I love a party with a happy atmosphere

I have completed Season 1 of Career Mode. That’s the final table above. FIFA19 is officially my most-played FIFA since FIFA15.

I didn’t score many goals. I only have a few new players, none much better than the ones I’ve got. There’d be a heck of a grind ahead if I continued.

It’s the thought of that long, slow grind through the next few seasons that is making me suspend Career Mode as of now.

With now exactly 4 weeks to the PES2020 demo – and from there another 6 weeks to the full game – it would be a travesty to subject Career Mode to the various pressures that ‘this time of year’ would bring to bear on it.I’m tempted to give Career Mode a features and immersion score of 10/10 right now, but that would be somewhat hyperbolic.

Suffice to say that I’m very impressed with everything it has to offer – not least the trickiness of acquiring new players.

Throughout the season I conducted approximately 20 transfer and contract negotiations. I bungled nearly all of them. I got something wrong, every time. Even the few that were successful. I paid too much for poor players. My epic failure to grasp the subtleties of the Scouting system made for some hilarious Carlos Kickaball-type scenarios where I was bidding for players whose abilities and wage expectations I had no real idea of.

Here are some brief highlights of my last few matches in the mode. The final goal is a beautiful AI looping header – from a ‘searching free kick’ – that I have watched time and time again and marvelled over. The first clip in this shows me hitting the post from range – something that FIFA19 forces to happen time and time again, in lieu of ‘allowing’ long-range goals.

I have already played some matches in other modes. I played a Barcelona-Real Madrid derby, just to see what it was like. I could smell the boiling sweat and aggro through the screen. And I have also started a Champions League tournament, as Tottenham, where the first group game, away to Inter Milan, was likewise drenched in atmosphere. No question that FIFA19 does the atmosphere thing better than anything ever seen in football gaming.

These matches are a little bit too fast and furious, mind. As ever with FIFA19 – and all football games of the past 6 years or so – the near-total absence of AI fouls does spoil things.

EA’s total silence on the topic of fouls interests me very much. ‘We’ve fed this back to our dev team‘ is, as far as I know, the only thing they ever say (when they can be made to say anything at all). I don’t keep a close eye on the football gaming chatosphere around the web, so if anyone spots anything juicy in this field, I would be very interested to hear it.

What’s next? Well, Ultimate Team is what’s next. Offline of course. I fully expect to be dazzled and entranced by the slickness of the package. Truth be told, I could do with a summer holiday feeling of fun and froth.

Updated: 2nd July 2019 — 11:24


  1. FIFA transfer system is great, one of my favourite memories of CM this year was a desperate deadline day bid for a free transfer AMF. No scouting but a few stats were visible but with a significant range of 10 either side of the actual figures. I ended up paying near the top of the wage structure and he turned out really good, pretty much saving me 3 months of dross in the midfield.

    Regarding the demo, the early release leaves too much time for the forumites to speculate despite game play being all but meaningless due to early patching but the inclusion of full edit mode is a great move.

    I’ll be buying both games this year again and would’ve gone with FIFA as first choice if release dates were closer together but I can’t ignore a new PES for that long. The hype train will be arriving shortly at my station.

  2. n-G – That is indeed a sumptuous headed goal there by the AI. FIFA 19 is very impressive but I’ve not been playing it since completing my one-off random league.

    I have however been playing PES5 and that’s just about all the footy gaming I need right now. Six games to go in season seven and I’ve just beaten Arsenal away to go four points clear at the top. If the title is forthcoming, I might take a footy game break until sampling the PES 2020 demo.

  3. NG – Still of the opinion that FIFA feels ’empty’ ?

  4. Cook – I remember you being the first to report that there were loads of AI fouls in the 5-minute PES2019 demo, and I was amazed to discover that was true for myself too. Then of course the full game hits and it’s not the same. With there being 6 weeks for the forums to play the demo, many will do so every day, to the point of exhaustion, then December comes and for them ‘the game’s been out for 6 months’.

    Shed – nobody takes a break from PES5. Periods in which you are not playing it, even years, are to be considered as lost.

    Paul – my emptiness criticism of FIFA has always been just about its gameplay — just the on-field action, nothing else – and at times it still does feel a little that way. Not enough for it to be a thing this time though, but it is still there. The no-fouls thing doesn’t help. Getting subs on can be a nightmare as the AI even skips through shin-splintering slide tackles.

  5. NG – I really dont think FIFA gameplay can be described as sometimes empty, fouls is an issue, as you rightly said, but so many other facets of it are so realistic and rewarding.

    Here we go again …….
    PES demo will hit, everyone will love it, comment on subtle nuances and refinements and speed/tempo of the matches, and beg Konami to leave it as it is, then come full release it will be a stripped down online-centric affair with all the bits that people loved, removed, to cater for frantic end to end online ‘fun’ – just as it is every single year.

    Leaving us with yet just another generic Nu-PES game that isn’t different enough from PES 19 to even warrant another £40.

    Bookmark this comment, and come November we will revisit it and see if it holds true.
    I’m pretty confident it will.

  6. Paul – I second it, as it has been the same since PES2010. I vividly remember the joy of that year’s demo, and the way the full game was diluted.

  7. I’ve just seen the eFootball PES 2020 Manchester United partnership trailer, which includes a few choice gameplay sightings, which include (at 2:10) a spectacular 30-yarder from McTominay. Place your bets now as to whether that’ll be possible in the multiplayer-balanced final game.

  8. It’s a nice little trailer (except for the shitstain of a club they used) but some of the ball physics look well off.

    McTominay is an ‘Ambassador’ for PES 20, whatever that means, so of course they’re gonna produce a scripted CGI trailer showing him off.

    Was also wondering what the ‘early access to edit mode’ in the deo would look like?
    As all the teams in the demo are licensed clubs, of which you cannot change their kits, unless they give you the ability to add 3rd/4th kits to them.

  9. Paul – the McTominay strike looks more like one of my early-PES2019 Lincoln R2 curlers than a full-on PES5-style cannonball anyway. Regardless, the demands of multiplayer balancing mean that neither type of goal will be common in the full game. I’m a frequent attempter as you know and I’d estimate the ratio of long-range goals to attempts as 1 in 200.

    The forums seem convinced that ‘early access to Edit mode’ means being able to set up full Option Files well before release. No idea what evidence that is based on.

    It’s felt a bit chilly the last few nights, feels like we’re on the downhill side of summer for sure, and with it come the first stirrings of that PES feeling. They have to get the game out before EA or they’re dead in the water of course.

  10. NG – I did think that when I saw the trailer, but was more centrally finished than your top corner R2 curlers.
    Cant see how early access to edit mode means they can produce full OF’s when theres only about 6 teams in the demo, it would allow kitmakers to load in kits and make sure they fit etc but surely wont allow people to export all the team edit files if theres only 6 teams available all of whom are licensed?

    I slept with the bedroom windows open all last night, was very stuffy and humid, and proper summer is yet to come, we haven’t had any form of a prolonged period of hot weather like last year, only sporadic warm days with last saturday being the exception.
    Having just got back off holiday where it was 38 degrees every day though, I’ve had a good dose of sun.

  11. Some new gameplay on the newst build featuring Man Utd vs the A.I. on superstar.

    Not the most encouraging, on first viewing. That Batistuta miss…

  12. Have watched quite a few various PES 20 vids now Tommy, the camera angle is lovely but cant help thinking some of the animations and ball physics look really off, it looks lethargic like ist being played on -2 speed or something, movements where players drop a shoulder and quickly burst off in a direction, all look like they are taking way to long to do anything.

    Hope its just perception, and not the actual game, as it would be horrible to play.

  13. Tommy — thanks for the link… and how about that ‘e FOOTBALL’ swoosh… Almost makes me want to go PC this year as that’s the very first thing that will be modded out. I’m so far not liking the feel of the second name-change that the series has undergone in my time (the first being from ISS to PES of course).

    Paul — I like the pace and the ponderousness so far, although the AI looks dumb in the vid Tommy links below (the only one I’ve watched so far). PES really needs to leave the slick responsiveness style to FIFA and mark out its own territory. As you were saying yesterday though, and is very true, it almost doesn’t matter what we see in these vids or in the demo, as by release day it will have been multiplayer-fied.

  14. I totally don’t understand the EFootball name change?!!? Why? of course its electronic football, its a video game, but it only reaffirms Konami’s main focus, which is online/esports.

    I wont be clambering around NZ and Hong Kong stores at 2am this year to get a download of the demo, I’ll download it over that weekend, if I remember, and if i can be bothered.
    First PES game ever, that I’ve sincerely had no interest in playing.

  15. Villa getting back in the premier has me looking forward to these until the reality of a trip to the Etihad puts me off them for weeks.

    I think that’s what normally happens to me every year. Real life football depression makes me less likely to play the game version, usually around Winter time.

  16. Paul – Yes I agree as the demo news means nothing to me this year. With the game I know exactly what we are going to get.

    Well the cricket world cup has become a bit of a farce. Games seem to be decided by the toss of the coin and over the last few days we have seen teams not attempting to win games because they are more bothered about thier net run rate.

  17. Agree Darryl – they have allowed it to descend into the type of games that the footy world cup stopped with the Austria – West Germany farce. Shame for those who bought tickets months ago. Roll on the Ashes though…Paul must be so excited to see if the one day form crosses over into the 5 dayers!

    I will of course get the demo just to have an opinion on here but aside from my slow plodding 2017 and FM games there is more chance of me going back to the world of Skyrim than dropping 40 quid on yet more of the same.

    Anyone played that Harry Potter pokemon go type game? (with their offspring of course…) Aside from that first film I’ve never seen/read any of it but it’s hard to escape and I wondered if small turf might be keen.

  18. Darryl/Uncle Turf – I have honestly not seen a frame of the cricket World Cup and was unaware of these Austria-W Germany type shenanigans. Now I’m interested! Are the authorities doing anything? Is there a ‘shame on the sport’ moral outrage anywhere?

    Paul – if anything my FIFA weeks (a whole month now I think) have made me keener than before for [retch] eFootball PES 2020 [retch]. They are very different beasts with different approaches. I’m not at the Cook-level of conversion to the FIFA vision though.

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