Every year once late September rolls around, the arrival of the new FIFA game follows. Released annually since 1993, FIFA has become one of the biggest gaming franchises ever.
This year, EA Sports decided to freshen up the cover star for FIFA 18, introducing superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo to the game’s cover for the first time.
Following last year’s introduction of the frostbite engine to FIFA 17, EA have continued to develop FIFA 18 from its predecessor, finely tuning some of last year’s new additions. The best example is The Journey, where the story of Alex Hunter continues with a whole transfer saga surrounding him following his breakthrough last year.
Unfortunately, there is still only one season’s worth of game play again, however you do feel more in control of Hunter’s career this time around.
FIFA has always prided itself on its presentation of games whether it’s in career mode or online, with stadium displays and an increase in the feeling of an atmosphere captures the grand scale of high profile matches.
Passing has been notified early with a lack of focus on precision, allowing players to find a teammate with relative ease. This devalues players with high interception stats such as N’Golo Kante as one of his main attributes is almost worthless.
Something that seems to be developed in a positive manner each game is player movement, on and off the ball. High rated players such as, the obvious, Lionel Messi, Isco and Thiago move majestically with the ball, at times easing past opponents.
For someone who enjoys quality in the defensive side of the game, FIFA 18 seems to be highly focused on attacking play in preference to defensive. Some top players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang feel unstoppable even against the higher rated defenders on the game. There are ways around the game’s defensive frailties however it does take some clear understanding of the reality of football such as formations, tactics and instructions.
Career mode this year stays relatively unchanged other than an added tweak to transfer negotiations. Elsewhere Ultimate Team has seen the addition of squad battles which is a single player mode where you compete against other players’ squad, professional footballers included. The more games you win, the higher up the leaderboard you go, similar to a Call of Duty rank style. One of the most exciting additions to Ultimate Team is the introduction to Icons over all platforms while drafting in legends such as Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry.
Overall, FIFA 18 is probably the best-looking football game ever made. People often ask upon the new release of FIFA “Isn’t it just the same as last year?” and a lot of the time that isn’t too far off, however this FIFA feels like it has stepped up the game with a more professional approach. One minor complaint, as previously mentioned, is the lack of strategy and the goal fest that games tend to result in.