FIFA 19 will hit the Switch later this year, being the second title from EA to come to the hybrid system so far. It’s the follow up to last year’s FIFA 18, which got a custom-built version on Switch. The same is true for this year’s entry, albeit the development team has made improvements to the engine.
We already knew the visuals have been given a boost, but it turns out gameplay mechanics have also been enhanced. The Lead Gameplay Producer, Samuel Rivera, was recently interviewed by GameReactor. Rivera talked a bit about the Switch version and revealed that the team “rewrote” the AI system to make the computer-controlled opponents “play more like humans”. He also stated that the Timed Finishing mechanic has been added in and there are a lot more shooting animations.
Check out his full comments:
“There’s two big things [with the Switch version] going on. The first one is, and most important, because a lot of our players play Switch against the AI, we wanted to completely redo that experience to something that is more fun. So we rewrote how we do AI in Switch and now they play more like humans, more like how I would play, ‘I make my mind, I create, I need to do this’ and then I go and execute it, not just reacting every single frame. So basically you feel like human and it’s also a more tactical approach – they make their tactics and they try to score based on those tactics like real teams. So when you play against the AI in Switch it’s just more fun and different.
The other thing that is very important is just in terms of shooting there’s this Timed Finishing mechanic we have in regular FIFA in consoles. We also have it in Switch, and basically is the ability to make your shot more accurate and more powerful if you execute correctly a mechanic which is double-tapping the shoot button when the player is about to contact the ball. Then you will have a very good shot if you do it properly – if not, it’s a very bad shot.”
It’s good that the FIFA Switch team is taking the project seriously. But, it still remains to be seen if any of this experience will be put to use in other EA projects.