FIFA has always been strong online, and this year is no exception. Matchmaking is quick, in-game performance solid, and server stability generally good. It’s much better that the slightly archaic lobby modes in PES, and one area where EA continue to excel. Obviously you still have quitters, cheaters and abuse, all of which seem far more prevalent than in competing games, but maybe that has just unfortunately become par for the course with FIFA?
FIFA 19 continues the trend of looking absolutely remarkable, especially in 4K on Xbox One X. FIFA remains the best looking sports game of all time. Everything from the pitch to the players looks phenomenal. This year, it’s clear that more effort has gone into crowds, jersey animation (although this can look somewhat low gravity – the physics need some work EA!), and the fact kit can get muddy and wet throughout the game. The impressive broadcast presentation now seems to cover the majority of the top leagues in Europe (and the MLS), and there’s more pre and post-match content than ever.
The audio quality completely embarrasses the competition with the quality, but is starting to show its age. Martin Tyler and Alan Smith sound natural together, and the commentary is often conversational, but it doesn’t seem quite as well stitched as previous games. I’d also say that some phrases seem to have a bit of a habit of repeating over and over. The voice work is better than ever in The Journey, but surprisingly it’s the new European games that disappoint. The commentary here is really lacking, and Lee Dixon and Derek Rae sound like they recorded everything separately. Their relationship and banter is also pretty lacking.
“FIFA 19” makes some great changes on the pitch, with the best, and most balanced game of football the series has ever produced. I’m sure some will complain that it’s too polished, too theatrical, but for most people, 19 will finally dampen the critics that pace and wingers are the only way to succeed, or that the general pace is too stodgy. There’s also a great selection of modes, and the addition of the Champions League just feels like another nail in the coffin for PES. Despite (or perhaps because of) these improvements, the areas which still require improvement are perhaps more obvious than ever. The commentary is starting to get a bit stale. Some of the stagnant modes need removing or an overhaul.
However, I’m confident in saying that this is the best football/ soccer game on the market this year.
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