Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Platforms: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Published by: EA Sports
A FIFA release is more than just a standard game release, it’s possibly one the most hotly anticipated releases of the year. From August, grainy short youtube videos appear showing some of new features in FIFA, the said clip divides opinion of gamers and whether the changes will be game changer. Two more months of clips and arguments online continue. This is no difference from previous years. FIFA 18 is released with an unprecedented amount of advertising and general chatter on social media. It gets bigger each year.
The most notable change is the gameplay, it’s a lot easier to score goals in this game. There has been a shift to make games more arcade like and attack focused as opposed to being realistic which does lead to more open and high scoring games, but less of a football simulation.While this does make for more enjoyable games from the start, in turn making it more amenable to new players. However for die hard football fans looking for a true simulation where both attack and defensive are equally important, FIFA 18 doesn’t deliver. It does bring a realistic and fantastic experience of playing a game, it’s as close to the real thing as you will get in a game. I think the holy grail is building a game that captures the nuanced elements of football.
Presentation, display and soundtracks are on point, the visuals and layout are slick. It’s super easy to navigate menus, make changes to team and there is a new feature to substitute players in game without pausing. Sometimes the smallest changes make all the difference. All the stadiums, updated teams and players are there. Real time player and team data is available as well. All the usual features of FIFA including all licencing is there.
Plenty of online modes from leagues to single games. The Ultimate team is still here and adds the aspect of building your own team from scratch. The game modes and training levels are plentiful, if anything there is an excess but more never hurts.
FIFA 17’s most hyped feature the Journey mode returns and basically it has continued this season. It still feels clunky and you are a voyeur in Hunter’s story, it is still interesting to a point but a revamp maybe could have improved it further. I prefer the normal game as opposed to a story mode in a football game. I just don’t think story modes in a football game works. It ends up being a cringefest. If you liked it in FIFA 17, you will like this, it’s more of the same.
Overall, this year has seen a dramatic change in the gameplay and is a lot more attacking, if you prefer attack over defense, you will enjoy this more than previous incarnations. The visuals and all of the interfaces are slick, lots of modes (Ultimate team will still be a massive time drain but enjoyable). If you want to continue the journey of Hunter, you can do so. A lot of minor tweaks too, this version of FIFA is not a game changer but good fun. A must buy for all football fans.