It's clean, bright and open. There's colourful art on the walls, the lingering but not unpleasant scent of toast, a fish tank bubbling away at the front desk.
20th November 2018
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EA has put out a patch for FIFA 19 that adds to the game perhaps the most-requested nerf from the community.
The title update reduces the effectiveness of defending by AI teammates. This is particularly welcome, as most FIFA players find letting the computer do the dirty work of defending is a more effective strategy than getting stuck in yourself. It'll also help break down stubborn computer-controlled teams in the likes of Squad Battles.
So, here's what the patch does. The shot blocking of a defender that's being controlled by an AI teammate is less effective as EA has reduced the distance an AI teammate defender will stretch to block a shot. Similarly, EA has nerfed AI teammate tacking by reducing the distance they'll stretch when making a tackle.
FIFA 19 isn't in the best place right now after a raft of odd mistakes from EA Sports resulted in compensation for players.
Premier League stars Jesse Lingard and Wilfried Zaha have for years complained about their haircuts in the FIFA games - so much so that's it's become a running joke.
EA has released a new patch for FIFA 19, and it makes some significant changes to gameplay.
The patch is out now on the PC version of the game, and coming soon to the console versions.
The headline change is to finesse shots, which most players agreed were particularly overpowered this year.
A top FIFA pro has been banned from competitive play after he was caught using a homophobic slur in a video.
If you watched this summer's World Cup, you'll probably have seen the Croatian national team on their run to the final. Fuelled by superstars such as captain Luka Modrić, who was awarded best player of the tournament, Croatia beat the likes of Argentina and England (it still hurts) before finally capitulating to France. In short, Croatia did a real number on the World Cup, and were a fantastic watch throughout.
FIFA 19 has its first big gameplay patch - and it makes a significant change to the game.
Bicycle kicks are significantly nerfed, which is very much a good thing. FIFA 19 has been roundly criticised for the prevalence of bicycle kicks and volleys - and the ridiculous success players can have with them. FIFA 19 is a game littered with overhead kicks from corners, flicks for volleys and even volley crosses for volley goals. You end up with stuff like this a bit too often:
Backheel cross + bicycle goal. from r/FIFA
A professional FIFA player who was also an outspoken critic of EA has quit the game after receiving a ban.
There are FIFA 19 bugs, and then there's this calamity.
Now FIFA 19 has been out for a few weeks, bizarre bugs are starting to emerge.
EA has said it is "closely monitoring" the situation that currently embroils FIFA 19 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo following rape allegations.
EA Sports has issued FIFA 19's first title update - and it patches out Petr Cech's meme-worthy negotiations helmet.
The Arsenal goalkeeper had tweeted to joke about the fact that in FIFA 19's career mode, he wears his protective helmet. It looks quite silly.
The patch, which is live now for the PC version of FIFA 19 and out soon for the console versions, ditches the helmet and gives Cech a tie. Here's the patch note:
FIFA 19 physical launch sales are down 25 per cent in the UK.
Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz reports FIFA 19 is the biggest UK video game of 2018 after going on sale last week, as expected, but physical launch sales are down by a quarter versus FIFA 18.
According to the site, 64 per cent of the sales were of the PlayStation 4 version, 35 per cent were of the Xbox One version, leaving just one per cent for the Nintendo Switch version. Sales of the legacy version of the game (PS3 and Xbox 360) were too low to register.
For the first time, FIFA discloses pack odds - and now FIFA 19 is live, the true horror of FIFA Ultimate Team is laid bare.
FIFA hasn't always had the best run on handhelds. A few years back the Vita got a fairly splendid outing around the launch of PlayStation's portable - only for the next Vita instalment to simply offer new kits while still sporting a full-fat pricetag, a trick that, unbelievably, EA tried again the following year. I'll never forget the grimace on the face of EA Sports' David Rutter as he painfully churned out the company line. "It's the same great gameplay," he said, at once resigned and apologetic. "And new kits."
Swiss football fans forced a league match to stop as they protested esports.
FIFA 19's story mode, The Journey begins with a super cool nod to 1960s football.
FIFA 19's Ultimate Team mode begins with a couple of in-game messages, one of which is a stark warning against coin distribution.
Blame Ronaldo. The moment I saw the then Real Madrid superstar score that overhead kick against Juventus in the Champions League quarter finals, I knew it would dominate the FIFA 19 experience. It was too high-profile a goal in too high-profile a match for EA Sports to ignore. The fact it was scored by FIFA 19's cover star helped, I'm sure.
Overhead kicks are in vogue. They're down with the kids, and when something in the world of football is down with the kids, EA Sports takes note. FIFA 19 isn't here for the hipsters who fork out for the Bundesliga on BT Sport. Nor is it here for the football historians, those who lament the loss of the good old days of shin-smashers and £150-a-week wages. FIFA 19 is here for the next generation - never the current, always the next. It's here for the Messi and Ronaldo rivalry keyboard warriors, the Neymar shirt-wearers from Peckham and the Paul Pogba dabbers (who have all moved on to the Floss, but hey-ho).
EA has opened up about pack probability in FIFA Ultimate Team.
EA's on a drive to demystify FIFA, which is a long time coming.
The FIFA 19 demo came out yesterday, and while I'm still getting to grips with it, I'm having a fun time.
The FIFA 19 demo is out now.
EA Sports has announced the top 10-rated players in FIFA 19, and Lionel Messi has the same overall rating as Cristiano Ronaldo - a first for the series.
FIFA 19 is having a controversial time off the pitch, but on it there are a number of welcome additions, including new officially-licensed stadiums that are a first for the series.
The Belgian government, which declared loot boxes to be a form of gambling earlier this year, has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into EA after the publisher refused to modify FIFA's randomised card pack loot boxes in order to comply with the country's gambling laws.
Some Switch games do not support cloud saves "to ensure fair play", Nintendo has said.
Don't expect to see esports in the Olympic Games any time soon. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach believes the video games being played still promote violence and killing too much to be included.
With only a month remaining until FIFA 19 is released in September, the countdown to kickoff has well and truly begun. There have been a number of leaks in recent weeks from the closed beta (this is FIFA after all), and although many greatly anticipate the newest chapter in the series, others have asked whether EA is really listening to community requests. Much of the discontent revolves around career mode, which fans feel has been neglected in recent years.
Football didn't quite come home this summer, but something that could be coming our way is Fortnite celebrations for FIFA games.
FIFA 19 is going big on the Spanish league with 16 brand new stadiums in the game.
FIFA 19 recently held a closed beta which was under embargo - but that hasn't stopped images and videos leaking out.
Anyone's who's fussed with FIFA Ultimate Team will know how important chemistry is to the performance of your players.
Real Madrid have announced their new signing: Alex Hunter from the FIFA story mode.
FIFA 19 will have the Chinese league, according to online reports.
FIFA 19's Ultimate Team has a brand new mode called Division Rivals.
EA Sports has expanded and revamped the standard kick-off for FIFA 19, adding a survival mode and letting you turn off the referee.
FIFA 19 gameplay has leaked online.
The video, below, was published onto the FIFA subreddit by user WhadaFack and shows 10 minutes of the upcoming football game.
The first thing of note is the new menu for standard kick-off, which looks a lot cleaner than in FIFA 18. There are new options for kick-off, too, including "house rules" and "best of series", as well as new "advantage settings", which suggests kick-off mode will have more to it this year.
There were a few stars of this year's superb World Cup: Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappé and Harry "slab-head" Maguire to name but a few. But it could be argued VAR outshone them all.
I played FIFA 19 for an afternoon at a recent hands-on preview event, and what stood out for me were the new animations.
I've already reported on the new timed finishing mechanic, but it's worth going into detail on the animations that form a part of FIFA 19's active touch system.
New animations are hardly revolutionary for FIFA, but as someone who's put a lot of time into FIFA 18, I can report FIFA fans will definitely notice them - and they do let you do things you've never been able to before.
FIFA 19 will include pack odds disclosures, EA has confirmed to Eurogamer.
Two moments from EA's E3 2018 media briefing stuck with me long after I left the blazing heat of Los Angeles.
When EA Sports released the free World Cup update for FIFA 18, some players thought it played differently compared to the main game. Actually, it was more than some - there were loads of players who thought it played differently.
These players, who suspected EA Sports had tinkered with the gameplay of FIFA 18 for the World Cup update on the quiet, claimed it felt slower, with nerfed dribbling and passing. I've also seen plenty of people say the World Cup mode plays more "arcadey" than the main FIFA 18 game, with overpowered shooting from distance. I've also seen people say lofted through balls are more effective, and even spotted the suggestion the World Cup update reverts to gameplay before FIFA 18 was patched.
The truth is, the gameplay in the World Cup update is exactly the same as the gameplay in the main FIFA 18 game, Andrei Lazarescu, producer of the Switch version of FIFA and the World Cup update confirmed to me at E3. So, why do players think there's a difference?
With cross-platform play once again in the spotlight after it emerged you can't use your Epic account on the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite if you've used it on the PlayStation 4 version, many within the FIFA community have also wondered whether the feature might come to the world's biggest sports video game.
FIFA is returning to Switch later this year, in the form of FIFA 19, and EA has confirmed that this latest iteration will finally enable players on the console to head online and play matches against their friends.
One of the biggest changes for FIFA 19 this year has to do with shooting - and the addition of a skill-based mini-game to give shots some swaz.
As expected, EA has confirmed FIFA 19 has the official Champions League licence.
There's a tournament mode for the Champions League, Alex Hunter can take on the Champions League in story mode, and the tournament will also be incorporated into FIFA Ultimate Team.
EA Sports has the Champions League licence now after a period of exclusivity on PES.