Anyone who knows me will know how much I dislike Football. Fun fact, I grew up living with two professional football referees and getting dragged all around the country to the (architecturally beautiful) stadiums and forced to watch 90 minutes of grown men running around a field chasing a ball. So… why am I playing FIFA19 again? Oh right – there are two reasons.
1) It is on EA access and therefore I don’t have to purchase the game to give it a go
2) My 4 year old boy loves football almost as much as he loves video games.
So, after downloading the game (seriously, I was a tad shocked that it took 50gb to download what I thought would be some semi-decent and maybe slightly distinguishable models of players running around a field with cardboard cutout fans in the seats) my initial thoughts were blown to smithereens. Whether I ended up liking the game or not was irrelevant – the game was beautiful. Ok, not beautiful in an arty way like some other games I have played in the past – but beautiful in how they were able to capture the atmosphere of what it’s actually like being at a stadium! The graphics, the sounds, even the camera movements are all well past my expectations. Even small stuff like when the fans are cheering, the camera shakes a bit – small touches like this can really create a great and pretty realistic atmosphere.
As previously noted, I am not a football fan at all, however, the game was pretty easy to learn (honestly, this is the first time I’ve played a football game since… Playstation 2 era I believe) – the controls are very intuitive and the on screen notifications are a great help – it took a few… mistakes… to learn stuff like the infamous “off-side rule” as it doesn’t really explain it in game, however – this is likely due to the game being heavily aimed towards fans of the sport, not people like me.
I only played on Default controls and there was this confusing thing that when I tried it, changed what buttons it suggested I pressed – I had no idea what any of this was, even after playing around with it a couple times so ended up leaving it alone (please comment below if you have ANY advise!)
Next, on to the career mode – Firstly, the custom player creation seemed very slick – while it could do with a bit of improvements in terms of amount of choice you have for things like hair, it definitely does its job well enough for the type of game it is. I played as only my own custom player and on Easy mode (as I’m a self proclaimed noob) initially before having to put the difficulty up because my teammates were scoring too fast for me to have any chance at racking up my own points. My teams manager told me off… loads… bad passing, selfish ball control and never in the correct place on the pitch were some of the criticisms – which may seem harsh considering its just a game, and they “could” have used in game popups to let you know these things mid game, but to be honest, it felt more realistic this way and less nagging due to not having popups every few minutes. After a few matches of similar feedback, I did start correcting these mistakes and started improving at the game through this!
All in all, I legitimately liked the game more than I expected – and it gives me another game I’m able to play with my toddler. While I wont be rushing out to buy 2020 version of the game, I may actually consider picking it up if I see it at a good price, where as previously this is not something I would have ever considered at all.
However, at the end of the day – this is a game aimed towards a specific market, and unless you are a part of that market, it isn’t a game I would necessarily recommend to purchase.
By the way, for those who are interested – I played as Yeovil Town FC, as selected by my toddler!