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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that FIFA 19 is the 2019 installment in the long-running soccer franchise for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Like the FIFA-branded video games that came before it, FIFA 19 celebrates the world's most popular game, and lets fans get a taste of what it's like to play on the pitch. There isn't any controversial content in this game, but gamers who play online can talk with other people, potentially being exposed to inappropriate comments. There are in-game purchases using real money for team purchases and athletes, and there are also lots of advertisements in stadiums amd on players. Logos include Jeep, Nike, Emirates, and more.
What's it about?
Like past games in this franchise, EA Sports' FIFA 19 is a soccer simulation that lets you play as or against your favorite professional teams from around the world, or you can create a new player from scratch and begin a journey to stardom, on and off the pitch. FIFA 19 introduces a few new features, including, for the first time, the prestigious UEFA Champions League (to engage in a dramatic tourney with any European club, or create your own). It packs in the third and final installment of the story-driven narrative, The Journey, called Champions, a new mode in the popular FIFA Ultimate Team mode (including support for live updates), and additional leagues in Career mode. There's also a refreshed Kick Off mode featuring new match types, stat tracking, and more, as well as new commentary tracks from Derek Rae and Lee Dixon (UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Super Cup tournaments). In the gameplay department, EA Sports has integrated its Active Touch System found in other sports games, to add some extra control, timing options, and finesse to players on the pitch.
Is it any good?
While Career mode and some gameplay features are starting to feel old, this is still an attractive and ambitious soccer sim that gets a lot of gameplay right. FIFA 19 has included new modes and made some updates to existing ones to add a little more meat to the soccer experience. The new Champions League license rounds off the other modes nicely. Along with its sister Europa League, Champions League is a fresh new experience, punctuated with the Dixon-Rae commentary. This is added along with all-new elements, including a new league theme, ball, music, and more. The Ultimate Team mode was also super fun this year for its easy pick-up-and-play accessibility, solid pacing, and strong production values. Another highlight was the latest -- and dramatic finale -- to the story mode, The Journey. While it might not have the replayability of a regular soccer match, it's an engaging and rewarding experience, with memorable characters, strong writing, and the option to play as the main character, Alex Hunter, his sister Kim, his friend Danny Williams, or a surprise addition to the storyline.
But aside from these new extras, and more responsive handling, it does still feel like something is missing here. Maybe it's the bland Career mode, limited Pro Clubs, or a reduced goaltending focus. Rather than an across-the-board improvement over all modes and features, there are clearly some modes that have gotten a larger amount of developer focus, while the other modes have just floated along on the strength of older installments. But overall, if you want a pretty game with a ton of licenses and modes, there's a lot to like about FIFA 19 -- just know that there's also still a bit of room for improvement.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism in FIFA 19, which is full of branding, including logos, clothing labels, billboards, and broadcast graphics. Is it OK that the publisher makes money from gamers and advertisers, too? Is product placement harmful?
Do you prefer to play as male soccer players or as female ones in FIFA 19? What is the basis for your choice? Do you think adding female soccer players to the game could encourage more women to play soccer on consoles or in real life?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99 to $79.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: EA Sports
- Release date: September 28, 2018
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptions
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.