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Video Game Review: FIFA 19

October 3, 2018

It’s that time of the year again. The new FIFA game has arrived, and it’s time to decide if the typically repetitive title has progressed far enough for your $60. Although sports video games have a notorious reputation for simply being an annual re-release of the same game, FIFA 19 offers shockingly fresh, never-before-seen features that will indefinitely prolong the life of the title.

As you’d expect from any new installment to a sports game franchise, the graphics in this year’s FIFA have improved to provide an overall more realistic experience. Fluent ball control and lifelike cutscenes make for an aesthetically pleasing time both in and out of game. In addition to an authentic visual experience, FIFA 19 offers realistic, balanced gameplay. In previous FIFA titles, the meta tended to be dominated by certain broken mechanics such as lob through balls, crossing and sometimes raw speed/pace. The persistent drama over the unfairness in pace seems to have been settled in this year’s game with the increased value of physical attributes. Although pace is not completely invalidated, this buff to physical strength forces more strategic, balanced play.

This year’s title spiced things by introducing several new features to the potentially stagnating franchise. Perhaps the most controversial addition to the game is the unprecedented shot timing mechanic, which gives players the option to increase the likelihood of scoring the shot by tapping the shooting button a second time. However, this feature involves a risk because if your timing is off, the shot will be shanked indefinitely. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of this new mechanic, you can always use the classic method of shooting.

FIFA 19 also introduces new features to Kick Off and Ultimate Team, which is practically unheard of from this title. Kick Off, a previously overlooked game mode, received some new ruleset features like ‘House Rules.’ Whether it’s set on Headers and Volleys mode, Survival mode or even No Rules, the new House Rules are sure to create a more interesting Kick Off experience. The infamous FIFA Ultimate Team mode, where players create and build their own squads with in-game currency, also received some fresh features to provide for a more interactive and objective-driven experience.

The FIFA franchise, which is commonly renown for its stunning soundtracks, lives up to the expectations this year with tracks from Childish Gambino, Billie Eilish and Gorillaz. While continuing its musical legacy, FIFA 19’s The Journey mode serves as the conclusion to the trilogy of Alex Hunter’s career story from the last two installments of the franchise. Players will have one last year to accompany the beloved Alex Hunter on his journey to glory.

Overall, FIFA 19 is relatively one of the most advancing and innovative additions to the series yet. With all of the unprecedented features that it brings to the table, FIFA 19 falsifies any accusations of unmanaged, repetitive renditions towards the franchise. This installment to the series is definitely not one that should be overlooked.

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