EA has announced this week that it has given more attention to the kick-off mode in FIFA 19, adding in a whole host of new features.
There are five new match types available, alongside your usual Classic Kick-Off. The first of these lets you play through an entire UEFA Champions League campaign, from the group stages all the way through the knockout stages to the Final. The second is a simpler Best of Series mode, which allows you to select either a three or four match series to see who comes out on top.
Thirdly, we have a Home & Away mode, functioning in much the same way as your typical two leg match. You will keep an aggregate score across two matches, and you'll win on away goals if you end in a draw. If it's still dead set after this, then it'll go to extra time and the dreaded penalties.
If you're in the mood for some authentic cup final action, you can choose a competition - such as the Champions League, Europa League or FA Cup - and simply play the final match, with all the promotional gubbins attached.
The mode that most will likely head towards with friends around is House Rules. Here, you can modify the game to play with some pre-determined rules. No Rules is pretty self explanatory: The referee is turned off, letting you do whatever the Hell you want. Pull off all that restriction of sliding in from behind, because there're no red cards.
Long Range has goals scored from outside the box counting double (those inside the box still count as a single goal), and First To lets you set a custom win condition, such as being the first to score or first to three. Headers & Volleys will disallow any goal scored that isn't - you guessed it - a header or a volley. Tricky stuff.
The final mode, and perhaps what is potentially the most entertaining, is a Survival Mode. And before the words battle royale float into your brain, Fortnite in FIFA this is not. Instead, every time a goal is scored, a player from the scoring team will be removed, barring the goalkeeper. It even includes custom commentary, so it'll be a like a normal game of football but with random evictions. Once either team reaches seven players, the game is abandoned, preserving the scoreline. So it's basically a first to five - but with much reduced manpower available.
Alongside all of these new modes, FIFA will now track your stats in Kick-Off, so if you have frequent competitive matches with your arrogant next door neighbour, you don't need to keep your secret Excel spreadsheet with all the scores updated. Instead, EA will store it all for you, and will carry it wherever you sign in (although EA notes that the ID's you create for Kick-Off can't be transferred between consoles, and presumably PC). A nice little extra.
This is the first major change that EA has made to Kick-Off in FIFA for quite some time. You can play it all when the game releases on 29th September on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There's a little more info about stat tracking on the EA Sports blog.