be determined. In addition to the gameplay comes with new modes. Other than playing in the UEFA tournaments, there are four more modes for you while playing FIFA 19. House Rules allow you to play a match with certain conditions.

  • Survival Mode: When a user scores a goal, one of their players gets sent off from the match (minus the goalkeeper) to provide a challenge against the losing side.
  • No Rules: There are no rules while playing. For example, no fouls and no bookings (penalty cards).
  • Long Range: Users can score up to two points if they score outside of the penalty box.
  • First to… – This is self-explanatory. First person to score up to how many goals they want wins the game. The match will still run until full-time, then extra-time and penalties if the player chooses to.
  • Headers and Volleys – Players must score while doing a header or a volley. Free kicks and penalties are still allowed. If a player doesn’t score doing any of these, the goal will be disallowed.

Then there is the Best of Series mode. You can play regular matches in a best of three or best of five series to determine the overall winner. Think of it as the MLB World Series. The Home and Away mode is a two-legged match (Team 1 vs. Team 2 then Team 2 vs. Team 1) to determine the winner. It is determined by how many goals are scored from each team within those two matches (the aggregate score). The most scored is the winner. However, if the score is tied, then the team that scored the most as the Away Team (Team 1 vs. Team 2 and Team 2 vs. Team 1) is the winner. If that is not the case, then the game will go into extra time then penalties. Finally, there is the Cup Finals. The player can play in any kind of Cup Final (like the Champions League Final). This maybe the chance for your favorite team to get revenge on the other team because they defeated yours in the final.

Lastly, there is The Journey: Champions. The game will feature Alex Hunter, his half-sister Kim Hunter, and his former rival but now friend (as of FIFA 18) Danny Williams. As Alex Hunter, he had a roller coaster ride of his career, even though he was nearly 20. He played for a Primer League team, went on a loan, nearly messed up his career because of his agent, spent half a season with LA Galaxy (MLS), and moved back to Europe to play for one of the biggest teams in Europe. However, in Champions, since Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus of Italy, Hunter finally made his dream come true: playing for Real Madrid of Spain. Danny Williams was Hunter’s former rival but now he is a close friend of his. He briefly joined Hunter’s old team when he left for the United States. After a huge scare midway through his career, Williams will fight for his place in the club with strong performances. Then there is Kim Hunter. Unlike Alex who is from England, Kim is from the United States. She met Alex after he joined LA Galaxy by their father. Not long after, she has earned her spot as captain in the United States Women’s National Team. She will take a huge step into her career, playing for the national team at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup at France. Also, it is worth mentioning is that you could play as Jim Hunter, Alex’s grandfather, in a 60s-style soccer game between Coventry and Newcastle to relive the moment of Jim Hunter’s 100th career goal.

Overall, this game is worth playing if you are a FIFA fan or simply want to try some new things in a soccer game. The visuals are great, and the gameplay is a step closer to the real thing. However, if you own a Nintendo Switch, the port will only receive upgrades in FIFA 18. The PS3 and 360 may have gotten the worst of it. FIFA 19: Legacy Edition is only an updated version of FIFA 18, with updated jerseys and teams. Despite this, it’s either all in or bust. It may be a hint about what we might see in FIFA 20.

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