A few weeks ago I gave this year’s Pro Evolution Soccer a 9/10 rating as it laid down the gauntlet to FIFA 19, but how does it fare?
Well the first thing I can tell you is FIFA 19 is definitely an improvement on the last two rather stale iterations of EA’s footballing juggernaut.
Off the pitch FIFA 19 adds even more polish to the already glistening sheen that Pro Evo sorely lacks.
Money may not be able to buy happiness but it can certainly buy licenses and that means for the first time FIFA includes the Champions League and Europa League.
But having grown tired of FIFA’ gameplay more than anything else in recent years I was more interested in how it performed ON the pitch.
The key changes include a new “Active Touch System which has seen an overhaul of player control, timed finishing where the kick button may be pressed a second time to determine the exact moment the ball is actually kicked, 50/50 battles which is a system for deciding how likely a player is to win loose balls and Dynamic Tactics which allows players to set tactics and switch between them in real-time during a game.
Some of these changes, particularly the shooting are very much hit and miss.
But most add value and improve the playing experience compared to recent seasons.
Ultimate Team is the crowning achievement as ever while I found myself more engrossed by The Journey this time around.
As ever with FIFA, and EA titles generally, the level of polish is unequalled. That coupled with new kick-off modes and the more engaging and responsive gameplay makes for the best FIFA since 2015/16.
It is not perfect, though, and I still find FIFA fails to scratch the goal satisfaction itch which PES does so well.
I gave up on FIFA’s career mode as it just does not do it for me but that is personal preference.
In terms of online performance EA has the edge and despite narrowly preferring the match experience on Pro Evo I find myself coming back to FIFA every time thanks to its superior overall package, although for me it scores just short of its more arcadey rival. FIFA 19 is the king but is missing the jewel in the crown.