"We add a new level of control across the pitch," Prior explained. "The effect will be much more obvious and they're also more customizable." Prior said this will allow users to to fine-tune things to a level that hasn't been offered before in the game.
One new addition that is almost certainly going to be a source of frustration for me is Timed Finishing. Instead of firing off shots the way you normally would in FIFA, this tool allows you to take a bigger risk in hopes of a bigger reward. By pressing the shot button a second time before your player kicks the ball, you can attempt to nail the timing to give the more accuracy, curve and speed. If you're thinking that sounds easy, I assure you it is not.
"It's not a guaranteed goal," Prior admitted. It does increase your chances, but it's not going to go in every time. I tried it a few times during my time with the game here at E3, and I wasn't able to get a handle on it in the couple of matches I played. When you do try to time things perfectly and miss, your player will fire off something wretched -- like the weak dribbler of an opposing player I mustered. You don't have to use this at all and can just play like you normally would. However, the creation of a risk vs. reward scenario will have you thinking twice about trying to do your best Messi impression.
FIFA already had a two-button mode to make things easier for beginners, but in this year's game, EA is adding a one-button mode. If you'd rather play a super chill match where in-game AI decides what to do based on the situation, this will be for you. I really enjoyed the one-button Retro Mode in MLB: The Show 17 for playing an easier game when friends are over, so I'm looking forward to what FIFA 19 has in store here -- especially when I'm playing with my young son.
"We know FIFA can be a little overwhelming with the level of control we offer," Prior said. "This allows people to get an understanding of the game and the pace of the game."
If you were hoping to hear more about "The Journey," you'll have to wait. EA says there are new things coming for FIFA's story mode, but it's not spilling any details yet. Well, other than Champions League matches will be part of it, which means Alex Hunter will get a chance to step on the UCL pitch. "There will be a lot of surprises," Prior proclaimed. "And it will be centered around seeking the glory of the Champions League." Maybe Hunter will make it to Real Madrid after all.
When it comes to FIFA 19 on the Nintendo Switch, EA is making some big changes to that version of the game as well. First, Online Friendlies will allow you to play a five-match season with anyone on your friends list. It's a nice way to add-in a multiplayer option, and one that doesn't require your opponent to be in the same room. Like the main version of the game, there are also some changes to shooting. EA says you'll have "a new level of control" over shots, including the ability to nail first time shots, fire off dipping and deceptive strikes and offer a finesse finish should the need arise.
On the Switch, you'll also notice that there's more team and player personality. In other words, Barcelona will attack the way you're used to seeing them do so in real-life and Messi will play more like the guy who's one of the best in the world. It's all about adding a more life-like feel for FIFA 19 on Nintendo's console. Lastly, there's more detail in the broadcast for the different tournaments. You'll notice overlays for things like Champions League, Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga. It should help enhance that all-important (virtual) match-day feel. Overall, EA is trying to bring over more of FIFA's realism to the version of the game for Switch, which should be a good thing.
There's no doubt Champions League will bring more layers to the story of Alex Hunter and to your career mode aspirations, but the changes EA has made in FIFA 19 extend far beyond the addition of a new cup. As always, the company is on a mission to make its sports games even more realistic, an annual update fans can always look forward to.
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