Like every year, football fans around the world huddled together around their consoles and their PC’s this year too, bracing for a life down the new FIFA game rabbit hole. FIFA 19 dropped on September 28th, but unlike the record-breaking sales of every previous FIFA game, FIFA 19 has stuttered out the gates, with physical sales down 25 percent compared to that of FIFA 19. The game still got stellar critic reviews (It’s an 84 Metascore for the PS4, but 2.0 User score), so what gives?
We were at the Phoenix Gaming Expo in Chennai last week, at FIFA 19’s launch weekend, where we spoke to FIFA fans playing the game for the first time. The following are short reviews from the young gamers where they talk about the new gameplay, graphics, and comparisons with FIFA 18:
Bharat, 16: The game has improved for sure. It’s slower, but the graphics are more realistic. The tackling has become better, but shooting and sprinting has become slower, except for certain players. Messi still sprints like he did in 18, but the average player doesn’t, which is good. It’s really fun to play, like slowing down the gameplay makes it easier for first-timers to pick up and play.
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Annamalai, 16: I’m a big fan of the FIFA series. The gameplay isn’t as good as FIFA 18, actually. The finishing is tougher in 19 because they’ve introduced ‘Timed Finishing’, which will take time to get used to. In FIFA 18 Gameplay, I expected to improve more than it has. The worst is a disparity in player ratings. For example, you take Varane—who won the World Cup, three consecutive Champions Leagues, is one of the best defenders in the world, and is rated 86. Salah is rated 87, which is two less than Isco, who’s an 89.
Mahesh, 20: When you compare it with FIFA 18, it’s more realistic due to the slower gameplay and some updates to technique. When a pass is received, it takes more time to control and turn. The first touch isn’t as perfect as in the previous games, and the ball doesn't stick to your foot, which makes the game way more realistic.
V. Kabdeep, 11: A tackle isn’t a foul in 19, but in 18 if we tackle it was a foul. I didn’t like that. I also didn’t like that when I shoot in 19, the ball goes just out of the stadium, and not the net like it did in 18.
Manoj, 29: It’s a different experience. I’ve been playing since FIFA 08. The gameplay in 19, the speed makes adapting to technical aspects of a player, (first touch, passing) more difficult. What happens because of the slowness is that the game drags a bit. The dribbling and shooting will take time to, but people who loved FIFA 18 should love it eventually. Graphically, the PS4 version looks stunning. I just need to check out the PC version, as usual, it isn’t as good as the console version.
V. Vignesh, 16: There is the new Champions League, there is a new House Rules mode, where you can toggle off different types of goals or fouls. The player models are the same, but the graphics overall, like sweating, is enhanced. Unlike previously, the passing has to be way more precise, as it’s slower and easier to intercept.
Johan, 17 (Who lost to Vignesh): Previously, if you powered a pass up to three bars, it’ll still reach a target who would collect it perfectly. In FIFA 19, we properly have to aim and direct a pass and check the power bars also. I lost the game because to a friend because of the change in passing only.
This article originally appeared on VICE India.