FIFA 18 is definitely the best game in the entire FIFA Series. Find the reasons why in our full review.
Let me start by saying that the Frostbite Engine is really stunning the second time around. The improved player models and overall feel of the game is remarkable. It’s like you’re in Stamford Bridge, cheering the team on when you play at Home using Chelsea. I’ll be delving into this topic deeper later when I review the graphics of FIFA 18.
Covering all of the improvements on the game would surely take time. As of now, I’ll only be reviewing the things that struck me the most.
Playing the game is really fun and addicting, unless you’re a sore loser like me who rage quits when I lose against World Class Difficulty AI teams.
The first thing I’ve noticed when I started playing the game was the importance of pace. As you may know, previous FIFA’s were infuriating when it comes to the pace of the players. Imagine Mertesacker being able to catch up to a totally free and pacey Martial. This year? It looks like it has been fixed.
When you start up the FIFA 18 game for the first time, you’ll get to play as Real Madrid in a Champions League reenactment against Atletico Madrid. The moment I passed the ball to Gareth Bale, he was able to zip through past his defenders with ease — a really noticeable improvement from the previous games.
New player animations bridge the gap between the game and reality. Players really feel like themselves in the game. With the Real Player Motion Technology, it unlocks the responsiveness and player personality of a football player. Arjen Robben would now play like himself, swooping through the right wing using his popular left foot strike.
The passing feels realistic and accurate sometimes, especially when crossing the ball from the opposite flanks, unlike previous FIFA’s where crossing was really a struggle. You can’t just spam the pass button, expecting the passes to be accurately passed to the next player ala Barcelona’s Tiki-Taka Style as defenders can now cope up better with the passing. Although, it could still be done if you time your passes right and with accuracy.
Set pieces are still a pain to organize. I’m not really a fan of the camera angle once you take a free kick sometimes you can’t see if the ball is going in. But it’s a joy if you suddenly see the ball end up on the net.
Compared to FIFA 17, FIFA 18’s gameplay speed seems to be slowed down — which is a good thing, especially with video games that are on the road to becoming realistic.
One thing to note here is that the world’s best players like Messi and Ronaldo feel overpowered. They brush through every defenders using a plethora of skill moves that they and other 5 Star Skilled players could use.
The introduction of quick suggested substitutions is also a welcome addition. When playing the game, players tend to forget to substitute some of their tired players thus resulting into injuries and bad gameplay. FIFA has now solved this issue so that tired players can now be replaced easily without pausing the game.
As I’ve said before, Frostbite Engine the second time around is still a sight to see. The lighting looks superb and has set the overall vibe of playing the game the way it should be. Frostbite’s lighting make the player faces more lifelike.
Playing in different stadiums, especially those based from real ones, looks incredible at any time of the day. To put it short, there’s a realistic match day atmosphere. Previous FIFAs only focused on Player Models, but in FIFA 18 the Manager Models were also improved on. Jose Mourinho looks like himself now.
I never get tired of hearing Alan Smith and Martin Tyler’s voice during any FIFA Match. They’re the perfect commentators for the game as they help provide the realistic game day atmosphere fans deserve. Although, their script tend to get too repetitive at times.
It would be great if they could imitate 2K18’s Guest Commentary feature where popular Football icons can sit down and commentate with the duo. In-game chants are really great as well. I know this has been in previous FIFA’s as well but for some reason, this year’s football chants can be heard clearly unlike before. It really gives you the feeling that you’re watching the game inside the stadium as well.
The Journey – Alex Hunter
The FIFA 18 journey continues where last season’s story left off. Alex Hunter, now on his second season, is on the cusp of being an international football superstar. Similar to last year’s game, matches and training sessions along with the cutscenes make up the whole experience.
The script and dialogues were improved on from last year but there were some dialogue choices given that made no sense or impact to the overall story. Players were also introduced new features where you can customize Hunter’s appearance, apparel and even give him tattoos.
Some of Football’s biggest names also lent their acting skills and likeness for the game mode. Names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand and even Basketball superstar James Harden. Yes, even a basketball player is in the game maybe because of the EA Connection where James Harden is the cover athlete for NBA Live 18.
Overall, it was a great game mode but there were some missed opportunities that made it feel like the game was lacking something.
Manager Career Mode
FIFA 18 Manager Career Mode has been influenced by the Hunter Story mode as Dialogues between the Manager, Football Player and his agent were now introduced. Transfer negotiations usually take 5 video game days, normally, to finish. With the new features, you can now negotiate a transfer for a player in 1 single day only.
Having trouble choosing someone to sign for your team? Fret not. As you can sign all the players you want even on the Transfer Deadline day itself. This is a welcome sign of improvement on the Career Mode game. If you ever get tired of the cutscenes and dialogues, you can always go ahead and delegate the task to your assistant manager and he’ll be the one to handle the negotiations for you. The downside to this is it’ll take longer compared to when you handle the negotiation yourself.
Along with that, the new FIFA 18 Breaking News section is actually a subtle but great addition. Newly signed players end up being featured in a Team Billboard and in a Press Conference, usually with a short video and an image.
Aside from those improvements above, everything else seems to be the same.
FIFA’s number one gameplay mode introduced a new feature in Squad Battles. Squad battle is where you take on AI-Controlled Teams that were created by other FIFA Players — a perfect game mode for those offline players that have no access to PS Plus and Xbox Live.
Points are earned when you play and win your matches. Higher Difficulty games would yield higher points. At the end of each week, EA ranks all of the players and will give out Coins or in-game currency and valuable packs.
Aside from the new game mode, FIFA Ultimate Team seems to be the same in every aspect.
FIFA is in another league when it comes to its visual presentation of the game but issues with realism in its gameplay keep the game from being perfect. It’s a really great game even though there are some quirks that needs to be ironed out.
If I would give it a score, I’d rate it at 9/10. Sports games enthusiasts would definitely love this game and I highly recommend it.
You can get FIFA 18 at your nearest gaming store for the price of Php2,750.00.