FIFA 18 was a big step forward, at least at launch. A series of post-launch patches appeared to wind back many of the innovations that players enjoyed, and FIFA 19 needs to avoid repeating the same mistake.
The regression led to a backlash form the community. A #fixFIFA campaign and petition launched in the hope that EA would address the fans’ biggest concerns. The primary complaint was people believing they were mis-sold a product based on the FIFA 18 demo allegedly being vastly different to the actual game following its post-launch patch.
This wasn’t EA’s only misstep of 2017. With Star Wars Battlefront 2 and its implementation of microtransactions proving a massive miscalculation, it was a tough year for the publishing giant. Hopefully, 2018 becomes the year of forgiveness, and the company’s biggest titles come back with a bang, better than ever, starting with the biggest sports title in the world.
With the continued evolution of Konami’s excellent PES series, EA can ill afford two years of poor reception, as there’s now a viable alternative for football fans.
As such, we’ve put together a wishlist of what we want to see from FIFA 19. We’ll also round up all the latest news, trailers and gameplay info as EA reveals more.
FIFA 19 release date
EA hasn’t officially revealed FIFA 19 yet, but the launch date for FIFA games has been consistent for several years now. You can expect the game to launch in the last week of September.
FIFA 19 demo
A few weeks ahead of launch, EA launches a demo of the game, giving players the chance to play single matches with a select few teams.
FIFA 18’s demo launched on September 12, 17 days before the full game’s release, so expect a similar trend this year. The teams available last year were Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, PSG, LA Galaxy and Toronto FC. Clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Bayern and PSG have featured in previous demos, so it’s likely they’ll make a welcome return.
FIFA 19 The Journey – What can we expect?
In the previous demo you also got a snippet of the popular story mode: The Journey. EA hasn’t confirmed whether or not The Journey will return in FIFA 19, but considering how great it’s been for the past two years, we certainly hope it does.
Alex Hunter has already been on a rollercoaster ride in his relatively young career, so whether or not EA decides to continue his story or follow a brand-new one remains to be seen.
FIFA 19 wishlist
Stop reversing changes with patches
It seems a common trend with FIFA games is to launch with drastic alterations that receive a strong response from the fanbase. FIFA 18’s sweeping changes were met with a wave of positivity and critical acclaim, yet EA Sports still felt the need to wind these improvements back in the first big post-launch patch.
This year it’d be nice if the developer stood by its guns and kept the changes it feels are good for the evolution of the series throughout patches. Hopefully we won’t see another #fixFIFA campaign this year.
New Custom Tactics, please!
This is a repeat request from last year, but EA still hasn’t changed the custom D-pad tactics in matches. FIFA is far behind PES in its level of customisation for tactics, offering very little depth and the same few options it’s had for years.
It’d be nice if we could finally create our own tactics, and at the very least the default options were varied a little.
A new hero for The Journey
Alex Hunter isn’t even out of his mid-20s and has gone to the States to rebuild his career, played for one of the biggest clubs in Europe, joined a table-topping Premier League side – and some of these events occurred in the same season.
The lad has been through a lot, which makes us think it’s time for somebody else to have a turn in the spotlight.
It’s understandable that the story needs to take us to the pinnacle of football within a short space of time, but we’d prefer it if EA let The Journey breath a little, and took time to develop a proper rags-to-riches story. If we could follow a Jamie Vardy-esque tale of starting in the lower leagues, getting scouting and moving through the leagues to a top club over the course of multiple seasons, that’d be brilliant.
Continue to add depth to offline modes
The introduction of cutscenes for transfer negotiations in manager career was a good first step, but we want FIFA 19 to continue by adding much more to the game’s offline modes.
Scouting could do with some updating. It’d be great if perhaps we as the manager could do some scouting of our own and watch AI-controlled matches involving a player we’re hoping to sign, just like when a manager is spotted in the stands during a TV broadcast. Perhaps after this we get a full scout report and can conduct negotiations from there.
Much better interactions with the media would also help. Full-on press conferences, pre- and post-match interviews would all add to the immersion of the experience.