FIFA 18 is a huge game and with so many new features and improvements across the board, I decided that instead of sitting down and tackling the game by myself, I contacted a huge FIFA fan to get his feedback on the game too. Brandon Labuschagne is a dear friend of mine and not only does he live and breath FIFA, he also only owns one series on his PS4 and that is none other than FIFA itself. What better person to chat about a game than a person who only plays that game?
“I’m more used to small upgrades year on year but I must say this year FIFA 18 has pulled out all the stops and made a game I will enjoy for the next year. The game feels more compact, passing feels more realistic and fluid, players on ball control is sharper and more like we use to seeing on live TV. All this with amazing graphics and multiple online and offline modes and this game has revolutionised Football games going forward.
The Developers have performed magic here as I was on the verge of giving up buying FIFA games year on year as I didn’t feel I was getting my monies worth, but this year we have an understanding of where and how the Franchise are likely to keep this game on top. Gameplay is far more realistic from the previous year, where players attribute actually mean something and can be seen on the field. Last year a centre-back could keep up with a wingers pace stride for stride, or that centre-forward would always overpower centre-backs in the air making it so predictable and really aggravating to play. You could buy a cheap tall striker and never lose an air challenge. Peter Crouch was the best for
As for the defending side of the game, it's more complicated than the previous year making the controller sit up and be more aware of the surroundings before committing to a challenge. The more advanced systems available such as player errors, a defender may have the ball taken off him or some random error of judgement while completing his last action making the game an entertainment for the die-hard FIFA fan. The end results are sublime.
Previous years games felt lethargic, non-realistic and far from the sport you see week in week out on the TV. However this year they have unlocked Pandora’s box where the game is smooth, fast and very responsive. Players body language on and off the ball seems a huge upgrade, sharper movements and realistic sprinting, opposed to the running around a ball like a headless chicken. Gone are the days of bumping the ball long and sprinting after it.
One thing I always felt PES had over FIFA was the fluidness and responsiveness of passes by players on and off the ball, but no longer is this the case. FIFA has now opened up the game and the tactical goals you may score is like watching Barcelona of old tick tack all 90 min. All this magic put together with the amazing new graphics makes you feel alive again inside. The crowd, the lighting, the players all look great, gone are the days of them having player's faces looking like the just climbed out of a Wallace and Gromit movie. The players look amazing and even fatigue with sweat and dirt from the pitch. Come 90 in a player looks the part.
The game moves offline have made some improvements. The manager mode made a huge change, allowing for live transfer negotiations. Now when you request to buy, sell or renew a player’s contract, a representative appears in your office, where you may use multiple tactics to get the deal over the line. The only downfall I see here is that it’s all done on mute and seems to feel repetitive after a while. Never the less a big sign of intent from FIFA.
FIFA has also released a new story mode, this story is far more energetic and touching, to say the least. It follows the journey of Alex Hunter who was the main guy in last year's FIFA 17 The Journey too. This year the game's story mode has a greater emphasis on decisions you make and the overall connection between player and Hunter feels better than ever. When done, one feels a sense of achievement. The graphics once again are sharp and on point, customisation is far better with more options from boots to tattoos. This is all carried on throughout the game and across each and every mode. It also makes a big difference that the game runs superbly on the PS4 Pro and in 4K HDR too. HDR brings the game to life like never before with the specular highlights looking fantastic on screen as then fly across the screen when you open an FUT pack.
As for the cons, not many but could be improved, is for more football crazy players that want that more analytical side to shine through in the game. Tactics could be revolutionised to reflect a team’s calibre more. Updated management tactical styles also need attention. The styles remain the same year on year not allowing us end user to feel in the game enough.
Overall I feel this game is 100% better than the previous year, simply brilliant and exactly what us die-hard fans have been waiting almost 5 years to see. If this is indeed a signal of intent from FIFA as to where the game is going, I can’t even begin to imagine the game in the following year to come.”
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch | Played On: PS4 Pro | Release Date: 29 September 2017 | RRP: R999