FIFA 19 to deliver the most refined and ADDICTIVE couch co-op experience yet

FIFA 19 preview

EA is allowing players to transfer their FIFA online ID’s between consoles this year (Image: EA) recently went hands on with FIFA 19 and while the game delivers a plethora of new gameplay mechanics that radically alter how players move and compete for the ball, it is the addition of a brand new Kick Off mode that has us most excited.

Although EA is touting huge improvements to Ultimate Team, we think this year’s FIFA is going to be best enjoyed on the sofa with other football fanatics.

The brand new Kick Off mode, that is only available offline, is heavily focused on giving players bragging rights over one another thanks to what EA is dubbing “Stat Tracking”.

The system is designed to closely monitor every goal, percentage of possession and tackle friends make with one another.

Moreover the game even gives friends new excuses to go to each other’s houses rather than playing together online.

That’s because EA is allowing players to transfer their FIFA online ID’s between consoles.

Although the system only works between the same console, so PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to Xbox One, it means you can access all your statistics from another person’s console instantaneously.

The focus on tracking stats to claim bragging rights over friends is a masterful move by EA that looks set to take FIFA back to its competitive roots.

In addition to Stat Tracking, the new Kick Off also features a host of new game modes that radically shake up the FIFA formula.

In addition to having a “classic match” option that provides players with the football gameplay they have come to expect from the sporting flagship, EA has also added a “House Rules” option that is by far our favourite new addition in FIFA 19.

Inside the new menu you will find “long range”, “survival”, “headers and volleys” and a “no rules” mode.

Our favourite of these is survival that made for some of the most fun we’ve had with the series in years.

If you score during a survival match a player is ejected from the team that did so.

But the most entertaining thing about the new mode is there is no set order to which players will be booted from the squad.

This resulted in frequent moments where we were attempting to defend an oncoming attack from our opponent, only to realise we no longer had a left back for instance.

Having to radically adapt formation and play style when you are two, three or even four men down adds a new layer of nuance and excitement to FIFA’s gameplay.

EA is also embracing a more arcade style of gameplay with its “long range” kick off mode in addition to “headers and volleys”.

While the latter simply means only headers or volleys can count as a goal, the former allows any goal scored outside the penalty area to count as two goals while any scored inside only count as one.

However real chaos ensues in the “no rules” mode that plays out exactly as you would expect.

In this mode there are no fouls, no offsides and absolutely anything goes.

The slew of new ways to play will surely make for an unrivalled couch co-op experience when FIFA 19 launches on September 28.

Unfortunately FIFA Ultimate Team has not seen as radical an overhaul as Kick Off, but EA are looking to match players of similar skill levels up closer than ever before with a new match system known as “Division Rivals”.

The new mode will attempt to eliminate the grind players of higher skill levels were faced with when playing through lower leagues.

Instead it will determine your skill level by putting players through a series of placement matches before league games begin.

FIFA 19 preview

Real chaos ensues in the new ‘no rules’ mode (Image: EA)

This means if you are incredibly skilled at the sporting flagship, you will immediately be thrown into matches against players who have myriad skills up their sleeve to issue a valiant challenge.

One of the most interesting features coming to FIFA Ultimate Team is the Champions Channel.

This allows lower skilled players to watch the best and learn from them.

The channel is essentially a video player that will feed you highlights from players that are highly capable.


If you score during a survival match a player is ejected from the team that did so (Image: EA)

Button prompts can be analysed too, meaning players can see exactly what FIFA’s best do to attain a string of hard-fought victories.

Overall is incredibly excited by FIFA 19 and is looking forward to experiencing the deluge of new modes when game releases in less than two months time.

Although EA is clearly determined to refine its popular online modes, the fact it has focused on providing a more arcade-like and quite frankly silly dynamic to the football simulator is a move it should be commended for.