Wednesday, April 25, 2018

FIFA 19: Absolutely everything about EA Sports’ new game – cover star, release date, trailer, Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Champions League and more

Dream Team FC
FIFA 19: Absolutely everything about EA Sports’ new game – cover star, release date, trailer, Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Champions League and more

FIFA 19’s release is getting closer and closer.

Here, we discuss what graphics engine will be used, the cover star, the trailer, new game-changing features and, of course, The Journey: Season 3.

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Anyway, let’s kick off with that all-important question…

When are we going to see it?

FIFA fans will be treated to a first look at this year’s game at EA Play in June, which takes place a day or two before E3 (You can read our full E3 guide here).

EA Sports is heading to in Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles where they will unveil their 2018 games portfolio – one of which will be FIFA 19.

You can read more about the FIFA 19 reveal here

I’ve heard rumours that the Champions League is coming back this year? They true?

Yes. FIFA 19 may see the return of the Champions League as the current deal between UEFA and Konami has expired.

The announcement was made in a recent press release by the company, confirming the partnership came to an end after a mutual understanding.

“Konami has been a strong licensing partner for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, with our competition brand being heavily featured within the video game and as part of the popular Konami-organised UEFA Champions League e-sports tournaments’,” said Marketing director of UEFA events Guy-Laurent Epstein.

The deal between UEFA and Konami is set to expire this year

“It has been a very cooperative and mutually beneficial partnership. UEFA would like to thank Konami for its tremendous commitment and support to UEFA club competitions for the last decade and we look forward to continuing to work with Konami in the sphere of UEFA national team football.”

The news now opens the door for EA Sports to bid for the licence for FIFA 19.

You can read more about Konami losing the Champions League licence here 

Who’s going to be the cover star?

Cristiano Ronaldo was a no-brainer last year – especially given that PES has the rights to Lionel Messi et al.

That being said, Ronaldo’s been off colour of late so faces pressure from the likes of Harry Kane or Neymar.

EA markets FIFA as the global game, and for that to work they need a global star. Ronaldo is the obvious choice – but on merit, perhaps it’s time for EA to look elsewhere.

We’ve mocked up a few FIFA 19 covers – including ones featuring Kane and Neymar. Check them out here 

Our mocked up version of the FIFA 19 cover with Ronnie

When’s the cover star going to be announced?

FIFA 19 will be unveiled at E3, LA in June – so we’ll probably catch our first glimpse then.

We’ll also have a new trailer drop around that time – although don’t expect to see much gameplay.

Who’s going to be the highest-rated player?

This is a tough one. The cover star is usually one of the best players and Ronaldo was the highest scoring player last year.

However, he hasn’t been nearly as good this season and deserves a lower rating.

Messi should be the game’s highest rated player – with Ronaldo just one point behind or so.

Who’s going to be the strongest player?

Adebayo Akinfenwa isn’t actually the strongest player in FIFA 18. Yes, you read that correctly.
The ‘Beast’ who currently plays for Wycombe Wanderers has a massive 98 score for strength in last year’s game.

Roman Torres has an impressive 85 rating for Physical

However, there’s another player who trumps that feat – Seattle Sounders’ defender Roman Torres.

EA sneakily made the centre-back the strongest player on the game with a Hero Card after Panama qualified for this year’s World Cup.

You can read about more about the strongest players in FIFA 19 here.

What about gamplay – will this change?

We’re going to say no to this one. As EA Sports looks to build the game into a esport proper, it risks annoying fans if changes are too drastic.

After all, the reason why CSGo is so popular is because it’s remained the same game for a long, long time.

We’ll see improvements in animation and fewer instances of ‘randomness’. The game will feel tighter, but don’t expect drastic changes.

What about PES?

This year’s game will be vastly different to PES 2018, according to the series’ European Community Leader Adam Bhatti.

Since Bhatti was appointed to the role in 2013, Konami’s flagship football game has seen somewhat of a critical revival – with scores often trumping EA Sports’ FIFA.

Konami has been continuing improving player faces throughout PES 2018’s lifespan

Sadly, though, PES is still lagging some way behind EA’s in the sales department.

As a result, the Japanese publisher will be ringing in the changes to ensure PES 2019 is a real contender against FIFA 19.

Click here to read about some key changes needed to give PES 2019 a fighting chance against FIFA 19.

What players are going to get downgrades / upgrades in their ratings?

Check out these 19 players who are going to get different ratings in FIFA 19 for a more in depth look.

How are ratings calculated?

Guesswork? Data collection? Statistical analysis?

Turns out it’s a mix of all three – plus one vital ingredient – Michael Mueller-Moehring.

He leads a team of 9,000 data reviewers – a network of scouts, coaches and season ticket-holders whose job it is to watch as many matches as possible.

Rather than relying on statistics, the data reviewers upload subjective feedback on every player they’ve watched – all 18,000 of them – on a secure EA Sports website.

“We have many leagues in the game; no stats provider could offer us data for all these leagues, teams and players,” Mueller-Moehring told ESPN.

You can your hands on the new Fifa for free, honestly!Cristiano Ronaldo was outpaced by veteran Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran last year – which wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by the data collectors

“This is also the reason why we use this online database, because it’s not possible to buy this data some way — it just doesn’t exist.”

If stats alone were used to determine players’ FIFA ratings, it would lead to inaccurate and misleading ratings.

“The stats are, in most cases, not taking into account very specific circumstances,” Mueller-Moehring explains.

“When you look at passing completion, if you play for Bayern Munich or if you play for Manchester City or if you play for Pep Guardiola, if your system is based on possession, you will have more successful passes than other players, but this doesn’t necessarily make you a better passer.

fifa 18 newFIFA 19 will once again use the Frostbite Engine – despite it coming under fire from fans who claim its error prone

“And when you look at attributes like trapping and ball control, there is data, but the data never gives you the specific situations. Same for tackling.”

Every now and then a relatively unknown player is signed for a team in the game. But with such little amounts of data around for them, how is a score worked out?

“All you know about this player is his name, date of birth and his position — and his position may be as precise as, ‘Oh, he’s a midfielder.’,”Mueller-Moehring says.

“We guess a little bit … until our people have seen the player in action.”

Capturing a player’s mental make-up is also massively important – but with no stats to show this, the league a player is in is used make an educated guess.

“If Messi were playing in the Irish league, his attributes would drop simply because he’s not on the highest level anymore,” Mueller-Moehring explains.

We may see Ronaldo’s pace drop this year as the 32-year-old starts to slow down

“We want to base our ratings on actual performance data.”When it comes to physical attributes, it’s much more subjective.

“There are fast and strong players in every professional league in the world,” Mueller-Moehring says.

All of the feedback is then collated into 300 different data fields and 35 specific attribute categories, which determines the overall rating.

How much is FIFA 19 going to cost?

The same as last year’s version, most likely – starting from around £49.00 for the basic version, all the way up to £79.99, which will include some packs and bonuses.

Speaking of packs, with all the lootbox saga, will EA be having to rethink them?

Loot boxes available in games such as Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront II should be banned in Europe, according to Belgium’s Gaming Commission.

They launched an investigation into whether loot boxes – purchasable in-game items – constitute a form of gambling.

“The mixing of money and addiction is gambling,” the Gaming Commission declared last year.

Belgium’s Minister of Justice Koen Geens added: “Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.”

FUT packs could well be put under the microscope

While this focused on the furore around Star Wars Battlefront II’s in-game loot boxes, it could obviously have huge implications for FIFA.

Ultimate Team packs require players to spend money, with no guarantee of getting any worthwhile cards.

Packs are seen by many as being far too expensive – with reports that the best team on the game costs £1000s to acquire.

EA saw the launch of Battlefront II dominated by criticism over lootboxes and locked characters.

Star Wars Battlefront II was torn to shreds by gamers over in-game purchases and locked characters

The company was even forced to backtrack and turn off all in-game purchases in response to the negative sentiment from the gaming community.

“It’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. … Sorry we didn’t get this right,” EA wrote in the post.

“We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game.”

Wait.. sorry, didn’t EA say they may not be releasing a physical version of the game this year?

Yes and no.

In an interview with Bloomberg last year, EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, hinted the publisher could move away from an annual release cycle and towards an update and subscriptions model.

“The greatest disruptor to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription,” Wilson said.

“It’s changed the way we watch television. It’s changed the way we listen to music. It’s changed the way I read books.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the cover star for FIFA 18 – so where do you go from there?FIFA

“There’s a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around — where we may not have to do an annual release. We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service.” Interestingly, EA looks to have already dipped its toes in the water.

Although the Madden NFL Mobile game is now three years old, it’s been continually updated at the start of every season – essentially creating a new game.

You can your hands on the new Fifa for free, honestly!The Frostbite engine was improved this year but we can’t expect massive changes in FIFA 19

The Frostbite engine was tweaked for FIFA 18, but arguably there were only very minor adjustments in animation and visual presentation.

EA Vancouver would have to re-write the entire code altogether to see a dramatic difference – something we can’t see happening for a good few years yet.

This, coupled with a greater number of gamers favouring digital game downloads over physical copies, could sway EA into ditching boxed copies and releasing a ‘FIFA 19’ patch instead.

This would work by updating rosters, faces and form – much like the patches we’re seeing in FIFA 18’s cycle, only bigger. It could even add a third season on to The Journey.

The latest PES 2018 trailer was received very well by audiences and could be better than FIFA 18PES 2018 was FIFA 18’s main rival but failed to sell nearly as many

Streaming games is fast becoming more popular.

GeForce Now – a subscription-based service on the Nvidia Shield – offers a ‘Netflix for Games’, where the unit taps into cloud processing to ‘play’ hundreds of titles.

EA Access, which also uses a subscription model, offers members a chance to trial some of the latest games – as well as play a number of older titles in EA’s portfolio.

It could only be a matter of time before we see a FIFA game using a subscription-based model, rather than a traditional release.

For now, though, we’re certain things won’t change.

Will FIFA 19 be powered by Frostbite?

Yes, without a shadow of doubt. EA actually uses Frostbite across a load of their titles – including Battlefront and Need for Speed.

It’s far easier to standardise the in-house engine, rather than having different development teams battle with multiple software.

Plus, as it’s in-house (developed by DICE), EA will save money in the long run – as they won’t have to buy the right to use engines from other developers.

Image result for need for speed paybackNeed for Speed Payback is another game powered by Frostbite technology

The downside is that those expecting a huge leap in graphics will be slightly disappointed.

By staying with the engine, we can’t expect to see too much of a boost over FIFA 18 – especially as EA will want it running smoothly on standard PS4s and Xbox Ones.

PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, though, should both start pulling away from their less-powerful siblings and boast the best-looking version of the game (Along with PC, obviously).

This brings us nicely on to the next point.

What will be the biggest change in gameplay this year?

A lot of gamers were gutted that dynamic weather didn’t make the cut last year – especially as it’s something the Frostbite Engine specialises in.

You’d only need look at Battlefield 1 and Mass Effect: Andromeda to see it in action.

While nothing has been confirmed, the introduction of realistic weather could well be a part of FIFA 19.

Speaking to Metro, EA DICE’s Patrick Bach explained why weather is so much more than just a “pretty effect”.

The latest PES 2018 trailer was received very well by audiences and could be better than FIFA 18PES 2018 includes dynamic weather that drastically affects gameplay and it’ll 100 per cent feature in this year’s game

“We often talk about these different dimensions in Battlefield, where you have the rock, paper, scissors and then you marry that with the destruction and you create unpredictability from different angles. And with the layer of weather we actually change the way you play in a very drastic way,” he said.

“So, if you have the tactics of being a sniper and it starts to rain then you probably have to change tactics. And the same with fighter planes, once the fog rolls in it’s like, ‘Okay, this is not as effective anymore, so I probably need to go back on the ground’.

“It’s not only a pretty effect, it actually changes the way you play the game.”

Dynamic weather has featured in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer games for the last couple of years and drastically changes the way the game is played.

During matches, rain will sometimes fall – making it easier for players to slip and make mistakes.

fifa 18FIFA on the Switch lets you play your friends on the move

If executed like this in FIFA, it would add a whole new layer of tactics to gameplay – especially in Ultimate Team.

For example, weather taking a turn for the worse could negatively affect player ground speed, passing accuracy and injury probability – giving Quick Subs more of a purpose.

Players would fall over more easily, goalkeepers could be more likely to fumble fast shots… the list is endless, and would all help add an extra level of realism to the game.

Tell us about the Nintendo Switch version? It got mixed reviews but actually played well.

Yes, it did a lot of things very, very well.

In a recent interview, Nintendo of France announced the game has sold 73,000 units on Switch in the region. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to please EA.

With that in mind, we’re almost certain to see a version of the game arrive this year.

Now, it has to be said, the Switch version of the game received the lowest review scores out of all the current platforms.

The Switch version of FIFA 18 was flawed but still very fun to play

This was due to it missing a few key features such as The Journey and revamped Career Mode.

Ultimate Team matchmaking was terrible, too – especially if you wanted to play with friends online (Nintendo’s current online infrastructure is having some work done to fix this).

Are there going to be Xbox 360 and PS3 versions?

FIFA 18 isn’t the same game on Xbox 360 and PS3.

While Xbox One, PC and PS4 owners enjoyed the new Frostbite Engine and The Journey – those on last-gen had neither of those features.

After a bit of digging, it seems EA plans to wind down the series on last-gen console imminently – even as soon as this year.

fifauseFIFA 17 was massively downgraded on Xbox 360 and PS3

Speaking at the Stifel 2013 Technology Conference, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said the publisher will continue to release titles for last-generation consoles until 2017 (via Videogamer).

While he stressed this would be the ‘earliest’ the company would drop support for the Xbox 360 and PS3, the signs are certainly moving towards FIFA 18 being a current-gen / PC exclusive.

There are still thousands of gamers who play on last-gen technology – especially given that a new console costs upwards of £200.

It’s not the first time last-gen gamers have had a parred down version of a blockbuster game.

b1COD: Black Ops 3 only had a stripped back multiplayer mode on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (above) lacked an entire campaign mode on Xbox 360 and PS3 – with only multiplayer available.

Maybe ditching it altogether is better than essentially half a game?

What will be the standout feature for this year’s game?

A few years ago, the suggestion of a ‘virtual reality’ stadium in FIFA would be laughed at.

Now though, it’s a very real possibility. After all, why play a game using the ‘default camera’ when a VR headset could propel you into the stands, just like you’re watching the real thing?

It’s such a compelling prospect that Oculus Rift co-founder Nate Mitchell described FIFA and VR as the ‘perfect fit’.

He once told Eurogamer: “You can imagine sitting in the stands and confetti is raining down… and the four of us are sitting right next to each other and we’re controlling the players on the field — that would be an awesome VR experience.”

But just how likely is it to happen in FIFA 19?

Well, VR has well and truly taken off – with 21 million dedicated VR headsets expected to be sold by 2020.

Sony’s PlayStation VR headset has proven particularly popular – which is great news for gamers.

VR could add even more immersion to The Journey

Since launch they’ve shifted more than 1,000,000 units – already beating their six-month target.

While the company already has a host of VR-focused games, they’re arguably still to land that true triple-A title.

FIFA 19 could be the perfect platform to propel the hardware firmly into the mainstream – especially as the company look to further capitalise on the beefed up PS4 Pro.

But for those hoping that VR will replace the controller, that’s still some way off.

EA’s Sebastian Enrique told Trusted Reviews they “haven’t found something that beats the experience when you have a controller in your hands”.

Where VR could be implemented, though, is through a camera angle – perhaps exclusive to PS4 / PC versions.

Ronaldo showed off the El Tornado in the brilliant FIFA 18 launch advert – as EA continues to blur the lines between the virtual and real life

This could essentially place the player amongst fans in the stands – putting them next to a few well-rendered fans, and giving them ability to look around their seat.

They would play the game as per usual, only players would be further away – with the entire pitch visible.

Sounds great, right? But there’s a kicker.

FIFA 18 has already come under fire for input lag – which is the time taken for a button press to result in an on-screen action.

By implementing VR, it’ll likely add to this delay – not by much (a few microseconds or so), but it could make all the difference to gameplay.

As Enrique explains: “It’s tricky. The problem is that you still have lag.

“When you play a game like FIFA it really depends on reaction time and on reading the game.”

Transfer negotiations were one of the most exciting parts about FIFA 18’s Career Mode

Still, as the technology continues to advance, issues such as lag should, in theory, become a thing of the past.

Whether VR makes an appearance this year is still uncertain but one thing’s for sure… it’s going to happen – sooner, rather than later.

How are ratings going be decided this year? Guesswork? Data collection? Statistical analysis?

Turns out it’s a mix of all three – plus one vital ingredient – Michael Mueller-Moehring.

He leads a team of 9,000 data reviewers – a network of scouts, coaches and season ticket-holders whose job it is to watch as many matches as possible.

Sound like a dream job? Think again.

Rather than relying on advanced statistics, the data reviewers upload subjective feedback on every player they’ve watched – all 18,000 of them – on a secure EA Sports website.

“We have many leagues in the game; no stats provider could offer us data for all these leagues, teams and players,” Mueller-Moehring told ESPN.

“This is also the reason why we use this online database, because it’s not possible to buy this data some way — it just doesn’t exist.”

If stats alone were used to determine players’ FIFA ratings, it would lead to inaccurate and misleading ratings.

“The stats are, in most cases, not taking into account very specific circumstances,” Mueller-Moehring explains.

“When you look at passing completion, if you play for Bayern Munich or if you play for Manchester City or if you play for Pep Guardiola, if your system is based on possession, you will have more successful passes than other players, but this doesn’t necessarily make you a better passer.

fifa 18 newFIFA 19 will once again use the Frostbite Engine – despite it coming under fire from fans who claim its error prone

“And when you look at attributes like trapping and ball control, there is data, but the data never gives you the specific situations. Same for tackling.”Every now and then a relatively unknown player is signed for a team in the game. But with such little amounts of data around for them, how is a score worked out?

“All you know about this player is his name, date of birth and his position — and his position may be as precise as, ‘Oh, he’s a midfielder.’,”Mueller-Moehring says.

“We guess a little bit … until our people have seen the player in action.”

Capturing a player’s mental make-up is also massively important – but with no stats to show this, the league a player is in is used make an educated guess.

“If Messi were playing in the Irish league, his attributes would drop simply because he’s not on the highest level anymore,” Mueller-Moehring explains.

We may see Ronaldo’s pace drop next year as the 32-year-old starts to slow down

“We want to base our ratings on actual performance data.”When it comes to physical attributes, it’s much more subjective.

“There are fast and strong players in every professional league in the world,” Mueller-Moehring says.

All of the feedback is then collated into 300 different data fields and 35 specific attribute categories, which determines the overall rating.

Genius!

Tell us about The Journey… will it be back?

Yes, definitely. Last year’s version was miles better than the first season, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Let’s go through what we’d like to see happen in Season 3 – and the tweaks it’ll need to make it even better come FIFA 19.

For those of you yet to play through The Journey or the second season, don’t worry – there are no spoilers here.

Customising your Hunter 

One of the best features about last year’s game was the ability to customise various aspects of Hunter.

Depending on how ‘Fiery’ or ‘Cool’ your Hunter was, different hairstyles and tattoos would be unlocked – making the whole experience feel more personal than before.

There were different clothes, too – which was a nice touch.

Customisation was limited in FIFA 18 so we’d want even more this year

Still, as The Journey moves closer and closer to RPG territory, the level of customisation should reflect this.

Binding the gamer to just one player’s appearance seems a tad archaic, so we’d like to see the option of creating your own character.

Obviously, just like in the Mass Effect series, EA would still keep the base Hunter available for those to carry on the story – but there’s simply no good reason why we shouldn’t have a more detailed character creation tool this year.

Having your own crib and world to explore 

NBA 2K18 does things The Journey can only dream of.

Developers 2K have always been pioneers in the ‘Career’ mode – after their successful link-up with film giant Spike Lee in 2016 – but they went even further last year.

They called it “The Neighborhood” and it was absolutely incredible.

You’ll can interact with the hundreds of characters that populate the game world

The basic idea is, rather than being stuck in a menu system, picking and choosing what hair style you want, what shoes you wear, what threads you throw on and what games you play, you instead live in “The Neighborhood”.

In a style echoing the stunning GTA V, you are free to walk around the world, visiting barbershops to get the coolest trim, the tattoo parlour to update that sleeve and even basketball courts for a bit of 1v1, 3v3 or even a dunk-off competition court.

Just like in Grand Theft Auto – you’re able to pick outfits and customise your appearance

You’ve even got your own penthouse in the dripping-with-cool town. And that’s only scratching the surface.

After all, there’s a ton to explore in ‘The Neighborhood’, from a custom T-Shirt kiosk, an NBA Store – based on the New York flagship branch – and even a team training facility and a separate gym.

It’s all part of the new ‘Road to 99’ model – which sees you define your own career as you bid to get your player that all-important 99-rating… having started as a lowly 60-rated rookie.

Add to the mix movie-like cut-scenes that truly define who you are, and choices that affect how others react to you, and you’ve got a winning recipe.

Take that, EA Sports.

Make sure to keep fit at the gym – much like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Multiple endings and true player choice

Whilst EA should be praised for their RPG style dialogue wheel – there needs to be more player choice.

Far too often the “fiery” or “cool” response wasn’t extreme enough – made worse by lacklustre responses from NPCs.

We’d expect to see this built on in FIFA 19 – with extreme reactions and consequences stemming from ill-managed conversations.

We want to Hunter to storm out of a press conference if he lets questions get to him.

Or be revered by the media if he shifts praise on to the team, rather than himself after a man-of-the-match performance.

For those looking for a more ‘adult’ and ‘darker’ experience, that wont be on the cards on this year.

Speaking to Dream Team Gaming last year, EA’s Creative Director Matt Prior, said: “Everyone wants to smash Gareth Walker but we’ve got a lot of limitations in terms of what we can and can’t do.

The Journey: Hunter Returns sees Alex Hunter travel around the world

“In terms of smacking someone, it’s something we just cannot do because  instantly our ESRB rating or PEGI rating would go above and beyond ‘3’.

“So, it’s one of these things that people think we we have a blank canvas in which to work but there are a lot of restrictions we have to deal with.”

An older Hunter 

This is a given but obviously we want Hunter to age.

He started the game as a promising youngster and was a more complete player in season two. Season three could see the star begin to hit his peak – or experience a serious dip in form. Maybe he’s struggling to make the team after setting the world on fire – and has to dig deep to rediscover his form?

Hunter Returns was a far more well-rounded experience than in FIFA 17

The return of Gareth Walker

Need we say more?

The relationship between Hunter and Walker was one of the best things about The Journey – so we’re fully expecting this to continue in FIFA 19.

We want Walker to be even more nasty and conniving.

We really hope so.

Should FIFA 19 borrow anything from Konami’s PES 2019?

PES does many things better than EA SPORTS’ football offering.

Take a look at these eight key PES features that would really benefit EA’s game this year.

More celebrations

FIFA 19 will bring a lot of new things to the table – but more celebrations would be very welcome.

One thing we haven’t seen in FIFA is a shirtless celebration – something PES 2018 pulls off very well.

“Technically it’s very, very difficult for us to {get an in-game player} to take the shirt off,” EA Creative Director Matt Prior told Dream Team Gaming

Lionel Messi was booked for taking his shirt off in an iconic celebration that left the ref no choiceLionel Messi was booked for taking his shirt off in an iconic celebration against Real Madrid last yearGetty Images

“This is because of the morphing of the textures – it’s one of those weird things that in real life it seems to easy but from a gaming standpoint it’s incredibly difficult.”

Konami, however have managed to figure out a clever workaround.

When you score with Neymar, the camera quickly cuts to him doing a throwing action – as if he’s just pulled off his shirt. It works a treat, and looks incredibly simple to pull off (no pun intended).

PES 2018’s shirtless celebration gets around the technical challenge with clever camera work

That’s not the only celebration unique to PES, though. There’s another selfie celebration that features, too.

This involves the player taking out their phone and taking a pic of themselves near the crowd.

The camera even shifts to the phone, giving the gamer a close up of the players’ faces.

FIFA 18 does not include the selfie celebration – but we’re not sure why

Editing your own kit

One of the drawbacks with PES is the lack of official team licences.

Thankfully, there are hundreds of loyal fans who create the teams and badges from scratch, which can then be imported via USB to the game.

But why does this need to be limited to PES?

Being able to customise your own kits and badges would help – especially in FIFA 18’s Career Mode

The ability to edit your own team kit, create stadiums and even update sponsors would be welcomed by many FIFA players.

It certainly jars in Career Mode when your team puts on the same strip more than a decade later.

Ratings needs a rethink 

EA has made dribbling round players tougher than ever – but perhaps it’s time for a rethink?

There are countless cases where players with much higher speed stats are chased down by slower defenders – which simply would not happen in real life.

In PES, stats accurately translate into what a player does on the pitch – but in FIFA, it’s much more hit and miss

Konami’s game has no such problem – with individual player stats accurately reflecting what they can do on the pitch.

So, Lionel Messi can dribble past five people because his dribbling stats are through the roof.

Match atmosphere 

What PES lacks in licences it makes up for by capturing the spirit of the game.

Matches, especially internationals, feel like the huge spectacles they are.

While EA goes some way to address the build up, through decent commentary and player highlights, a more interactive and engaged crowd would work wonders.

We’ve seen EA step up its game this year with crowds – but there’s still more work to be done.

Camp Nou

The omission of the Camp Nou in FIFA is felt more by fans every year

One of the most iconic stadiums in the world is replaced by a bland arena in FIFA 18.

Sadly, as long as the relationship between Konami and Barcelona remains, Camp Nou will remain absent from FIFA for years to come.

A lack of Champions League licensing only compounds the issue.

More responsive gameplay

One of the biggest annoyances with this year’s FIFA is input delay – the time it takes for an on-screen action to reflect a user’s command.

PES, though, seems far sharper and responsive, leading to a much more connected experience.

Now, a lot of this may be down to the engine – and the processes going on in the background.

However, FIFA 19 will be the third outing for Frostbite, so we’d hope gameplay will be tweaked for the better.

More tactics 

There’s very little in the way of tactics in FIFA 18 – compared to PES, anyway.

In Konami’s game, you’re given a daunting amount of freedom over how your team plays and lines up – making FIFA feel scripted.

PES has always been known for offering an insane level of tactical depth – perhaps it’s time FIFA did the same?

Some FIFA players tend to shy away from messing around with the tactics, but there are still plenty who would welcome a system that caters to intricate changes.

Here’s hoping EA incorporates a couple of these tweaks in FIFA 19.

Stadium Editor 

One of the best features in recent PES games is the stadium editor – which allows you to customise a number of aspects from netting to pitch pattern.

FIFA fans have been calling out for this feature for years, but EA is yet to do anything about it.

Imagine being able to add you own colours and flags to your home ground?

We’ve already seen that ICON flags appear in the stadium when you play with them – so surely this is doable from a technical standpoint?

The stadium editor will likely be even better in PES 2018

What about to Career Mode?

Arguably got the most significant changes last year – making it absolutely brilliant.

Interactive negotiations were easily the standout addition – and these will return once again.

Sadly, there was a very limited amount of avatars available – so we’d like to see you be able to create your own avatar.

FIFA 19 will be one of the biggest games of the year

What about the World Cup – does EA have anything planned?

FIFA 18 players will be treated to a Word Cup 2018 expansion in the coming weeks, rather than a standalone game.

According to Goal, The World Cup download will arrive in spring and be available PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.

There’s no word yet as to whether the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will get the version, although a stripped back update could well be on the cards.

Last September, Spanish commentator Manolo Lama confirmed he was to record commentary for the expansion.

There’s no word yet as to whether the mode will be a free update – but if history is anything to go by, it’s most likely going to be

He told Radio COPE: “I have to record it for FIFA World Cup in December, I think it will be out in February or March.”

Back in May 29 2014, EA released a special Ultimate Team: World Cup mode – and better yet, it didn’t cost a penny.

EA will be missing a huge trick if they do not include a World Cup mode

For more details check out our FIFA 18 World Cup mode articles.

What does EA have in store for Career Mode this year?

FIFA 18 saw Career Mode finally get some much-needed attention – but it’s still far from perfect.

Come FIFA 19 we’d want to see EA Sports push the boat out further and deliver an even more immersive experience.

We’ve had a think about what should be brought to the table – starting with an absolute no-brainer.

Right, back to Career Mode.

Press conferences 

Press conferences is a huge area for EA Sports to tackle in FIFA 19

Right now, press conferences in the game are pretty dry and do not make capitalise properly on Frostbite technology.

But, given the strong reception to the revised transfer negotiation mechanic, we can fully expect to see a similar presentation echoed in press conferences come FIFA 19.

Here, how you react would shape how the press respond – with fiery and cool responses leading to very different outcomes.

Perhaps you’re quizzed about a player who then hears what you’ve said and threatens to leave the club? The possibilities are endless.

More customisation

Being able to create yourself as a manager would be welcomed by fans – and is well within Frostbite’s capabilities.

There are only a handful of manager avatars a gamer could choose from when starting out as a new manager.

By adding more character customisation, EA would make the experience feel even more personal.

Transfer negotiations were brilliant, tense affairs – and will return with gusto in FIFA 19

 

Scenario Mode

In Career Mode, you always start from fresh – and take your team from a base level to greatness (or mediocrity / relegation if you’re as bad as I am).

One wrong move in FIFA 18’s Career Mode and you’ll spook the agent or manager

But wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘Scenario Mode’ – where you’re thrust into a team mid-crisis and have to steer the ship to safety?

Perhaps one team is in the relegation zone and you only have four matches to turn it around? Or maybe you’ve just lost your star striker and have to coach up a young replacement?

Player decline

Time waits for no man, but on the last two FIFAs the ageing process is way too harsh.

After the age of 30, players begin to slow down so dramatically that by 34 they’re pretty much unable to run.

Technical attributes often decline at an alarmingly fast rate, too – regardless of the player.

FIFA 17 was just as harsh on players in their later years… just take a look at what happens to a 40-year-old Leo Messi

Licensing

EA has done a great job with the broadcast packages for the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga but there’s still more to do.

As Futhead suggests, EA needs to bring the likes of Serie A, Ligue 1 and others up to the same level over the next few years – to help deliver a more well-rounded experience.

For a more detailed look at FIFA 19 Career Mode, click here.

 

 

 

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