- The Champions and the UEFA Europa League are the icing on the cake of the licenses
- The Champions and the UEFA Europa League are the icing on the cake of the licenses The new firing system is not revolutionary, but it is ingenious and fun
- Some small changes such as greater fluidity or new strategies
- Many hours of entertainment and huge variety of modalities
- Visually begins to urge a step forward to return to the top
- Whoever expects a revolution must wait one more year
The theory of communicating vessels is often applied in football to, for example, reflect the status of the two main competitors of the Spanish championship. Many times it is assured that when things go well for Real Madrid, they go badly for FC Barcelona … and vice versa. For a long time that has also been applied to the Pro Evolution Soccer saga and to FIFA. When one lived its darkest time, the other offered some of its most vibrant deliveries, and also the opposite.
You can read in our analysis of PES 2019 how the great competitor of EA has gone, which is refining even more and more his soccer formula, leaving, yes, tremendously aside everything that surrounds green as, for example, modalities. How did you do this FIFA 19 season? His attention has been more divided between the game rectangle and what is outside it with, as usual, a spectacular effort to continue propping up one of his greatest strengths: the licenses, with the acquisition of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League: a blow to the waterline of his competitor who had one of his few strengths in that area.
Shooting on goal has always been one of the most difficult aspects of tuning for a soccer game. Basing a ball response that is realistic and that, at the same time, responds to certain factors of randomness and fun is complicated; and the FIFA saga in the past did not always do well in this regard.
FIFA 19 wants to take the mechanics one step further, and for that it has introduced the Exact Finalization system, its new solution for the shots at goal. In order to explain it we could say that it is a sort of skill minigame with which we have to complete a kind of QuickTime Event with millimeter precision. If you have played the titles of the Gears of War saga, for example, the perfect parallel is the active recharge of the guns of those shooters, but the NBA 2K saga has also been incorporating some styles with certain similarities in the face of throws to basket.
How do we do what we have to do? We press the button assigned to the shot and the footballer begins to arm the leg to hit the ball, and the second press will be to execute the kick. If we do it before time the shot can be loose and soft, easy for the goalkeeper, and if we do it too late the ball can go high or very deviated. If in real life your coach shouted at you to throw your body forward so that the ball does not go to the clouds or tell you where it was better to impact it, this is the virtual version of how EA Sports conceives the tips to shoot on goal.
Logically, neither “nailing” guarantees the goal, nor do we squeeze it too soon or too late it will make us fail miserably. It is a question of probabilities, as always with this sport, and doing it very simply makes us closer to our goal. Mastering it does not require too much time either, but always keep in mind that in a situation of maximum tension we will be more pressured and the possibilities of doing it well (both for the player with the command in hand and for the virtual soccer player) are more scarce. It is also curious how he moves, to put another case, to a hubbub in the area; moments in which we do not really know what is happening and that can be resolved with a spectacular shot that is about to pierce the net or with a pitiful shot that could have signed an eight-year-old boy. That sense of urgency and the conditions necessary to carry out the shot correctly are very successful.
The Trainer, the tool used by EA Sports to show the player the buttons to press at any time, becomes important to carry out the shots, at least until we understand how the mechanics work. It can be configured in parts, so that it is not so rude that it even teaches us to make low passes. So, if what we are interested in is only learning to shoot, we can choose the least intrusive option that only shows when we are going to do it. The moment we master the mechanics and its variables depending on the circumstances we can deactivate its visualization or, if we do not end up getting used to it, even go back to the shooting system of the past.
On the other hand, the Active Touch, the 50/50 Battles and the Real Player Movement Technology are three very spectacular and spectacular names for new techniques that have been introduced in this year’s video game, and that help FIFA 19 count with greater fluidity in movements. The pace right now is fantastic, and it’s something different from the demo. The right to guarantee a vertiginous football if we want it or, on the contrary, to bet on the touch and something a little more thoughtful moving the ball if that is what interests us.
What about 50/50? One of the strengths of the series has always been for several years the issue of the struggle, something that can be managed very well by the player with the button to use the body but, this time, goes a step beyond. Apparently now, the result of each confrontation is more measured than ever by the use that the amateur makes of the football player’s body, through his instructions with the pad, and a greater importance of the attributes and of something called “intelligence” spatial “on the part of the AI. What does all this translate? It is what you care about. Well, in which the struggles for the divided balls and the “corpses” are more realistic than before and have more variety of situations. It is true that if you put many, many hours you may see some circumstance in which they do not respond as they should, but 99.9% of the scenarios are resolved in a fantastic way.
Another element designed to improve comfort and versatility on the field is the renewed tactical theme. The base is still as nice as ever, with many possibilities when it comes to personalizing the experience, however now we can make it much more agile, with a crosshead that becomes the extension of the coach on the pitch. This has always been a very important element, but its functions have now multiplied exponentially. Now we can assign to the X axis up to five formations within the so-called Game Plans, each with its drawing, its eight tactical scales, its outline, its stopped ball and even its instructions for each of the players. Are you losing? Do not waste time going through the menu, and you do not have to wait for the ball to come out. You can change everything on the fly. In addition, opening the new tactical interface by pressing the D-Pad up or down we also have unpublished instructions, such as ordering the sides to become lanes or send even more men to the area.
The strength of FIFA 19, as of all its previous deliveries for several years, has been linked to the unusual richness of its game modes. EA Sports has always understood very well that an amateur expects sports titles to last a long time installed in the console, so they turn over year after year to give the user everything they can expect in this field. This time there are not many new features, but there are some other important changes in the places we already know and other aspects that are interesting to discover because they are exciting signings for the player’s range of possibilities.
¿El gran reclamo? Posiblemente los amistosos con Reglas Alternativas, cinco opciones de lo más curioso que harán las delicias de quienes quieren llevar sus partidos de exhibición un paso más allá, y también de los grupos de amigos con ganas de cachondeo. Las opciones disponibles son Larga Distancia, donde los goles marcados desde fuera del área valen el doble. Supervivencia, en el que cada vez que un equipo marca un gol se expulsa al azar a uno de sus futbolistas (menos el portero); Cabezazos y Voleas, en el cuál no vale ningún gol chutado desde el suelo; El Primero en Marcar, en el que gana el primero que anote, y Sin Reglas, es decir sin faltas, fueras de juego… Por lo demás, se juegan como partidos normales, con marcadores y demás, sólo que cambiando las bases del deporte. Se añade así un componente simpático a los clásicos amistosos.
There is also, finally, a feature that was implemented in the PES saga and that is very interesting, the statistics of friendly. Carried here, yes, to a new level. It is no longer just a matter of comparing the numbers in detail with those of other friends and following the progression, but a lot of information is stored and we can record all kinds of numbers even in confrontations between the teams themselves.
On the other hand, both in tournaments and in friendly matches, you can enjoy the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, two of the biggest claims of the title in terms of licenses. The game, likewise, allows to dispute the different trophies of each country, duly licensed. In addition, of course, there is no lack of the Women’s International Cup, unchanged compared to previous years, and with the usual selection of a dozen international women’s teams.
Of course if what interests us is to play alone, El Camino is the option to which more attention is paid in this field since its inception some years ago. He continues the path of an Alex Hunter starring here his landing at Real Madrid CF, but also is still escorted by Danny Williams and Kim Hunter. The particularity is that this time we can take full control over them, that means that not only do we manage them but we can also take the choice in some of their most decisive moments and, as if that were not enough, choose the mentors of the club where we end up and that will help us to progress in the program. How much does the progress of the adventure change depending on one thing or another? Well, you know that you won’t expect a game by David Cage, however I did like how we can change between episode and episode between the different protagonists of El Camino in FIFA 19 and the fact that the game remembers some of the decisions we made in FIFA 18.
The Career Mode is the other great claim of the off-line modalities, although it observes less changes. They integrate, of course, the new licenses of the two major European tournaments, and also an extra difficulty mode that was previously only available in Ultimate Team. There are new training games to improve some specific features, and some small change in the layout of the abundant menus. But, for the rest, they are quite anecdotal changes.
On-Line Modalities and Licenses
In FIFA 19 I keep noticing that artificial intelligence overwhelms when you have to unbalance a result. This deficiency in terms of variety of formulas and novelties in terms of possibilities that cause all rival teams to play the same when they feel obliged to score: at the touch, with high possession rates and with, often, occasions in which we feel we are sold and we have nothing to do in challenging difficulties. That has been a stigma for the FIFA saga for many years now, and while all seasons are some progress in the AI, we rarely see major changes to combat it. Do we quickly identify these problems and get tired of playing like this? We have the on-line section loaded with possibilities.
There are no changes in Cooperative Seasons, one of the modes most used by fans, nor in the much less popular Clubs Pro. All efforts have focused on the jewel in the multiplayer crown, FIFA 19: Ultimate Team, which has changes of different importance but that the fans will appreciate. The first stop is the debut of Division Rivals, which seeks to offer us weekly rewards by competing in divisions with weekly skill players. It is a kind of review of the season mode, but with succulent incentives. The Squad Battles, meanwhile, help in a similar way to grace the competitions of a player, facing each time higher rivals in challenges also temporary.
On the other hand, there are new classic players in the Icons section and, in addition, there are some changes in the interface and small alterations in the way of representing the players and relating to them in terms of the usual actions. In addition, I am very happy that EA has fulfilled the promise to indicate better the content of the envelopes of FUT, which means that each one of them reveals the percentages of possibilities of running into players of this or that value in each one. of the envelope types. News, after all, nothing revolutionary, but with some alterations of the set that improve the comfort of the game.
They have been practically for more than a decade one of the maximum points of popularity of the franchise, and this time it has gone further than ever. With the new stadiums that debutan we already have a practically inexhaustible deck of places to set the parties, in fact in Spain and just missing the Camp Nou for rights issues, as well as those of the newly promoted. About some of them worldwide do not let us give details, some of the most emblematic, so we prefer to keep the total numbers. Of course, they are overwhelming. The same goes for the leagues and tournaments, which with the debut of the Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, which return to the mark after years in the hands of Konami, become the most complete selection that can be found today.
The Graphic Battle
For some years now, it seems that EA Sports is not particularly worried about the graphic part. Yes, it is true that all seasons are adding new faces to the range of portraits, with special mention again to the League of our country where there are many faces of new players, but the overall set still suffers from a certain lack of detail. The bodies and some of the testas leave a lot to be desired, the first to be too similar to each other, and the latter because some expressions and the detail of most of the players is still scarce. That is, you can see that they are scanned faces of their real counterparts, I do not even want to make reference to the predetermined ones, but they are not as careful as the big stars. In this sense, the game is falling a step behind its main competitor.
Where the Konami game is also ahead of him is in terms of animations, the Real Player Movement Technology makes some of them more recognizable, for example Neymar, but leaves everyone else in a dangerous no-man’s land. In the end they are things in which only those who seek the detail are fixed, in the general planes it will be perceived only by the most veteran, but it is true that there is a certain sensation of somewhat orthopedic movements in the chain of certain actions. The set is very good, I do not want to be misunderstood, but it seems stuck in some problems that we have been accusing for some time and of which there seems to be no intention to correct in the short term. The series was once in the highest aesthetic level, and now has to settle for a remarkable and second place… But second place after all.
Where does the video game shine? Everything related to the setting and the portrait of the stadiums is fantastic, and it is also true that the treatment of the equipment is outstanding. Also the most popular footballers are really good, some of them with some very own actions and frankly recognizable for their movements or more emblematic dribbles.
With regard to sound, the conclusions are those of the last years. The effects of audio and the roar of the hobbies is incredible, and the soundtrack has good themes of an eminently pop profile, and with some interesting concessions to bands a little more indie. The comments of FIFA 19 continue to be carried out by Paco González and Manolo Lama, with the timely collaboration of Antonio Ruiz, with some (rather few) phrases that make their debut.
FIFA 19 is not a revolution, that is clear, but at the evolutionary level it is a very estimable delivery. There are important changes in modes, in licenses and on the field itself. Not enough to think about an important jump, but enough to talk about a great soccer game again. What does this mean? That all the strengths of the saga to date are still present and that, along the way, some improvements are added. More than enough to continue competing in a big way.