No sooner has a FIFA game landed that we are thinking about the next one. What could be better? When can we play it?
FIFA 18 was a decent update, but FIFA 17 was the most recent clear evolution of the series with the introduction of the Frostbite game engine and The Journey single player mode.
If 19 is to be an incremental upgrade, then what else can EA bring to the table? Will offsides be called earlier? Can we please foul the keeper? And will the commentary ever be approaching lifelike?
In June, FIFA teased the new game with last year’s cover star Cristiano Ronaldo in a Real Madrid shirt – then he went to Juventus and EA has had to hastily redesign its entire campaign. Yikes.
When is FIFA 19 out?
FIFA 19 will be released on 28 September 2018. If you pre-order the Champions Edition you can get access three days earlier on 25 September.
How much will FIFA 19 cost?
FIFA 19 will cost from £45.99 in the UK on its release. Pre-order it from Amazon here.
The Champions Edition costs from £69.99. Pre-order it from Amazon here.
EA is rethinking its cover now, as the entire game was announced while Ronaldo was at Real Madrid with him on the front. His move to Juventus has rather ruined EA's promo campaign.
What platforms will FIFA 19 be on?
The obvious - PS4, Xbox One and PC.
We are surprised to see FIFA 19 will be available as a scaled down legacy edition on PS3 and Xbox 360.
FIFA 19 is also coming to Nintendo Switch, like the surprisingly good FIFA 18. But like that port, It’ll probably not include The Journey and full-on Frostbite graphics due to the limitations of the Switch’s hardware.
What to expect from FIFA 19
EA Sports has confirmed some of the new features of FIFA 19 before its release. One of the most eye-catching of these is Kick Off mode with House Rules - which is basically football with no rules.
You can set a match to play with custom rules such as no rules (no offsides, no fouls), long-range goals count as two goals or only scoring from headers and volleys. It finally adds a bit of spice to the tiring normal Vs. mode that can often be boring if not online.
FIFA games sometimes struggle to add new features year to year, but we’re hopeful FIFA 19 will be enough to warrant the purchase (but you’re going to buy it anyway, aren’t you?).
It's also confirmed that FIFA will have full Serie A branding.
Read about all the confirmed new features here.
EA has nabbed the rights to use the Champions League and Europa League branding from Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer. This is a major blow for Konami but a huge plus for FIFA 19 if true.
You could only play in the 'Champions Cup' on FIFA 18, and the absence of the iconic music and trophy likeness takes away from the FIFA magic. It looks like it’ll be coming this September though, making FIFA an even better choice than the ailing PES series.
PES had UEFA rights for the last 10 years.
The Journey: Champions
At Gamescom, EA confirmed that the single player story mode will be called The Journey: Champions. It describes it as coming "to a finale in this year's game", so expect something new in FIFA 20.
The story revolves around Alex Hunter, Danny Williams and Kim Hunter. The narratives intertwine and you can even cycle between them at will to get different experiences as you play through the important moments in their careers.
You'll be able to interact with players like Neymar, Alex Morgan and Paulo Dybala on and off the pitch and even decide how you should come across on social media. But like in the previous two games, the coming off the bench and scoring winners in finals scenarios are exciting enough to keep us playing.
Serie A and Coppa Italia
Maybe less important for some, but anyone who watched Football Italia back in the day will rejoice – FIFA 19 will have full right to names, teams, likenesses and stadiums for the Italian first division.
It always makes FIFA more fun when you have the latest kits, names and player ratings – this is what makes it a football nerd’s dream, and adding Serie A in its entirety only adds to the fun.
Maybe it’s because we suck at them, but it’d be great if EA could get penalties and free kicks right. Sure, we can improve outfield play by sticking to it, but set plays are pretty difficult.
We’d also appreciate more off ball control where possible and be able to turn off the option for visual control toggles so we don’t keep accidentally turning it on when indulging in some more heating control-stick gameplay.
And if there’s some way to properly punish those who quit online games when they’re losing, that’d be much appreciated. Show some sportsmanship, people!