After the inevitable shock at the new gameplay in FIFA 19 compared with its predecessor, everyone at Gfinity has finally calmed down enough to agree that the game is definitely a brilliant upgrade on FIFA 18. There are plenty of features that we and the Elite Series pros have been getting the hang of over the last few weeks, many of which we think makes this the best version of FIFA ever, and that’s why we’ve picked out our favourite new features from FIFA 19.
Champions League and Europa League FUT Cards
Thanks to FIFA 19’s new partnership with UEFA, not only can you look forward to taking part in the Champions League and Europa League in Career Mode, but you will also be able to get your hands on unique Champions League cards throughout the season. As the season moves on and we get further in the Champions League for real, gamers can expect to see many different FUT cards related to the tournament.
The different types of FUT Champions League cards have yet to be confirmed by EA SPORTS, but many avid gamers have predicted that the cards will follow a similar tiered pattern to those on offer at the moment. Europa League FUT cards will also be available, but seeing as the priority for cards may go to the Champions League, these cards may be cheaper and could still have plenty of great players.
The brand new Active Touch system allows players to react with greater realism, and this gives the game a much more fluid feel than previous versions of FIFA. This aspect could be particularly pleasing for gamers who prefer to play with a fast-paced style, and the update will certainly make spectacles such as the Elite Series more interesting to watch as having a good understanding of the Active Touch system could give some pros an edge over others.
The Active Touch system means that players will look to control the ball more realistically dependent on where it is in relation to them, meaning they won’t necessarily stick out a clumsy boot at a bouncing ball, but instead look to reposition themselves to control it more effectively or even use the situation to their advantage.
Much of the Active Touch feature will depend on how you as the gamer can react to specific scenarios and learn what your players can and can’t do, but the most dedicated gamers can look forward to a revolutionary change that brings FIFA ever closer to the real thing.
Unlike previous versions of FIFA, you can now use Dynamic Tactics to create bespoke scenarios for each formation you have saved, and this change could have a significant impact on pro competitions like the Gfinity Elite Series for several reasons.
Firstly, players will now be able to change formation - and thereby change tactics - with the press of a button rather than having to do so manually during a break in play after queuing a pause. This could mean that some people can develop plans to switch tactics at several points before games even begin, and it may also allow you to react better to in-game situations like going a goal down, or a general change in momentum between you and your opponent.
As well as allowing you to change your style to retain possession or press further up the pitch, Dynamic Tactics also let you change players’ position should you decide to switch it up in game. This could be really useful if you decide to employ more physical players further up the pitch to rescue a losing situation or if you’d like to move faster players out wide when trying to catch an opponent on the counter-attack.
Video games often live and die by their stories, and a decent story can help a game with mediocre features to thrive while others with superior gameplay suffer due to bland narratives. In this regard, FIFA has strived to add a level of theatricality to its gameplay - most notably with The Journey - and their efforts have reached new heights in FIFA 19.
Players are now shown in short clips on the menu arriving at the stadium before games, in the tunnel before heading out for the start of matches, and even in contract negotiations with managers, sometimes with hilarious results, as Petr Cech’s conversation with the Arsenal manager showed before the game was patched.
Players are also shown being presented to fans after signing for a new club, and fans have even been spotted taking selfies in the crowd. While some FIFA fans may find these features fairly gratuitous, others will enjoy the attention to detail shown in the latest version of the game.
The House Rules mode gives you a few fresh new ways to play FIFA (albeit offline-only for now) with altered rules for each match. Headers & Volleys tests out your crossing ability (as well as giving you a dose of playground nostalgia), First To… mode allows you to put a target score on the board, and Long Range mode sees how good you are at shooting from distance as goals scored inside the box don’t count.
Survival mode is one of the standout modes, whereby losing a goal puts you in double jeopardy as one of your players will also leave the field for good. Go down to seven players, and as those of you with a disposition for fouling opponents will know, the match is abandoned and awarded to your opponent.
Speaking of a fondness for fouling, there is also a No Rules gameplay mode which should delight those who remember the training matches featured on early versions of FIFA (including World Cup 98) where you could hack away at your opponent with no concern for the actual score.
In No Rules mode, it’s easy to get suckered into trying to hack your opponent too much, and this made us think that a cool update to this version of the game in years to come could be a system where you get points or goals for every foul. But nonetheless, all of these game modes are a welcome addition to FIFA 19 and add an extra dimension to the game.
You can watch FIFA 19 every week in the Gfinity Elite Series Delivered by Domino’s live at the Gfinity Esports Arena or you can stream all the action on Facebook.
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