FIFA’s Newest Release Review: FIFA 2019


Patrick Otte

EA’s newest release of FIFA, FIFA 19 has its assets and liabilities. As all FIFA video games have done in the past, FIFA 19 entices the major soccer fan into having fun alongside their fellow gaming mates. Whether it be laughing at the new recent game mode or quaking in apprehension on an opponent’s 90-minute corner. Either breathing a sigh of relief at your defenders’ safe clearance or breaking your controller on an opponent’s set piece conversion.

Ultimate Team (FUT) is by far the most competitive and favored FIFA game mode. One starts with a mediocre team and, over time, earns coins to put towards their side. Each soccer player on a said team has their card, with a given name, and stats. Opening packs in FUT are pretty self-explanatory, it’s very similar to buying a lottery ticket. Examples of varying pack classes would be a 100k pack or a 7.5k pack. The more an individual spends on a given pack, the more value they are guaranteed within it.

There are several new modes and features introduced in this year’s Ultimate Team. The main addition to FUT this year would be Division Rivals. Division Rivals replaces the old Divisions system where one starts in Division 10 and hopefully grinds their way up to Division 1. In Division Rivals there are still ten divisions; similarly to the previous Divisions, system players with less experience would be in Division 10, while the pros are in Division 1. When one starts playing Division Rivals the individual grinds five placement matches to determine which division would suit the player according to his FIFA skills. Unlike Divisions in the past when one had to reach a set goal to win the title, advance into a higher division, hold their current division, or get relegated to a lower division; one plays games against fellow players in their division and earns points.

Whenever a player wins, they receive rewards at the end of a weeks time. When an averagely ranked player beats a highly rated player, that increases rewards for the lower ranked player. Prizes are given to a player at the end of a week’s time: their rewards regarding how they performed, if they advanced, stayed, or got relegated from their division. The week-long period ends every Thursday for Division Rivals, and as a player keeps advancing up the divisions, the prize quality keeps improving. FUT Champions is now incorporated with Division Rivals. Last year FUT Champions was separate altogether from FUT. The exception was if a player was in Division 1, they had a ticket to get into The Weekend League.

Before you had to win a tournament (FUT Champs), to qualify for the weekend league. When one qualifies for The Weekend League the player usually will grind hard trying to win as many games as they can. Every win counts as more rewards for the player. FIFA YouTubers, such as Nepenthez, get crazy rewards from playing the Weekend League. Qualifying for the Weekend League this year is going to be much different than last year. This year FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) has introduced several new legends including Cruyff and Rivaldo. How much money an individual spends on a micro-transaction could push them from winning half the time to being triumphant 75% of the time.

Many people complain that individuals who put more funds into FUT will be victorious more often, and they have paid their way to win. Highly experienced players know this is entirely untrue, the best players from across the globe on a single squad will help improve the chance of winning, but one’s FUT winning experience is almost entirely up to the skill level of the player. The best FUT player in the world can play with a horrific team and win game after game.

Several funny styles have been introduced especially in a game mode named Kick off (where you play a friend locally or online with a real club team). Some of these modes include the survival mode, whenever a player scores a goal the player results in receiving a red card. Another new game mode outlaws a particular type of goal from being scored, and the outlawed goal is entirely up to the player’s calibration. An example would be prohibiting goals scored inside the 18-yard box. These modes are only available for local play.

Career mode is relatively unchanged from last year, making many avid nostalgic FIFA players woeful that EA is not focusing on other facets of the game. Career mode used to be one of the staple game modes of FIFA, and now it is unappealing to many. This year FIFA 19 is introducing the third, and final part of the journey featuring Alex Hunter. The Journey is an interesting FIFA single-player game mode in which one role plays as the young soccer star: making his social, and political decisions; not to mention being able to play as him mid-match.

For the more competitive FIFA players, there are several new tweaks in team tactics to maximize ones in-game strategy. FIFA is more realistic this year, (as EA always claims) and EA has focused on making the ball move at a more realistic pace. Passes, in general, have more depth and realism to them. Unlike FIFA 14 where crosses and headers were too powerful or FIFA 15 where the pace was absurdly abused; FIFA 19 is the most balanced FIFA yet. Physicality is greatly enhanced, and one can feel players tussling for the ball. In FIFA 15 the smallest of players with the most pace would run past the slowest players with the most physicality. Now that problem is somewhat resolved with more balanced gameplay overall.

This year’s FIFA has got some fans shaking their heads, and some FUT fans laughing as EA keeps adding more game modes, and features to FUT; somewhat disregarding the rest of the game. Career mode is relatively unchanged from last year’s FIFA, and fans will be excited to find out what happens in the final trilogy of The Journey. Nothing is perfect, and FIFA’s new features will make many want to play FIFA, laugh, pout, and have joyous experiences alongside their mates.