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FIFA 19 will have a ‘survival’ mode but it’s not you-know-what

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It’s more like Last Man Standing from 2012’s FIFA Street

FIFA 19 - Ronaldo in shadow EA Vancouver, EA Romania/Electronic Arts

FIFA 19 will add some new gameplay options to its one-off, play now mode, and although one sure sounds a lot like a soccer version of a battle royale, developers with EA Canada insist that it’s not cribbing off that fad.

In previews this morning with both Eurogamer and IGN, EA Sports reveals the Survival game type a rule variant whereby the side scoring a goal has one player sent off. The match, however, follows official FIFA rules — it is abandoned if one side has fewer than 7 players. So to automatically win the match, a team should score five goals (and be ahead, naturally) to end it on the spot.

Eurogamer notes that this sets up an interesting strategy of whether it’s better to park the bus early and try to score late or barrage the other side and hope for the best with dwindling numbers. Announcers Martin Tyler and Alan Smith, they say, even drolly comment on the format as if it was a real thing, with strategy analysis and the like. But what it’s not, said creative director Matt Prior, is anything like Fortnite Battle Royale or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

“I’m sure people won’t believe me when I say this, but it genuinely had nothing to do with that!” he told Eurogamer.

Prior mentioned that FIFA Street, the 2012 rebirth of the mid-aughts arcade soccer franchise, also carried a survival-type mode (“Last Man Standing”) in which teams would lose a player after scoring. That, of course, preceded all this battle royale ruckus, and it’s the real inspiration for this mode, Prior said. Who knows, maybe Fortnite will now reenact goal celebrations from FIFA 19, seeing as how footballers have been doing them to death in real life.

Additionally, FIFA 19 will have all kinds of parameter adjustments, such that users may play a match with no officiating, for example, or that only headers or volleys count as goals. Eurogamer has much more in its preview.

One other note, we missed this at first, but last week, it was announced in China that the Chinese Super League would join FIFA 19’s roster of licensed leagues and teams. Moreover, this means several international stars formerly of European clubs, such as Brazil’s Hulk and Paulinho and Yannick Carrasco of Belgium will appear with their clubs as well.

FIFA 19 launches Sept. 28 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. A “legacy edition” will still be launched for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.