Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

“Here comes the new season, again the throne is being prepared for FIFA!” – such a remake of the old chants of CSKA and Dynamo fans can describe the situation with football simulators today. Indeed, EA Sports’ footsim has sold over 24 million copies over the past year, the closest competitor from Konami barely hit the one million milestone. And given how PES 2019 turned out, it’s hard to believe that the dominance of electronics will be disturbed. However, you can always fall off the throne even without someone else’s help, if you make a few critical mistakes. Now we are going to look for them.

Feints and swings

Let’s start with the most important thing – football. Here, those who saw the last three FIFA series will not be surprised at all, because the foundations remained approximately the same as they were laid in the fall of 2015 and then were transferred to Frostbite, where they are still working. We are waiting for a rather viscous in the middle of the field, but at the same time attacking football, where you need to be able to defend well so as not to concede three or four goals. This is a very nice balance, the game does not slide into a pure “arcade”, but it does not become a simulator to the marrow.

As before, feints, false swings and similar tricks decide too much, so dribblers in the attacking group are very necessary here. Now the logic of the first touch has been noticeably redesigned, with the right stick you can make various tosses and treatments (even with the chest!), The ball bounce depends very much on this. At the same time, the role of cutting passes has grown, but banal forward throws have begun to work a little worse. Heading has become a little more pleasant, scoring is easier, even if you don’t have Peter Crouch on the edge, the choice of position and the struggle for it has become more important.

But kicks are completely reworked, but optional. If you press the “circle” (in the standard layout) a second time, a special scale will appear with a mark moving from the red zone to the green one. If your reaction is good enough, then pressing again in time will allow you to punch into the corner so that the goalkeeper cannot pull it out. The system requires training, it is not easy to master it, so you can not use it if you wish. But it is with the Timed Finishing system that you can score amazing “banks” from a distance, otherwise it will be difficult to score from 35 meters.

FIFA 19 game review

The goals here are surprisingly diverse, goalkeepers can both incredibly help out and miss the wild “foam”.

But in general, no matter which way you choose to hit, football in FIFA 19 leaves a pleasant, if not entirely fresh, impression. Even an experienced PES fan will feel quite normal, at least unexpected cutoff passes and rebounds leading to goals happen here quite often.

For those who are used to PES

Another thing that will please those accustomed to Konami footsim is the expanded options for tactics. And this is a very cool, albeit completely copied from PES, feature. Absolutely everything is configurable – the width of the defense, the behavior when the ball is lost, the degree of pressure on someone else’s half, and even the number of players on the corners. Moreover, for each of the four types of attacking strategy, you can choose your own tactics. Scored two against Barcelona in the first half hour and want to “dry” the match? Please put some 4-2-3-1 for an overprotective strategy and turn on the pressure. And if you need to crush the opponent at the end, just before the match we set 4-2-4 for the super-attacking strategy and connect a couple of defenders to the standards.

Not that all this is necessary for defeating the computer, but in matches with a person it will be very useful. Moreover, there are more options for competing with live opponents. The main innovation is again familiar to PES fans – these are European cups. The Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup have received their full incarnations, the main tournament even has a separate mode for maximum authenticity. Since Electronic Arts has no problems with licenses, the group stage of the Champions League in FIFA 19 is exactly the same as in real life. All three of our participants – Loko, the army team and Spartak – are in place, their lineups repeat the real ones, although the rating of some players raises questions.

FIFA 19 game review

For example, Fedor Chalov, the main young talent among Russian strikers, has a miserable 71 – in PES, Ivan Novoseltsev has the same number, who has not been called up to the national team for a long time.

But with the appearance, especially for the stars, there are no problems. The top football masters look and move exactly as they should, here my personal favorite is the world’s fastest player Gareth Bale with his trademark movement style. There are even more licensed stadiums – as many as 16 arenas from La Liga, the Borussia Dortmund arena, the Cardiff Millennium and a handful of buildings have been added. But there is a significant problem for us with the championships – the Russian Premier League has become the exclusive of competitors, and now there will be much fewer cards for Russian football players, especially since Zenit failed to license for the Europa League. As for me, this is a significant loss, but the fully licensed La Liga or the English Premier League brighten it up a lot.

No news is also news

It is in these two tournaments that you will have to play in the “History” mode. Does this mean that Alex Hunter will start changing clubs, just like Zlatan? Not at all. It’s just that in the FIFA 19 story mode, we have three full-fledged heroes. And it’s the best thing that ever happened to the adventures of a black superstar. It is logical that the top forward’s partners were his friend Danny Williams and sister Kim. They could be managed last year, but there it was optional and very little, but here it is mandatory and the time is given approximately on a par with Alex. The plot itself did not get rid of the tension and several ridiculous attempts to show the wrong side of the life of pro football players, but due to the shuffling of the heroes, it came out the most vigorous and adequately completed the trilogy.FIFA 19 game review

As before, completing Story Mode will reward you with a character for Ultimate Team.

In FIFA Ultimate Team mode, the most popular and does not need advertising, there are few real changes either. Champions League hero cards have appeared, the Division Rivals mode has been added, where you are “matched” with rivals of approximately the same level and even a neighboring region. We simplified the Weekend League by reducing the number of matches in it to 30. All this made the path to the top divisions a little easier, but it didn’t eliminate the need to either “grind” or pay to the end. However, to become an esportsman, you need to invest a lot of time.

Not enough changes in the “Career”. Here, in general, it seems that they decided to give up on fundamental improvements – in addition to cosmetic changes that make it easier to track the necessary players, in the manager mode there are no differences from last season. Well, yes, there are additional details “for immersion”, such as changing the interface during the days of the same Champions League, but fans have long wanted more variability – to start with minor league clubs and work their way up, for example. Even a couple of commentators seemed to be tired and decided not to change anything much (except for phrases about you yourself understand which tournament) – although Cherdantsev and Genich are already voicing the fourth series of the simulator, their remarks still sound out of context. Although under the anthem you yourself understand which tournament they read out well – you even believe that this is a broadcast.

FIFA 19 game review

Fans in the stands received more animations, huge banners appeared in the stadiums, but this is still not enough for complete realism.

***

FIFA confidently remains the leader among footsims. Gameplay, presentation, versatility, opportunities to share entertainment with people, license base – everything at EA Sports is at least at a very good level. But in the 2018-19 season, this leadership is reminiscent of what happened to Spartak at the turn of the century: there is almost no development, and at some points borrowings and even narcissism begin. As you remember, the 2000s dramatically changed the balance of power in Russian football – Lokomotiv, CSKA and Zenit became fresh leaders. And if the main simulator of the “foot ball” does not begin to make tangible steps forward, a similar fate may await it.

Pros: very decent football, balancing between a simulator and an arcade; interestingly redesigned strike system; many additions in tactics; even more licensed clubs, stadiums, leagues and realistic athletes; Champions League.

Cons: In general, there are few changes, especially in Career modes, FUT and gameplay in general; there is no Russian league and all our participants in European cups.

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