FIFA 19 is a fun game. FIFA 18 was also a good game. Even FIFA 17 was a very good game. I could keep going but you get the point. The famous futbol franchise has been at the top of the sports genre for the better part of a decade now. With each new release, however, we are seeing less and less innovation. The yearly changes are becoming more scarce and harder to find. I really enjoyed FIFA 18 and was hesitant to purchase this year’s version of the game (Editor’s note: he means the 2018 entry, FIFA 19). But I finally took the dive and as expected it’s very good. It is more of the same, but it’s good. The ball physics in FIFA 19 are the best they’ve ever been and the jockeying between players is nice and balanced. Although, after an hour or two, I felt like I was playing the same game as last year. I don’t regret my decision but in order for me to keep buying these games every year, I am going to need more. Here are a few things that could really help FIFA in the future.
We all love Alan Smith and Martin Tyler but I think it is time to shake things up. A complete overhaul of voice lines and new commentators could really create a fresh feel for each match. I know EA has the funds to get some talent in the booth and multiple sets of commentators would be even better. It has been really awful going from year to year and hearing the exact same voice lines. To me, this is an easy thing to update and is something that could really make the next installment in the franchise standout.
Watching a soccer match is an experience and the crowd reactions in FIFA 19 are fine. They were fine last year too. My suggestion is to amp it up. When your player misses a close shot on goal you can hear the crowd start cheer then let out a sigh of disappointment. When you do make a shot the crowd starts cheering. But that’s it. I’ve been to some soccer games when a player scores and people lose their minds. It is an exciting occurrence, with the stadium shaking and celebratory voices filling the air. Why not have the crowd go crazy when someone scores? When I score in FIFA 19 I hear the crowd cheer but I don’t feel the excitement. Why not have a camera pan across some fans after a goal? It would really be a treat to see some actual modeled fans in the stands going nuts after you score the game-winner in extra time.
More In-Depth Career Mode
Career mode is my favorite. I love creating my character and playing through their virtual legacy. And as expected, the career mode in FIFA 19 is, of course, the same. I think if they put a little more effort in career mode it could shake things up considerably. And really, all they would have to do is make it just a tad more realistic in how it operates. For example, a neat addition would be fan reputation. Are your performing poorly, maybe the fans don’t want you on the pitch and boo you when you are until you do better (plays into the more dynamic crowd). What about having the salary you make actually mean something. You could purchase new gear to make yourself perform better, or spend it on something to make yourself look good with your fans. There just needs to be more. I want to feel like my character is actually growing and changing as the seasons go.
What would be really cool, is if you could start from below the professional leagues and work your way to the big leagues. Maybe instead of choosing a starting team, you choose a city and have to start from the bottom of the futbol chain there. I want to feel like I am grinding through my career, not just clicking on “Play Match” all the time. The developers briefly touched on this with the new game mode “The Journey” where you control Alex Hunter throughout his career. This was a nice addition to the franchise, but I want to control me, not someone else. I think they could definitely take some elements from “The Journey” and implement them in career mode to make it feel like an actual career.
It’s not much but these are a few things that I think could really pull FIFA out of the repetitive cycle that it has been in for a while. Gameplay wise, it is great. The movement, shooting, and skill moves all feel very fluid. EA just needs to build more around that. I am still enjoying FIFA but I just want something substantial. I definitely think EA is capable of doing that, but only time will tell.