FIFA 19 is right around the corner and we here at WhatCulture are pretty darn excited about it. In our anticipation, we've hypothesised which players will be overrated and which will be underrated, and which career mode players you should buy first. This year's instalment in Electronic Arts' football series is a particularly special one because it brings the UEFA Champions League licence with it, EA having purchased it following the expiration of Konami's deal. However there are a handful of other changes EA is bringing to the series that you should know about.
New to the FIFA franchise this year is the implementation of a new way to shoot, a redesigned first-touch mechanic, deeper tactical options, and a new mini-map for the hell of it. Those were the announcements EA originally made around E3 2018, but just a few days ago new details emerged about the title that has raised a few Dwayne Johnson-esque eyebrows.
The first, and perhaps most strange, of all the new changes is to Kick-Off mode. For years now Kick-Off has simply been the fastest way to play a match. It was a quick way to start-up a game between you and a friend, or to pass off to other people. This year, EA has revamped the entire system, so you can choose if you want a simple friendly, a Champions League match, a Best Of Series, or an FA Cup match. These customisation options are a nice touch to make even 10 minute friendlies feel fresh and interesting.
The other big change to this year's Kick-Off mode is House Rules. As you can see in the image above, House Rules is a match choice and it allows you to implement some fairly odd stipulations; only headers and volleys count as goals, or starting the match with advantages/disadvantages, or no rules - meaning no referee, no offsides, no fouls, etc. This is sure to be a thrilling mode that makes random matches as much fun as the likes of Rocket League. In a further addition, there are now detailed stats for the Kick-Off matches, so you can keep track of how many goals you've scored, how many free-kicks you've earned, how many red cards, etc. It's a nice touch for those who want a friendly couch co-op rivalry.
The real big change to FIFA 19 though is in the form of Survival Mode. And no, before you start having palpitations, this isn't a battle royale mode in FIFA, although it's not a far cry. So the idea is: when you score a goal, one of your players (chosen at random) leaves the pitch. The game continues in that fashion until the 90 minutes are up. For better or worse, this mode still plays by real-life rules - meaning if you get below seven players the match is thrown out. So basically, it's a fascinatingly tactical mode that forces you to decide when you want to score, because scoring early could be detrimental.
As for a divisive change, Online Seasons have been done away with. The new equivalent is called Division Rivals - weekly competitions against those of a similar skill level to you, alongside dynamic objectives. EA previously said it wants to reduce the amount of grinding in FIFA's online modes, so this year you can obtain Champion Points to gain access to the weekend Champions competitions. It's similar to Online Seasons but instead of having divisions ranked 10-1, it's all about the weekend competitions, and every other match is used to build points to partake.
Those are the big new changes to FIFA 19. There's also been a few redesigns to Ultimate Team, though nothing major, and you will be able to play the final instalment in The Journey story mode. A demo for FIFA 19 is set to be released in early September and feature Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Man City, Man Utd, PSG, Real Madrid, and Tottenham Hotspur.
FIFA 19 releases worldwide on 28 September for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS3, and Xbox 360. For all your FIFA news and coverage, stay tuned to WhatCulture!