(Photo Credit: EA Sports)
FIFA is about inclusivity. About anyone being able to play at any time. Everyone should be able to enjoy FIFA, and, to that end, EA Sports have enacted change for their most inclusive edition yet. Here are all the changes to FIFA 19’s new kick-off mode.
Have you ever kept a tally of FIFA 19 results against a friend on your phone or a piece of paper? Have you ever lost said data and wished that the game would store all of this information for you? Welcome to FIFA 19, complete with kick-off stat-tracking that removes the impersonal from previous FIFA kick-off modes.
The new stat-tracking feature gives your soulless run-of-the-mill kick-off match much more context and adds to the sense of rivalry developed by repeatedly playing against the same opponent.
It’s not just wins, draws and losses tracked, but a number of in-depth statistics including average possession figures, shots per game, from where goals are scored and favoured areas of attack. No longer can you lie to your friend – claiming that you take more shots per game or see more of the ball – as FIFA will record the truth.
Using this feature will naturally help you become a better player. For example, if the stat-tracking feature tells you that your opponent has a penchant for attacking through the middle, you can overload that area of the pitch with a three-man defence and a defensive midfielder holding position in front. Or you can instruct your left winger to track back if they tend to favour that side.
To use this feature, all you need to do is create a kick-off name and future data is forever tied to that. It can be linked to your PSN or Xbox Live accounts to take it from console to console of the same type, or create multiple depending on whether you’re playing at home or somewhere else.
The new Kick-off mode
FIFA 19, of course, retains the classic FIFA kick-off mode of a simple 90 minute game as per previous editions, but the purpose of the new kick-off mode is to make the game accessible to users of all abilities. It caters to the recreational player that just wants to mess around and have fun.
The new FIFA kick-off mode includes:
Best of series
Players frequently find themselves playing more than one game against the same opponent in any sitting, so why not try the new best of three or five mode?
Home and away two-legged ties
Do you struggle to perform in your first game of FIFA? The home and away two-legged tie mode gives you the option to – as it says on the tin – play at home and away as per a two-legged cup tie.
Are you only able to get yourself in the right mindset if the game is pressurised? If it’s a cup final, for example, with everything at stake and a trophy to be won?
The cup final game mode allows you to recreate this atmosphere in one-off final fixtures for the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League. You’re able to play finals, a particular knockout match or a full group stage from either the Champions or Europa League.
Whilst the above game modes are still new, they’re ultimately variants of the classic kick-off game, but in the ‘House Rules’ feature, there’s something to capture everyone’s interest. This is where the fun really starts.
Just like a normal game, except the match will end once a player reaches a number of goals of your choosing.
For example, if you play first to three, the game is over when a player scores three times, whether that be 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2, though the match will stay play to the clock – extra time and penalties – if required.
Headers and volleys
Remember the childhood game you used to play at lunch time on the concrete? Now you can play it on FIFA in ‘headers and volleys’ mode. It’s a regular 90 minute fixture, the difference is that goals only count if they’re scored on the volley or with your head – free kicks and penalties do still count.
This is a perfect opportunity to practice FIFA’s new ‘active touch system’ to create opportunities for volleys.
Hate playing against penalty box poachers that only use low crosses across goal to score? Be rid of these pests in the ‘long range’ mode. In this type of match, goals from inside the box count as one, but those scored from outside the box count as two.
Fancy yourself as the best FIFA player amongst your friends? Prove it in ‘survival’ mode. In this type of game, whenever a team scores a goal, a random player will be ejected from the scoring side, excluding goalkeepers. Feel the tension as you nervously wait to see which of your stars will no longer be able to continue as you go 1-0 up.
This can happen up to four times for each side, and you’re also allowed up to two red cards per team, but any more and you’ll have to forfeit.
The only rule in this game mode is that there are no rules. This operates the same as a regular 90 minute fixture, other than the added twist of having no offsides, fouls or bookings.
Goal hang and play long balls to your heart’s content, or make a string of two-footed tackles to avoid conceding without the risk of punishment.
FIFA Ultimate Team
Ultimate Team remains the most popular mode on the game, and on FIFA 19 the new features focus on those in-between the casual and competitive ends of the gaming spectrum.
The new Champions League and Europa League licences will feature in Ultimate Team, although it is unclear what this will be yet. Perhaps European Team of the Weeks to increase the number of in-form players available on the game.
FUT Division Rivals
This is the big new feature for Ultimate Team. FUT Champions is there for those looking to break into the competitive scene and enter the Weekend League, whilst Squad Battles were created for amateur Ultimate Team players, so they can improve their squad in other ways.
For those in the mid-tier, they can get lost, not having the time for Squad Battles, but not having the quality for FUT Champions.
This is where Division Rivals comes in. It replaces Online Seasons, and players will compete against others of a similar skill level. Initially, the gamer will play a number of placement matches, determining a skill rating. The better the performance in these matches, the higher the skill rating, and giving the player a head start in the division ladder.
Don’t be alarmed if you struggle however, as you will be drawn in a division of players of a similar standard. This makes it more exciting for the player to face others of the same skill level.
There are 10 divisions, with progression tied closer to skill. Each week, there will be competitions against players within the same division, competing for ranking places and prizes similar to Squad Battles.
You can also achieve Champions Points through FUT Rivals, making qualification for Weekend League possible.
Another new aspect of Ultimate Team is the Champions Channel. This is a tool for users to learn from the best. Players will be able to jump to certain matches featuring pro players, enabling them to pause, rewind and learn from the best.
We all love the ICONS on Ultimate Team, and it's thrilling to know that some new legends of the game will be joining Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Maradona & co. for FIFA 19.
World Cup winners Fabio Cannavaro, Miroslav Klose and Rivaldo are just the tip of the iceberg, as they are joined by Dutch legends Johan Cruyff and Clarence Seedorf, Real Madrid Champions League winning pair Claude Makelele and Raul, England midfield maestros Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, Italy legend Roberto Baggio, and Portugal legend Eusebio.
With all but one of these new Icons winning European competitions during their career, it's quite possible they will have a Champions League or Europa League twist to their items in Ultimate Team.
FUT Player Pick
Finally, the ability to control who you get in packs will be a massive relief to regular visitors of the FUT Store. The user will be able to choose one from a selection of players in that pack, picking the one that fits their team best.
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