The wait is over. The newest edition of FIFA is out and it's better than ever before.
With FIFA 19, EA Sports have managed to produce a jarringly true to life football simulation, without sacrificing what has driven millions worldwide to their nearest gaming store: fun.
FIFA 19 is fun.
In fact, it's the most enjoyable and 'arcadey' edition of the franchise in years.
'House Rules' are the spiritual successor to Lounge Mode, and welcome addition to FIFA this year. Be it with friends across the world or simply across the living room, gamers can now play matches in which:
- Every time someone scores a random player is ejected.
- Only headers and volley goals count.
- And (most notably) there are no rules. Anything goes. ANYTHING.
These small additions have led to FIFA 19 to being arguably the most enjoyable multiplayer game in stores at the moment. FIFA has seemingly re-taken the crown as the game to play when you have friends over.
What is truly impressive about EA Sports' latest edition of the world's most player football game, is the fact that this 'arcadey' feel is created without sacrificing realism.
The graphics are expectedly incredible. In game, Paulo Dybala looks like Paulo Dybala. He runs like Paulo Dybala. He curls the ball into the top left corner of the net like Paulo Dybala; and after doing so, he celebrates like Paulo Dybala.
The aforementioned can be said about every one of your favourite footballers.
FIFA 19 gives gamers a perfect simulation of their favourite footballer's movements, but one still feels in complete control of what is happening in game. A key reason for this is the addition of Timed Finishing.
Although it takes some getting used to - and A LOT of practice to perfect - Timed Finishing gives gamers unrivalled control of shooting. For the first time ever, volleying the ball into the top corner of the net from 25-yards out with Derry City midfielder Aaron McEneff doesn't feel like a complete fluke, but a just reward for mastering an in-game skill.
It's frustrating at first, but ultimately rewarding.
For Career Mode fans, the UEFA Champions League is also a welcome addition. Europe nights feel like a big deal, as they are aptly aesthetically different from your run-of-the-mill weekend league games.
Hearing the Champions League anthem prior to a game, seeing different scoreboard and billboards, and having Derek Rae and Lee Dixon commentating during the game make European nights feel special.
The Champions League also features prominently throughout the third instalment of the ever-enjoyable Journey, in which - this season - you take Alex Hunter to the biggest club in the world: Real Madrid.
As with every FIFA game produced in recent years, EA Sports have created a near life-like representation of the beautiful game. However, what makes this year's edition so special, is rather than just a simulation of the beautiful game, one feels in complete control of it. You control your favourite players in the world, and feel more rewarded than ever for doing so.