Story - 66%
Graphics - 83%
Audio - 90%
Gameplay - 75%
Replayability - 90%
FIFA 18 has really taken the world by storm this year, promising a game that isn’t stale and unchanged. Well, after a few weeks of intense playing and judging, I am here to bring you the “ins and outs” of what exactly EA has brought to the table this year.
Since FIFA 2013, the franchise has definitely slowed its progression, this being in an attempt to make their games more realistic. They haven’t really succeeded has us FIFA players would’ve hoped, but I think they might have done it this year with the new FIFA title.
If we compare this year’s title to the last year’s FIFA 17, we still get that same feel of slowness on certain movements, both on and off the ball. The players’ turns are still shoddy and weak; acceleration is still hindered by slow animation between passes; receiving the ball from a pass is still the most frustrating thing in the world and the actual uniqueness in players have not changed other than a handful of the greats. Overall, the animation and physics behind this title hasn’t seemed to have changed. The game is definitely still slow in its gameplay, but it does feel more responsive and they have cut out that input lag we experienced last year on passes, crosses, tackles, shots, turns, skills and almost every play on ball. The one thing I need to mention about gameplay, is the off the ball movement by the AI in this game. They have stepped up here and heard our complaints from previous years. The AI this year make smarter and more precise runs with the option to call in a runner being smarter and the off the ball run is more strategic rather than him running in a straight line behind the backline.
There is one thing you cannot take away from the FIFA franchise and that is their ability to create the most accurate portrayal of a football match. The game’s visuals are spot on and a lot more details has been put into smalls things that create the overall atmosphere of a real football stadium. My one gripe is that we were promise more individual traits in the footballers, rather than a blanket animation with different heights and speeds. We did not get as much as we thought, as previously mentioned, only a handful of players have been given this quality in the game. Understandably this is really difficult to get right immediately in one title due to the large amounts of motion capture that goes into these things, but then maybe hype it up as a progression or at least capture the biggest teams from each nation rather than players. This didn’t take away from the game, as they have spiced up the visuals in this game. The light and presentation of the pitches was simply beautiful. The game is still bright and vibrant as usual with crowds being set to give more realistic feedback to game situations, from boo’ing club traitors to crowd celebrations up close. Small things really made this game amazing, my personal favourite is hearing a stadium announcer reading out substitutions and the man of the match (Usually me).
This year sees “The Journey: Hunter Returns” make a continuation on last year’s new game mode. I finished it within days and to be honest it felt like the middle of a movie, not quite as exciting as the beginning but also no climax to wrap it all up, whether or not that means Alex will make another return is yet to be heard. Modes like Ultimate team and Pro Clubs have not really changed besides a few new additions like squad battles (Basically FUY against AI to qualify for your FUT league). FUT packs can also be unlocked now by completing Daily objectives such as “Score in the last minute with a Premier League player”.
The latest gimmicks that I feel are a last ditch attempt to salvage a change but actually do nothing are being able to make “quick subs” during replays, which are preselected quick subs chosen before the game and if nothing is selected then it acts as a recommended sub for a tired player. The second gimmick is the ability to actually have live transfers in Career Mode rather than just with contracts. Some people might fight me here, but I feel like they could made it even more streamline, it is fun to do for the first time few times but I imagine it being horrible after 3 or 4 seasons, even though now they contract agreements are agreed to immediately and you don’t have to wait a few “days”. Another addition to the transfer talks which is more on the positive side are the inclusions of release clauses and sell on percentages.
In my opinion, FIFA has stepped up this year, more so than in the last few years. The game is still awesome fun and is still the best football franchise title on the market.
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Age Rating: Pegi 3
Publisher/Developer: Electronic Arts, EA Sports, EA Canada
Estimated RRP: R799 – R999
Release Date: 29 September 2017
- Stadium Atmosphere, Chants and Audio
- Slow Gameplay
- The Journey Mode is stale