EA Sports has a reputation for releasing annual FIFA titles with the slightest of adjustments over the previous year’s version. While it’s been confirmed that this year’s entry – which launches on 28th September – will include the official UEFA Champions League license, the developer has also made its customary tweaks to the gameplay formula.
FIFA creative director Matt Prior spoke to Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole at the EA Play event in Los Angeles, and there’s a lengthy feature piece over on the Eurogamer website which goes into plenty of detail over some of the new systems. Perhaps the highlight change, however, lies in the shooting system.
In prior games, you had a single power gauge that charges up when you pull the trigger at goal. This basic system made shots a hit-and-miss affair, mostly affected by the shooting player's stats. While that system remains in place, there’s a more advanced kind introduced in FIFA 19 that experienced players might want to use.
With the trainer setting on, a new timing bar shows up above the shooting player’s head with two white lines that move together towards the centre. The idea is that by pressing the button at the point where the two bars meet, you’ll get a more powerful and accurate shot. Mistime the shot, however, and you’ll more than likely find the ball fly into the stands like a Jaap Stam penalty kick.
This new system therefore introduces a risk/reward system in that, through practice, you may get more accurate shots, particularly if you’re partial to long-range or speculative efforts. On the flip side, it could make what would otherwise be a more general shot less accurate if it’s mistimed. This is why the development team expect this new system to be used conservatively in the right situations.
While it sounds like this could make the game a lot more complicated, for experienced players, it could also give the game greater depth and open up a variety of new shooting opportunities.
There are a myriad of other tweaks to the game that are detailed in Eurogamer’s article, so if you're the type to get all hot and bothered by the minutiae of FIFA, we encourage you to check it out.