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."
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.
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.
Two moments from EA's E3 2018 media briefing stuck with me long after I left the blazing heat of Los Angeles.
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.