From kick-off goals to mindless keepers, there’s been a lot to dislike with FIFA 18.
Both casual players and pros have vented their frustrations, particularly in how effective the game is as an eSport.
The competitive FIFA scene has seen massive growth since the game’s release in September, with the climax of the season (the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final) being held in London on August 2-4.
However, the way we play FIFA may be radically different by the time FIFA 19 comes around in September after a number of new gameplay changes were announced at the EA PLAY conference.
Here we look at five features that will be new for FIFA 19 - but will they result in a better experience?
We’ve all been there. You’re behind in the last ten minutes, so you go “all-out attack”, but all that seems to happen is your centre back tries - and fails - to play like Lionel Messi.
It appears things may be different in FIFA 19, as the mentalities (such as “ultra-attacking” or “ultra-defensive”) that you select by pressing left or right on the d-pad are now customisable with whatever formation and player instructions you decide.
The days of pausing the game to apply your own custom tactics are seemingly over, which will be a blessing for the tactically-minded FIFA pros.
It’s also worth noting that the number of mentalities will be reduced from seven to five, with “All Out Attack” and “Park the Bus” removed.
The preset tactics on the up and down buttons on the d-pad have also had a revamp, but appear to remain unable to customise.
Up now gives you attacking tactics (“Get in the Box”, “Attacking Full-Backs”, “Hug Sideline” and “Extra Striker”) and down provides defensive tactics (“Striker Drops Back”, “Team Press”, “Overload” and “Offside Trap”).
Double-tapping circle/B has been the go-to way to score goals this year. The low driven finish has been heavily used by both pro and casual players.
Whether it will be as overpowered when the new FIFA drops remains to be seen, however, we do know it has now been shifted away from the double-tap to make way for “Timed Finishing”.
The new mechanic, which involves pressing the shoot button a second time at the precise moment you want to strike the ball, will give you a considerably boosted shot if you time it correctly or a poor attempt if you’re too early or late.
You’ll still be able to shoot normally, but this new option acts as a double-or-nothing which could add an interesting dimension to your FIFA matches.
This new finishing mechanic could create the skill gap that many professional players have been calling for during this FIFA 18 season.
Low driven finishes can now be used by holding R1 and L1/ RB and LB when shooting.
Volleys and headers from crosses
Rejoice! We will now be able to choose whether a player in the box attacks a cross with a header or volley.
It's been a bugbear in the community for a while that players often go for headers or volleys when the alternative would have been a better option.
EA have addressed this for FIFA 19 and holding L2/LT with the ball in the air should mean your player will attempt a volley.
New skill moves
There’s been a couple of new moves confirmed by the lucky few to play FIFA 19 at EA Play.
The first is a running fake shot which, on the version of the game trialed at EA Play, appeared to give your player a massively overpowered boost of pace after executing the skill move (likened to the crazy acceleration after a FIFA 16 ball roll).
Streamer and FIFA guru ChuBoi also revealed in a video that a new quick-feet move is in the game (similar to an Iniesta-style shuffle, shown at 0:55 in the video below). This can be executed by holding L1/LB and doing a ball roll.
Don’t be surprised too if there isn’t at least one more skill move added, potentially a signature move for cover stars like the El Tornado in FIFA 18.
Players will now be more responsive when losing the ball in 50/50 battles.
In previous FIFAs, the player with the ball would often do an animation when being dispossessed, completely taking them out the game.
This new mechanic will make both the attacking and defending players more responsive, allowing you to try and win the ball back immediately after losing it.
So will these changes mean a better FIFA experience?
It certainly looks as if we have a lot to get used to when the new game drops in September.
The FIFA Esports community has long been desperate for a fresh challenge and with so many new features to think about, FIFA 19 could be just the ticket.