Games

FIFA 19: Here are the Biggest Changes this Year

See what’s new on the pitch this season.

Due to their annual release cycle, FIFA games and their yearly improvements can often feel like they’re minimal and difficult to notice. But to stay competitive with the growing competition from the PES franchise, there seems to be have been a boost of gameplay additions in more recent FIFA titles to keep players coming back; and we’re going to take a look at some of the most significant changes made for the upcoming FIFA 19.

FUT Divisions

The FIFA Ultimate Team mode is still the most popular aspect of the game, pretty much since it was first introduced. Like any game or game mode that encourages competitiveness and grinding to get the best set-up, it can be difficult for people who fall in the middle-ground between casual and competitive to get the most out of the experience.

A new introduction of FUT Division Rivals should bridge the gap between those two opposites, and it achieves this by ranking players on a skill-based scale in divisions from 1-10. Players will play 10 ‘placement matches’ that will determine their skill level, after which they’ll be paired against players of their similar skill level. This mode will replace the ‘Seasons’ mode, and should offer more players a fulfilling experience across the board. 

New Icons

One of the coolest parts of the FIFA Ultimate Team mode is using old school players that not only have insanely great cards, but are a little slice of football history and nostalgia for many older fans.

The new Icons in FIFA 19 are Italian legends Roberto Baggio and Fabio Cannavaro, English midfield stalwarts Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, Brazilian World Cup titan Rivaldo, Eusebio – Portugal’s most iconic player pre-Cristiano Ronaldo, and last and most notable, Dutch footballing pioneer Johann Cruyff. A lot of fans are going to be waiting with bated breath to pull one of these epic cards.

New Kick-Off Modes

Sometimes you don’t want to invest a lot of time into FUT games, you just want a couple of quick, fun matches with a friend. The new Kick-Off modes add some spice and variety; including a ‘Best-Of’ series where you can play the best out of 3 or 5 games, ‘Cup Finals’ where you can recreate newly licensed finals like the FA Cup, Europa League, and now (most impressively), the Champions League.

House Rules

This is an extension of the new Kick-Off mode but gives players a lot more control over specific conditions to win games. You can basically choose whatever way of keeping score that you want outside of normal goals. For example, only want headers to count? You can do that. Want to race your buddy to three goals to determine the winner? Also doable.

Want to play like an absolute savage? ‘No Rules’ means the 90-minute limit is the only restriction; there are no cards, fouls, or offsides – so the game will basically turn into the footballing version of The Hunger Games where only the most ruthless survive.

Stat Tracking

One of the less likeable aspects of the previous Kick-Off modes is that you can’t ever really look at a set of stats for all the hundreds of quick games you’ve played in that mode. Not anymore, though. You can set up a Kick-Off name and going forward it will record a mass of every stat imaginable over the span of all the Kick-Off games you play.

It can even track various players so that you and your friends can check head-to-head stats and log how your performances improve, or what you need to look at to give your game an extra cutting-edge. The Kick-Off mode felt a little one-dimensional and impersonal before, but it might be the mode that’s been given the biggest number of improvements for this year’s edition of FIFA.

Overall, FIFA 19 seems to have added quite a number of features that will enhance how enjoyable its most important modes are, particularly the tweaks to Kick-Off and the introduction of skill-tiered FUT divisions. Are these new additions enough to make you pull the trigger on a copy of FIFA 19? 

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For those who haven’t picked up a PS4 yet, too, there’s also a 1TB FIFA 19 bundle that’ll go on sale upon launch.

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