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FIFA 20 changes

FIFA 20 is due to be released later this year and in preparation for the big launch, we’ve decided to take a look at all of the changes that we can expect in the latest instalment in the FIFA franchise.

As with each new release, the pressure is on the developers, EA Sports, to improve the game and take into consideration the views and frustrations of the game’s fans when trying to figure out which areas they would like to give a specific focus to.

Feedback from professional Esports gamers and casual players are all taken into account and then they are implemented and the features are then rolled out with the release of the game. This means that the developers are fully equipped to give fans of the football franchise what they want while also following their own creative vision for the game.

So, without any further delay, let’s take a look at the gameplay changes and the new features that we can expect in FIFA 20.

AI DEFENDING, MOVEMENT AND POSITIONING:

FIFA 20 Defending Changes

In May’s edition of ‘Pitch Notes’, EA sports revealed that the next version of FIFA will feature a number of changes to the A.I defending and movement. One new feature is ‘Planned Tackling’ which gives favour to those who prefer manual defending. This means that the defending system is being renewed to support manual defending.

Auto tackles and auto blocks will now become less likely thanks to a reduction in contain and secondary contain effectiveness.

On top of this, those who choose to manually defend in a given scenario will benefit from an improved jockey system which is designed to improve both agility and precision.

Also, when defending set-pieces, computer intelligence will be improved in order to make marking match-ups more realistic. This means that your 4-foot 3 left back won’t be left marking their 6-foot 5 striker and instead players will try to keep tabs on opponents that are similar in height to them.

PASSING:

FIFA 20 Passing Changes

EA Sports are always striving to give greater realism and this means that, as the game gets harder, FIFA also gets harder. With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that passing is also going to be one of those elements  which also increases in difficult.

The pressure that a player finds themselves in during any given scenario will now correlate how difficult it is to complete a pass successfully. This means that 180 degree, first-time passes and passing from awkward positions will be more prone to interception.

Along with that, passing will be easier when there is less chance of a mistake being made. This means that if you’re not under any pressure, of if your players body is well positioned to make a pass, then there is less chance of a player making a mistake.

There is also a new option of a dinked through ball either on the ground or in the air, while a driven pass-and-go mechanism is also set to be enabled as well.

TIMED FINISHING AND ONE-ON-ONE CHANCES:

FIFA 20 Shooting Changes

The “Timed Finishing” mechanism which was introduced in FIFA 19 is also set to be fine-tuned as well. This means that it’s going to get harder to score in FIFA 20.

The green timing window for timed shots is set to be reduced in FIFA 20 from two-to-four frames to just two frames for every shot. This means that a player will need more skill in order to hit the back of the net.

As well as this, difficult 180-degree shots will also become less powerful than they were in FIFA 19 and timed shot accuracy will be reduced.

Volleys are also set to become more difficult and less accurate which will result in more volatile shooting and it’s also going to be more difficult to score headers when you’re inside a crowded area.

While the shooting is being tweaked to make it more difficult to score, gamers will be relived to know that one-on-one finishing is set to become easier.

Shooting accuracy is also going to be improved in “easier” scenarios, so, say if you have an open goal, and also goalkeepers reactions will no longer be superhuman.

CHAINED SKILL MOVES:

FIFA 20 Skill Moves Changes

FIFA players who enjoy the thrill of showing off their twinkle toes and breezing past multiple opponents using skill moves will now have to be prepared in FIFA 20.

Using skill moves is set to get harder in the edition with EA Sports indicating that the chances of error will increase exponentially when chaining more than two skill moves together.

GOALKEEPER REACTIONS AND MOVEMENT:

FIFA 20 Goalkeeper Changes

As mentioned earlier, one main gripe players have had is that goalkeepers, at times, felt as though they were almost superhuman with their reactions and the saves that they were able to make. This is set to be changed in FIFA 20 and their superhuman abilities are set to be reduced to that of mere mortals.

Additionally, when players opt to manually control goalkeepers, they will notice that the effectiveness of their movement will be reduced from the previous version and this means that there will be no more messing around with sweeper keepers.

FIFA developers, EA Sports, are expected to confirm the release date for the upcoming FIFA title during the summer, but it’s largely expected that the game will drop towards the end of the year.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Will they improve the game or make it too difficult for average players? Let us know in the comments below.

Xbox Vs PlayStation

For those of you who aren’t aware, PlayStation have their own subscription based service called PlayStation Now. The subscription service has over 600 games which are free to play on both your PlayStation console and on a PC and the games are available to download directly onto each device.

This service has been steadily growing since 2016, along with the catalogue of games that the service provides and during a recent strategy meeting, PlayStation have revealed that the number of subscribers for this service has now reached 700k.

This recent search in subscribers has led Sony to unveil bigger plans for the service in preparation for their launch of the PS5.

Long story short, Sony is hoping that their PlayStation Now service will reach 5 million subscribers (roughly seven times as many as it currently has) before the next-gen console is released.

While many experts and analysts expect that Sony will continue with previous trends and include physical disks for the new console, with the growth of PlayStation Now, it does raise the question of whether there’s a market for a subscription service only console.

After all, companies love subscription based services because it provides regular monthly income for them which is important for companies when it comes to profit and keeping investors happy.

To help reach the 5 million target, Sony have announces that they’re considering adding the service to ‘portable client devices’.

What this means exactly is up for interpretation, however, we believe that it’s likely that some form of the PS Now service could be coming for mobile phones and tablets in the future.

It could also hint that Sony are considering launching a new handheld device, however, with the PS Vita selling poorly in recent times and a huge surge in mobile gaming being largely to blame for this, a mobile and tablet service is the more likely option.

Although, that being said, recent sales of the Nintendo Switch suggest that there is still a market for handheld gaming devices.

PlayStation was notably absent from this years E3 event which means that following their upcoming State of Play has become essential for gathering new information about what the future holds for Sony, PlayStation, their Now service and more.

Earlier this year PlayStation Now was rolled out to more countries across Europe and, at a PlayStation Now focused event, Marco Valetta, Sony Italy’s General Manager, mentioned that “exclusive content is the way to go to improve.”

He also went on to add: “What I foresee is all about continuing to working with the PS4 community and bringing it as many consumers as possible.”

It’s quite clear from this that the streaming service is incredibly important to Sony and it’ll be interesting to see just how big an impact PS Now can have if it’s given the proper support.

Generally speaking, Xbox One’s subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, gets a lot of talk. However, the PS Now service is performing beyond all expectations according to a recent report by SuperData.

It’s also been stated that PS Now has grabbed the majority share in the gaming subscription service market during the third quarter of 2018.

PlayStation Now has made up a 52% of the market share while Xbox Game Pass has only managed to achieve 15%.

With the proper support and investment, the PS Now service could prove to be a huge factor in next-gen gaming and, with them currently dominating the market, it could end up being bad news for Xbox and their subscription service.

Xbox Game Bar

Microsoft are currently going through a process of improving their integration with PC’s and Laptops and one more improvement which they’ve recently launched is the new Xbox Game Bar which is available for devices with Windows 10 installed.

Originally, the Game Bar was released last month, but now a full overlay, which appears to mimic Nvidia’s GeForce Experience or Discord was made available yesterday.

Each section now includes widgets which allow you to adjust elements, such as the volume or your monitor, CPU, GPU and RAM usage.

Microsoft is also integrating Spotify into the Game Bar which offers you the ability to manage the playback of the songs which you’re playing. There’s also an audio widget within the Game Bar which is can be activated by using the winkey+G. All of these widgets are designed to make the new layout more glanceable and allows you to toggle headset settings before getting straight back into the game.

Xbox friends list, messages and even looking for group (LFG) widgets are available with the options to display as many (or as few) as you would like. The entire interface is designed to be completely customisable and the widgets can be pinned into place.

The Game Bar is designed to work with the majority of games, but Microsoft are aiming for games build using the Vulkan API to run in window mode in order for the Game Bar to work.

“We’re in the early stages of our journey and the updated Xbox Game Bar experience is just the beginning”, explained the Xbox team. “As always, your feedback is important to us and our partners as we continue to evolve the Xbox Game Bar.”

The Game Bar comes just a day comes just a day after Microsoft had released their latest Windows 10 May 2019 update to everyone. While the update doesn’t include many additional features, Microsoft have certainly made it a priority to address some of it’s gaming shortcomings with the Game Bar.

Now we’re left waiting to see more work at E3 this year.

The Division 2

The much anticipated first instalment of The Division 2’s raids, Operation Dark Hours, has finally landed. However, it’s not quite been plain sailing so far and the game mode has come with its fair share of problems.

It’s been well document just how difficult the raids actually are – especially on console. The game mode has only been successfully completed a number of times with the first one taking a staggering amount of hours to complete.

In case you haven’t ventured into a raid yet, it’s an eight man game mode whereby you take on a series of toughened enemies in a unique setting. The developers have described it as the toughest challenge that The Division 2 players will have faced – and they’re certainly not wrong.

While the game is designed to be an eight man challenge, you can attempt it with a smaller team but, due to the difficulty, you’re setting yourself up for an evening of frustration and disappointment. This means that, in order to complete the raid, having an eight man squad is essential, but what if you don’t have other players that can join you?

The Division 2 Raids

And here we find one of the biggest problems that raids face. If you don’t have seven players to join you you’re essentially stuck as the game mode doesn’t feature any kind of matchmaking and this means that you’re either left shorthanded, having to hope there are players near the helicopter and they’re willing to join up, or you just don’t get to try it.

This is set to change however as the developers have announced that there will be some form of matchmaking coming.

It was a surprise initially when they decided to launch the raids without any form of matchmaking. After all, every other game mode in The Division features matchmaking, so why not include it here?

Well, community manager, Hamish Bode, tried to explain their reasons for this:

“It is intended that there will be no matchmaking at the launch of the raid, but the team are working on finding a more dedicated solution to make that a meaningful way to find a group in the game.”

But, this doesn’t answer the question of why not use the same matchmaking system that is applied to the rest of The Division 2?

“You really want to work as a team with different roles, build the whole team around the different roles that you want to put forward doing the raid.”

These are the words of associate creative director Chadi El-Zibaoui.

“You have to be able to analyse and communicate around what is happening. So the communication around the team is really going to go from the very moment they put the squad together to beating the bosses – analysing, planning and executing. We also did a lot of internal playtesting, and we quickly noticed that whenever there is just one player not fulfilling his role, that really messes up the whole experience and usually the teams don’t stand a chance to beat the fight they’ve started.”

El-Zibaoui did go on to state that it was possible for a squad full of silent randoms to complete a standard mission but there was a definite need for everyone to not only have a microphone, but for everyone to speak the same language and coordinate their gear before they decide to enter the raid.

This alone puts the raids out of reach of the standard matchmaking system and, instead, it requires the developers to create a proper, more sophisticated solution which won’t create frustration among players.

You might remember that Destiny 2 faced similar problems when they launched their raids, however, they were able to find a work around thanks to the solution of Guided Games, something which encouraged clans to fill mission spots in their lineups with random players who were interested in joining them.

The Division 2 hasn’t exactly been shy in the past of taking notes from Destiny, however, the idea is that the developers want to create their own, dedicated and working solution and it will certainly make it interesting to see how they’ll eventually go about solving the matchmaking problem.

 

PlayStation Plus Free Games

In a recent update which has now been leaked, it appears that some significant features could be heading towards PlayStation consoles in the near future.

It appears that there are some exciting changes which are being planned for the next major PS4 overhaul.

Similar to the PSN name change that we’ve been treated to recently, Sony are trying to up their game and make their PlayStation Network (PSN) more appealing to fans by making it a more enticing package in general. This is done by offering new features such as backwards compatibility, which is due with the arrival of the PS5.

According to the leak, PS4 gamers could soon have the option of gifting games to their friends.

According to Twitter user, Tidux, who has a seemingly good record when it comes to giving accurate information on PlayStation leaks, the new update will be part of the next big console update.

Another feature which is due to come is trophy progression and the ability to pin games to your dashboard. This is due to arrive along with a time log which will track all of your games.

While all of the updates would prove popular with fans, they’ve yet to be confirmed by Sony so I wouldn’t take the words as gospel just yet. Even if the features do materialise, it’s believed that they will come with limitations so it’s unlikely that they’ll work exactly how we imagine them, at least not right away.

Like with the PSN name change process, it’s possible that the new game gifting system will come with strict rules which are designed to prevent people exploiting the service.

Sony has gone on record previously to say how important their service packages are to their overall business outlook, so by giving fans a new way to spend their money, it will make their efforts fruitful if you do come into fruition.

Furthermore, our business in this domain holds significant importance as our growth driver going forward. At the time, the industry is relentlessly fast-moving, and to remain the market leader, we must constantly evolve ourselves with a sense of urgency.”

This news follows the shock announcement of a new partnership between Microsoft and PlayStation in connection to cloud gaming. Details have remained vague so far on the new deal between the two, however, it will be connected to new cloud-based solutions for gaming experiences.

In an announcement, Microsoft stated:

“Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft’s Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.

“In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure data-centre based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.”

Google Stadia, the new streaming service by the internet search giant, looks to have played an important role in the formation of this new partnership.

While the news is certainly exciting, fans will have to wait for more information of the new partnership between the console rivals and exactly what this can mean for the PS5 and Xbox Two in the future.

Sony are also looking to improve their PlayStation VR experience with new hardware improvements.

Hints have been dropped by Sony which leads us to believe that they are planning on releasing a new headset, although it’s believed that their current model will still continue to work on the PS5.

A new Sony VR patent filed within the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) could provide us with clues as to what might be improving in the upcoming headset. The request is connected to enabling players wearing the headset to remain more aware of their surroundings. This is in connection with the head mounted display being able to detect voices around the players.

This would involve notifications being sent, telling the player that they’re being spoken to. Further options also include being able to pause the game and check the room using the external facing camera.

There is no guarantee at this time that the patent will ever be used, but it’s a feature which would definitely prove popular with fans of VR.

World War Z Game Review

April 25, 2019 | Latest Blogs, PC/Laptop, Playstation, xBox | No Comments

World War Z Game Review

There are some things in life I can’t escape from.

Work, paying tax and an insatiable love for all things related to zombies.

When The Walking Dead was released, I was all over it. When Resident Evil was released, I was all over it. When the film World War Z was released, I was all over it.

In fact, I’ve not just seen World War Z once, I’ve seen it so many times that I have dreams of Brad Pitt’s beautiful blonde locks blowing in the wind as he runs through the streets carrying a sniper rifle embedded in my memory like a beautiful dream that haunts me every night.

Now, with the upcoming release of Days Gone, it’s fairly easy for people to have missed that the game version of World War Z was released. After all, there wasn’t exactly a great deal of hype surrounding the game and it kind of slipped in unnoticed save for a few adverts and some releases of the gameplay footage – but there was something about it that got me excited.

OK, it was the footage of the undead climbing on top of each other like an ant colony working together to swarm the living in numbers reaching the hundreds.

When the game was released, I was there, pre-ordered and ready to rock and make the undead…erm, re-dead?

On first take, the game is akin to a remake of Left 4 Dead and it’s probably the closest game that you could draw comparisons with since Left 4 Dead was released.

World War Z Review

The game, much like Left 4 Dead, features linear missions which are designed to be a simple get from point-A to point-B without being killed by the hoards of undead that are actively trying to chomp on you. These linear missions are set across four different maps and the mission is divided into mini sub-missions.

The 4 different scenarios see you going to New York, Jerusalem, Moscow and Tokyo and inside each location there are different environments and tasks that you must complete before the mission is finished.

For example, in New York you find yourself trapped inside a shopping mall with wave after wave of zombie hoards looking to ruin your day and prevent you from making your way to the underground metro. Once you arrive at the metro station, you then have different missions which involve grabbing supplies along different stops of the metro until you reach the end of the metro line and then the mission is complete.

Each stop gets more difficult, as you’d imagine as you do have hundreds of skin eating zombies trying to halt your progress.

Another example of the similarity with Left 4 Dead is the variations that you get in the different types of zombies you can encounter. While you have the standard zombies, there are also tougher opponents such as the “screamers” which make loud noises to alert the zombie hoard of your whereabouts and the “Bull” which is basically a huge tank of a zombie wearing combat gear who storms into your location and repeatedly rock bottoms you until one of your team mates helps you out by killing him.

World War Z Bull

Having the variation in enemies makes the game more exciting and gives it more of a creepy element as well as you can be running through a seemingly quiet point in the map and then a cretinous screamer will spear you to the ground and beat on you until your teammates help you out.

This is also one point that makes you realise than in order to survive, especially on the harder missions, you’ll need to work as a team.

With this in mind, it’s worth pointing out that the standard zombies aren’t difficult to kill. In fact, a swing of a machete or a couple of bullets is enough to put one of them down but this doesn’t make the game simple or easy. Sure if there are one or two zombies you won’t even break sweat, but the point of the game is that things escalate quickly and that one or two soon becomes one or two hundred and then that’s where the fun really begins.

Whilst running through the missions, I couldn’t help but feel that 2019’s answer for Left 4 Dead had also taken certain elements from popular looter shooter, The Division, as well. By that I mean that the game also has elements of scavenging for guns, ammo and health packs as well – albeit on a much smaller scale. This means that you have the change to upgrade and improve upon the basic weapons that you’re given at the start of the game if you’re prepared to keep a watchful eye out for the crates that are located on the map.

The weapons that you get on the game are pretty basic, but again this isn’t a bad thing. During the mission you get to find upgrades to your primary and secondary weapon and you can also find “heavy weapons”, such as a grenade launcher. This adds to The Division feel and it makes scavenging worthwhile as you get to pick up better weapons.

While the prospect of facing down 5,000 zombies might seem to much for some, there is something satisfying about finding a corner so you can’t get attacked from behind, aiming forward and then unleashing hell on any zombie who is unfortunate enough to think they can bring you down. Likewise, walking through a hoard of them swinging your machete around like there’s no tomorrow is equally satisfying.

World War Z Game

Come to think of it, using the machete provides more fun than it should. Seeing body parts go flying across the screen in different directions as you’re slashing your way through a corridor provides you with your fill of blood and gore as well as providing some laughs as well.

While mentioning the blood and gore, it’s good to point out that while the graphics are good, they’re not particularly groundbreaking but once the mission gets fully underway, the gameplay more than makes up for it.

CONCLUSION:

If you’re looking for a game with a good narrative and interesting storyline, this isn’t the game for you. If you’ve read the book or watched the movie, you’re probably expecting something similar but you won’t find it in the game and that’s OK.

The game doesn’t promise a storyline and instead offers you the chance to take out your frustrations on hundreds, nay thousands, of zombies and this provides a sort of relaxing satisfaction that only popping heads and severing limbs can provide.

World War Z is fun, it’s exciting, it’s fast-paced, it’s overwhelming.

So far I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent on the game. Would I say it goes up there with the best, most in-depth games I’ve ever played? No. However, it sits perfectly alongside fan favourite zombie games such as Left 4 Dead and that’s perfectly fine with me, in fact, it’s something that’s been missing from my games cabinet for a while now

Get your copy now from Amazon.co.uk

PS4

£34.99

Xbox one

£33.78

The Division 2

Being a fan of The Division brings many things with it but one thing that seems to stand out the most is disappointment.

Not in the game itself, the game is brilliant and it’s earned its place as on my all time favourite games and one which I spend the most time on. Instead, I’m referring to the issues, bugs and delays which have plagued the game since the first instalment and are still present today.

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Many people felt that The Division 2 was the chance to make everything right and get everyone back on board and getting us all loving the game again and, in large, it has succeeded. However, lingering disappointments still remain and this is something which has happened again.

If you cast your mind back to the announcement of The Division 2 and to the announcement of the additional DLC which would be coming our way in Year 1, you might have gotten a bit excited of the prospect of taking part in the 8-player Raids which were making their overdue appearance in The Division 2.

While at the start there was no concrete date set for the release of Raids at the start, the recent announcement of an April 25th release got everyone excited. We all began finishing our builds, getting The Division 2 brand sets locked down getting our clans together and selecting 7 players who would be able to take the journey to new areas to compete in new challenges with us.

Well, lay down your arms folks as they’ve been delayed.

That’s right, while Operation Dark Hours was meant to be hitting our consoles this week, developers Massive Entertainment have now asked for more time to fine tune problems that they’ve been having and make sure that Operation Dark Hours is smooth and enjoyable – and I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing.

The Division 2 Brands

The reason for this is because we’ve often seen updates come to us which have created more bugs than they’ve solved or introduced us to a new series of bugs which then left waiting for a patch to resolve and I’m happy that Massive are trying to break this trend and make sure that everything works from right from the off. In order to make this happen, they’ve delayed the release of Operation Dark Hours until May – with no definite ETA being announced.

Another piece of news coming from The Division camp is that the developers are looking to recruit players of the game in order to help see how well the updates and balancing changes work before pushing the changes live for everyone else to enjoy.

In order to do this, they’re released a Public Test Server (PTS) with the aim of structuring the testing in phases, each phase lasting a couple of days, with a focus on testing specific aspects of the game.

Through surveys and forum threads, they’ll collect feedback from those who participated in the PTS and implement the suggested changes before releasing the updates to the general public.

The PTS is available to PC gamers and, if you’re playing on PC, you can now test out Title Update 3 which is available on the server. Don’t get any ideas of testing out Raids, however, as Operation Dark Hours won’t be available on the PTS as it’s only set to go live when the update is officially released.

fifa 19

If you think of most gamers, YouTubers and Twitch streamers, most of you will have come across someone who has a channel that is dedicated to playing FIFA.

It’s not really a surprise when you consider that FIFA has been one of the most (if not the most) popular games each and every year. It consistently tops the charts on its release and every year it’s one of the most pre-ordered games as football fans get all excited to get their hands on the latest edition of EA Sports’ long running football series.

I’m no different. I pre-order FIFA every year. I download the demo and get all hot under the collar about continuing my Ultimate Team, winning Division 1 in seasons and there’s a continued dream that EA Sports will listen to one of my many emails and forum posts requesting that they introduce an online career mode as an option within the game.

This year, however, I was left disappointed – and it’s not just because of the lack of online career mode.

I know many people will read this and disagree with me and this is possibly proven as it’s still one of the most played games at the moment. Many people won’t mind the issues I’m about to list and many people will probably say that they’re not issues at all and that I’m just “not very good at FIFA”.

In truth, the “not very good” statement probably has some elements of truth in it, especially now because I’ve stopped playing the game. After pre-ordering and downloading the digital version, starting my Ultimate Team and putting a few weeks of my time into the game, I’m left disappointed that I didn’t buy a physical copy so that I can sell it or trade it in for something better.

To be quite honest, I don’t think I’ve touched the game since December and, instead, I spend my time playing other games such as The Division 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 and a few others.

This was until the other day when my brother came and made an appearance at my humble abode and we decided to have a few frames of FIFA and work on my Ultimate Team. Instantly, I was ready to throw the control pad off the wall because it was no different from how it had been when I first loaded it and I realised that, genuinely, I hate the game.

But, instead of getting bitter and deleting the game, I thought I would wade through the excrement that FIFA has become and create a list of the reasons why FIFA 19 is, in my opinion, one of the worst FIFA for many years.

So, without any further delay, here are my reasons:

  1. OVERHEAD KICK GOALS:

    This is something that was continually happening so I decided to do a bit of research and it seems that this is a fairly common complaint. A lot of people complain about the overhead kick goals and it’s true. Every. Single. Word. The ball gets whipped in from a corner and Jan Vertonghen is beaten in the air by an overhead kick by the 4 foot 3 Carlos Azpilecueta.

    FIFA 19 Overhead Kick

    It doesn’t end there, every time the ball gets whipped in, the game seems to favour the bloke who’s going backside over head to score a stunning goal and they always go in. You’re tall defenders are left watching and applauding that some random guy from a random league had the sheer audacity to attempt such a shot instead of actually going to win the ball.

  2. PENALTIES:

    Penalties being awarded for no reason isn’t exactly something new to FIFA but 19 seems to take it to new extremes. I’ve had penalties awarded against me for players running into me – Literally without me pressing to tackle them.

    I’ve had penalties awarded against me when a player shoots and their shooting leg kicks my player. I’ve had one occasion where this happened and the player didn’t even go down but still the referee pointed to the spot.

    It doesn’t end there either, oh how I wish it did, I’ve had occasions where I’ve ran into the box and I’ve been cruelly tripped over and had nothing awarded.

    Imagine the frustration where you run into the box with Mane, get tripped over inside the area and have nothing given, only for the opponent to break, get into your box, run into your defender without you pressing tackle and then gets a penalty – I don’t have to imagine this because it’s actually happened to me.

  3. KICK OFF GOALS:

    I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’m playing against a good player and I’ve worked hard to score a goal. I’ve spent a long time keeping possession, moving the ball, working it around and getting one chance to score and taking the chance. Then they kick off, run up to my goal and my team parts like the Red Sea to allow them to equalise.

    I get it, the most dangerous time for a team is right after you score but come on!

    My players don’t lose concentration, they forget how to play football. The team splits apart and they end up in positions where there is no way they would end up in a real life game. My left back suddenly goes to have a chat with my right back and my centre back them moves into LM and leaves just one defender standing there as the ball is chipped over his head to a player rushing beyond him to give him a one-on-one with my keeper.

    It’s incredibly frustrating because, when you’re playing against a good opponent, scoring a goal which you’ve worked hard to create feels like a real achievement, only to have it taken away from you by something which isn’t your fault. If your players stayed in their correct positions then you wouldn’t get caught out and would be able to defend better and make it harder for them to score, instead it just gifts them a goal as if the game is incredibly easy.

  4. PLAYERS NOT LISTENING TO TACTICS:

    I like to experiment with formations and find that the ones I enjoy the most are 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 but the truth is that the game doesn’t allow for these formations to work. The reality is that you get overrun in midfield or down the wings and you always get left in a three-on-two situation or worse. To compensate for this, I use a defensive midfielder and his instructions are stay back at all times.

    fifa-19-player-instructions

    But he just doesn’t listen and decides to bust a gut to get upfront each and every time I’m attacking without me controlling him.

    The worst thing is. that it will happen with players who are defensive midfielders in real life and don’t have the appetite for getting forward.

    I’ll buy a defensive midfielder and set their instructions to stay back while attacking. I get the ball and start to push into the oppositions half and then I’m left staring in bemusement when my CDM runs passed my striker. Then, I lose possession, opposition makes three passes and I’m exposed. If the CDM would listen to me and stay back, this wouldn’t happen.

    I’ve tried various tactics and various different instructions and each time the same thing happens.

    If anyone knows how to combat this, please let me know.

  5. REBOUNDS:

    This is by far my biggest pet hate with FIFA 19.

    The amount of times I tackle a player only for the ball to bounce straight back to them is, in short, ridiculous.

    During one game of Ultimate Team, I tackled a player nine, yes nine, read it again NINE, times only for the ball to go straight back to them after the tackle before they scored.

    fifa-19-rebound

    It happens in every game. It’s not just the occasional 50/50 either, I can tackle from different angles, using different tackles (standing and sliding) and the ball will stick to them like glue and then suddenly they have a one-on-one with my keeper.

    You tackle in the box it goes to them at a better angle. You tackle one player and it works as a perfect through ball for a different one. Your keeper saves one shot and pushes the ball past your 5 defenders to the one, lonely attacker (who’s standing completely unmarked, by the way) for a simple tap in.

    I’ve had them cross the ball in the box, where my defender is going to head the ball clear, only for my keeper to rush out like Rambo and pat the ball off his head and down to the striker standing behind him.

    They shoot and your defender blocks it, guess what happens – yep, the ball bounces back to them for another go.

    At times it feels unlikely and unlucky, at other times it feels like the game is scripted and you’re meant to concede a goal at that point and the game won’t let you win possession or make a tackle until you have conceded a goal.

    It’s not just with tackles either. 82nd minute and you’re losing 1-0, you can guarantee that the ball will continually go out for a corner for them until the 91st minute. You try and head the ball out to your attacker, the defender doesn’t listen to the direction you press and instead they head it out for a corner. The ball floats as soft as a butterfly to your goalkeeper, he pushes it out for a corner, their player shoots with no one around them and spoons it over the bar, it goes out for a corner.

    It’s relentless and you may as well quit the game there and then because you know that the game doesn’t want you to win this one. Instead it will keep on running down the clock until it’s game over and you’ve lost a game 1-0 where, if you had the chance to attack, you could have pulled it level.

  6. SHOOTING:

    I’m good at shooting. I’ve often been described as “the best natural finisher in the game” (albeit by myself). It’s something I’ve perfected over the years so I’m equally adept at finishing one-on-ones, tap ins and long range drives. I can aim for the top or bottom corner and, my speciality, is chipping the keeper.

    Fifa 19 Shooting

    However, in this FIFA, the game seems to want to take away your ability to choose what type of shot you’re going for.

    The keeper palms it out of the box at a corner and you want to rifle it into the roof of the net, for some reason, unbeknownst to anyone, your player decides to float a harmless chip back into the waiting arms of the keeper.

    You’re one-on-one and you want to slot it into the bottom corner, your guy completely miss-kicks the ball and it trickles wide with all the speed of John Terry taking it easy.

    You want to curl the ball into the top corner and your guy drives it low and straight down the middle.

    Some shots I completely understand, you’re running in and looking to sweep it in first time and you’re guy miss-hits the ball, I understand that, these mistakes happen on a regular basis in professional football so it’s only right that they include it in the game, but I’ve never to this day seen a player want to hit the ball as hard as he can and it results in a tame chip that is right at the keeper and at a perfect height for him to catch it.

    It just doesn’t happen.

  7. INABILITY TO CONTROL THE. BALL:

    I’m pretty sure a lot of us have experienced this happen at one time or another.

    You’re breaking and looking to push into the opponent’s box but they have a defensive wall set up so you look to square it left or right and work the ball to create some space. You slide a slow 5 yard pass to a player standing there, completely unmarked and then, suddenly, the ball goes between the players legs and he freezes giving the opposition enough time to run in, rob the ball and launch an attack of their own.

    Or in another situation, you break into the opponent’s box and the final touch before you’re about to shoot goes 5 yards further in front of the player allowing it to go directly to the goalkeeper.

    The opposition is breaking on you and they pass the ball forward and your centre back steps in to make an interception only for the ball to bounce off his leg and go to a different one of their players or it goes out for a throw-in or a corner.

    You play a through ball down the wing with your full back and every time it’s perfect, except the one time they’ve pushed up and it’s time to counter with numbers and instead your full-back puts the ball out of play.

    These little, annoying, random acts of rubbish ball control happen in every game you play and they completely affect and ruin good attacking moves or times where you’ve set up to defend perfectly.

    What’s worse is that they’re uncontrollable.

    Sure, I would understand if I blasted the ball at one of my players who was 5 yards away and him not having the best touch in the world, but a simple 5 yard pass with no power in it megging the player?

    It simply wouldn’t happen, especially when you consider my Ultimate Team is made up of the best players within the Premier League.

One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of these mistakes are limited to only Ultimate Team. If I play seasons I find that the mistakes don’t happen and I’ve managed to race through and win Division 1 in almost no time at all.

So, there you have it, my short list of some of the biggest moments of “WTF just happened” in FIFA and these are why, in my opinion, FIFA 19 is the worst FIFA that we’ve had in recent years.

Have you experience the same errors? Do you know how to fix them? Let us know in the comments below.

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Apex Legends Review

Battle Royale games don’t often sit right with me. It’s not that the games are bad, instead it’s more that the games become a monumental challenge which I find difficult to adjust to, especially when I’m more used to games where you grind for gear, such as The Division 2 (read about our Division 2 Brands and Bonuses), or levelling up allows you to unlock better weapons as you would normally find in games like Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (read our Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Review) or Battlefield.

It’s not just me.

Even the best players in Battle Royale games can spend an untold amount of hours running through different sessions only to get killed and be out of the game just because they didn’t manage to get a decent weapon in time.

Apex Legends Gameplay

Foraging for armour and weapons does sound like fun. But when the circle begins to shrink and you find yourself being shot and killed and having to restart and do it all over again in the next round, it becomes laborious.

In games such as these, skill is certainly of the essence. Also, you need patience and good communication if you’re working in a team. If you know someone is near, you need to communicate this with your team mates. If you know where a supply drop is, you need to communicate this with your team mates. When you’re working in a team, there is no ‘I’ because, the better equipped your team is, the better your chances are of survival.

With this in mind, I decided to give Respawn Entertainments Apex Legends a bash.

Firstly, as discussed, teamwork is an important element and Apex goes someway in making sure that communication is as easy and as clear as possible thanks to their unique ping system. The idea is that there is a single button which allows you to simply tap and let everyone know what you’re doing.

Apex Legends Ping System

This means that if you’re teaming up with strangers, you don’t need to sit with the microphone glued to your face in order to communicate what you’re up to.

Want to tell others where to go? Point to the area on the map, ping it and viola. Want to talk about a weapon upgrade on the map? Aim your crosshair on the upgrade and ping it. Seen a nearby bunker and want to hold up there? Ping it. Want them to order a pizza to be delivered to your house…OK, that won’t work, but you could try?

In other games, playing with strangers has been unbearable. Yodelling commands, pointless exclamations in the microphone, rampant music in the background, dogs barking in the background (maybe just my dog), you get the point.

The ping system goes someway in highlighting that it’s one of the core features of Apex Legends and this makes it one of the best Battle Royale games that I’ve come across as there is an emphasis on cooperation. Reviving squad mates when they’re near death is a feature among all modern shooters and getting knocked down doesn’t mean that you’re out for the count in Apex.

Instead, when you’re down, you can be given a new lease of life if someone takes the banner which your character drops upon death and then places it on one of the beacons that are dotted around the map.

This gives less experienced players some breathing room and allows them to pick up the basics of the game and highlights the importance of working together. After all, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get very far on your lonesome when other players also have the opportunity to revive their squad members.

Apex Legends Map

The game also brings in character classes that we’re familiar with in other games. Think Overwatch. The game focuses on similar classes from classic shooters and comes with a combat-focused Bangalore, a defensive tank build called Gibraltar and the stealth class known as Wraith.

The notion of choosing and learning about different classes on different games does come across as quite a daunting task for many of us. Picking a certain class often provides a wildly different experience and it also corresponds with a steeper learning curve at the same time.

Not with Apex Legends and, instead, the game focuses more on equality.

The classes are different enough for their abilities to remain unique, but they’re also similar enough so that they complement each other rather than replace. This makes switching classes less complex and it builds into the idea that teamwork is important rather than just running around on your own with the legend with the best abilities.

While this sounds good, it can also act as a negative for some, because the game removes the ability to play solo or as a duo and instead only squad mode is available which is disappointing for those who prefer single player gameplay.

Much like other Battle Royale games, the core mechanics behind the game is to be the last one standing.

The game features a smaller number of players in a session and this allows for smoother gameplay compare to other games I’ve tested. The graphics are also top notch which adds to the positive experience that I’ve had playing Apex Legends. Also, the game features a number of weapons and add-ons which are fun and generally great to use.

On the whole, Apex Legends is a great game. It’s fun to play and it’s very addictive.

It’s fun for those who are new to the battle royale scene and the team play element means that it’s fun for those, like me, who aren’t typically drawn to the battle royale games.

Being a free game as well also means that it’s definitely worth a try and you’re not losing out if it’s not too your liking. Who knows, you might just find a new favourite in your game collection.

EA Sports UFC 3

Back in 2012, the UFC announced their partnership with gaming giants EA. With THQ losing the rights to the UFC product, EA would go on to produce, as of right now, three UFC titles. With EA Sports UFC releasing in 2013, the sequel in 2016 and the most recent instalment of the franchise in 2018.

ea sports ufc

It’s no surprise that EA took the popular series to new heights, with groundbreaking visuals and a quintessential presentation that captures the atmosphere of a real life UFC event. With each game they are learning from their previous mistakes and creating a complex yet accessible engine to replicate the unpredictable thrill of the sport of MMA.

However, there’s always room for improvement. And with the fourth game likely to come within the next year, here are 5 things that we want to see in EA Sports UFC 4.

MULTIPLE VERSIONS OF THE FIGHTERS:

In THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3, many fighters featured multiple versions of themselves that the player was able to choose from. Rather than having just one form, some fighters would have separate characters that would be based upon them from a previous year. After all, fighters can go through many images during their career.

This would be a nice little feature for the next instalment of the EA franchise.

You want UFC 205 Conor McGregor? Maybe 194? Maybe a version based upon his Cage Warrior days? The more variety the better, and this could be applied to more than half of the fighters on the roster for sure.

STORY MODE:

In 2011, EA Sports surprised everyone with Fight Night: Champion’s story mode. With what was formerly known just seen as a fun, competitive sports game, EA’s most recent Fight Night game managed to pull off an engaging narrative, with gritty characters and storylines that fit the genre perfectly. Despite being a bit predictable and corny here and there, the story mode was actually really enjoyable as it had you follow the rollercoaster career of the protagonist Andre Bishop.

UFC by EA Sports

Fight Night isn’t the only EA Sports title to feature a story mode either, as the FIFA franchise now tells the story of Alex Hunter in ‘The Journey’.

Without a doubt the could pull off an MMA storyline, especially with how popular the sport has become in recent years, no doubt a Conor McGregor inspired storyline would be enjoyable to play. Rising from the lower organisations to the pinnacle of the sport. Whatever approach EA would take, we’d love to play it.

CAREER MODE REVAMP:

Over the course of three games, EA has featured the essential career mode with each entry in the sports series. With each one having quite a simple, classic approach to a career mode. Create your fighter, pick your weight class, and off you go. Building your way up to the top with simulated training sessions and negligible training games to prepare you for each bout.

Despite this format being built upon and definitely being improved since their first game back in 2014, they seem to be tied down to the repeated, mundane career mode that lacks any real engagement to your fighter’s progression. THQ’s UFC Undisputed series featured many great approaches to your career. With a wide variety of fun training games that actually make it feel like your fighter is getting better, to interactive weigh-ins and post-fight interviews with Joe Rogan, it’s the little details that count sometimes, and the Undisputed series blended together the excitement of MMA with the enjoyment of a career mode well, and we’d like to see EA take a page out of their book.

PRIDE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Once again, we’d like to see EA take a page out of THQ’s book with this one. In 2012’s UFC Undisputed 3, the series introduced PRIDE mode. A mode based upon the popular MMA organisation that spanned from 1997-2007.

Pride Fighting Championship

The organisation competed with the pinnacle of the sport of the UFC, with a stacked roster full of some of MMA’s all-time greats while offering an entirely different set of rules from the UFC, with PRIDE notoriously allowing soccer kicks and a variety of other strikes that would be classed as illegal if thrown in the octagon. THQ perfectly captured PRIDE Fighting in UFC Undisputed 3. With the full PRIDE soundtrack, commentary, announcers, an exemplary recreation of the Saitama Super Arena, PRIDE variations of fighters and even a screen filter to make it look retro, it was a well accomplished reproduction of one of MMA’s best eras, and EA must feature it in their next title. It would be a crime not too.

A NEW GRAPPLING SYSTEM:

One of the biggest problems facing the franchise currently, is the grappling system. Other than the odd tweak here and there, EA has practically kept the same flawed grappling system since their first instalment.

Over the span of 3 games, the grappling has grown more and more stale and frustrating. While the striking system has evolved significantly throughout the series, it manages to capture the thrill of an all out brawl as well as a technical chess match, whereas once the fight turns to grappling the game fails to capture the reality of it.

It’s slow, it’s sluggish, and it just doesn’t feel fun or fair. Picking grappling oriented fighters doesn’t seem to have the right benefits to it other than your transition speed being quicker than your opponent.

This shouldn’t be the case.

When I pick Demain Maia, I want my opponent to fear going to the mat with me, rather than embracing it and being able wriggle out of a rear naked choke as CM Punk. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but there are times where your fighter doesn’t feel justified. And the clinch system is the same.

Not to sound like a repeating record, but THQ’s grappling system, despite being a bit out of date now, had the right idea. It felt fast, fluid and fun. The submissions didn’t feel over-complicated and unfair, the clinching was explosive as well as calculated. Ground and pound was fast and brutal and initiating and defending transitions was simple but effective. It just felt perfectly balanced. Like they did with the striking in UFC 3, EA need to rebuild the grappling system from the ground up and hopefully take some inspiration from THQ.

If they tweaked the striking in some aspects while adding some nice fresh animations along with a whole new grappling system, we could potentially have the best MMA gameplay we’ve ever had.

Author:

Eamon Murphy

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