FIFA 19 Review – Game’s First Impressions


FIFA 19 is coming and no one better than a former #1 FIFA and FIFA Street player in the world to share its first impressions. That’s why we asked our friend drpoplove to write a FIFA 19 review with his opinion about what is good, bad or ugly.

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FIFA 19 Review

FIFA 19 First Impressions

Hey comrades, I played about 25 hours of FIFA 19 during the capture event, and many more prior to that. What I played is supposed to be pretty much final, so I thought I’d share my evolving thoughts on what I think is good, bad, and ugly. This “review in progress” focuses just on gameplay and so it’s bound to change in the future, but the day 1 version of the game is going to effectively be the same. If you’d rather watch the review over gameplay instead of reading, here is the video.



More Realistic Passing


I think passing was harder in earlier builds and maybe they tuned it due to feedback, but it’s still challenging. It’s nearly impossible to accurately ping pong at 180 degrees with mediocre passers, or to make pixel perfect cross pitch passes without someone like Modric or Scholes.

It’s definitely not impossible to make great passes with worse players, but the margin of error is pretty huge. Even a simple flank switch from one FB to the other will require careful aiming and power.

I’ve played with regular players and with the best icons in the game. Passing remains pretty consistent which I’m happy about, but I’m definitely concerned about the long term future. If passing is hard now but a guy like Modric can pull off crazy passes somewhat regularly, what do his in form versions look like? Will passing still be challenging in December when everyone has a super powered team? I’m not sure. Right now it’s great and I hope it stays that way


Goal Kicks

Bad AND Ugly

Goal kicks in FIFA 19 are bizarre. They feel like they have no power and aim consistency. You can simply tap the lob button and sometimes it will go to your CDM but sometimes it goes to your striker. We’re talking about a quarter bar of power here. I’m all for a bigger skill gap and more challenging gameplay, but this is really overkill. It feels more broken than challenging.

Every time you have a goal kick in FIFA 19, you run the risk of simply gifting the ball to your enemy.


“50/50 Battles”


IMO, they should have just said “yo the game has new ai and physics brrruuuh.” 50/50 sounds like chance and randomness to me, but that’s not what it is in game.

I’m ecstatic to say that almost every time players collide in FIFA 19, the outcome felt like it should have happened. It’s obviously not perfect, but it doesn’t feel super random like it does in 18.

The same goes for the ball, it bounces more realistically, and I barely had any instances where I felt like it was out of control and random.


FIFA 19 Review - Game's First Impressions


Timed Finishing and General Shooting

Not Sure If Good/Bad/Ugly

On paper, I love timed finishing. Having to time your shot if you want to be extra good adds an intricate layer of depth to attacking and decision making. In practice, I’m just not sure if it works as it should. I scored plenty of screamers without timed finishing. Does that mean regular shots should be nerfed?

Someone missed plenty of perfectly timed finishes against me. Does that mean timed finishing should be buffed? I have no clue. All I know right now is that after 25 hours with the final game, I’m still ass at shooting. Is it the game or is it me? Time will tell.


New Tactics, Instructions, and AI


They weren’t kidding about updating the AI. It doesn’t auto attack or auto attack for you, but instead, it listens to your commands and executes them exactly how you want to.

I messed around with custom tactics a lot. Each option available creates drastic playstyle differences. You can FINALLY play wide with effectiveness! Will it be WL Elite 1 levels of effective? I have no clue, but I’m certainly very happy that wingers and full backs can make proper combinations now.

You can tell your FBs to make overlapping or inverted runs, and they listen. You can also tell your central mids to stay central on defense, instead of covering the wings. This instruction is a freaking gift from the gods. One of the reasons wide formations were never good was because your team would drift wide to fill gaps.

Now you can finally maintain your shape defensively and funnel the enemy onto the wings. Just be careful, because crossing and heading is way better this year.


The R3 Flick

Not Sure If Good/Bad/Ugly

Click in R3 and you launch the ball into the air. Keep clicking it for juggles that you can dribble and combo with. You can even volley/bicycle kick.

Now this is either one of those things that FIFA players will adapt to and add to their arsenals, or this is one of those things that’s going to be super duper annoying.

I’m definitely okay with more skilling options, but I don’t want to go back to FIFA 16 where 1 person can skill through an entire team with minimal effort.


Animations and Responsiveness


The game feels suuuuuuuuper fluid. Will that hold up in the Weekend League? We’ll see. But the amount of new animations in this game is pretty spectacular. It feels so different the second you start dribbling with the ball.

There are more animations for just about every type of situation in the game, which means players are more likely to behave how you want them to. I just hope it stays that way. I played online a bunch but it was against opponents literally in the same arena as me, so I can’t really speak to servers and net code at all.


Overall Thoughts

FIFA 19 Review

I’m really enjoying this game. It’s unlike FIFA 18 and 17 completely, but it still feels familiar if you’re a fan of football.

I’m eager to see how the meta evolves. With so many new things in the game at once, it’ll be a really big challenge to maintain a proper balance in the game, especially as souped up special cards get introduced to the game.

My main concern is about how the game will evolve over time, and I hope that it’s in the right direction. Anyway comrades, thanks for reading.