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Javier Reviews – Fifa 18

 

I decided to miss FIFA 17 and whilst playing FIFA 18 all I can think is WHYY??!

It may because I barely played the last FIFA but this game plays and looks so good and there are many little changes which make this game thoroughly enjoyable. Deep down it’s still the same old FIFA but I’m already planning which lower league team I want to do a 3 year career with (Orlando Pirates).

Gameplay and Gameplay modes.

Overall the game plays fantastically, especially if you’re an attacking team like Madrid. I support Real Madrid so have spent a fair bit of time using them, players like Ronaldo and Bale clearly have their own style of play and celebrations which is a nice touch.

Attacking mechanics, especially dribbling, have had a massive improvement which makes the midfield game much more interesting and enjoyable. Players are far more intuitive and will make clever runs off of your attack whilst (if you’re using the right player/team) you can take the ball into a mob of defenders to draw them away from the wing.

On the other end of things this makes defending tough as you can no longer just hold L2 and X and hope your players obstruct the attack. You need to ensure your defenders aren’t drawn out of position and are sticking to their man to keep up a solid defence. This can take a lot of control and constant switching between players to make sure the AI isn’t being silly.

They’ve also changed weather conditions drastically. Weather can affect the touches you take and how the ball travels, it even affects players between games as they get frustrated with their poor performance. It’s features like this that bring FIFA closer to the real game.

Quick substitutions have been added so you can set up your subs before the game starts and any time the game stops (for a throw in or foul etc.) you can hold R2 and choose your quick sub, saving you having to pause and go into team management, this is a really neat addition.

The atmosphere of grounds has also had a massive overhaul. Graphics have been added for more foreign leagues such as the bundesliga, la liga and MLS; they’ve even added pyro to the MLS when you score a goal. The crowd are also no longer 2D sprites made of 20,000 of the same character model, many more different faces are now behind the goal and they often react in the right ways. Additionally many more stadiums have the right ‘sounds’ as many more stadiums have had the crowds recorded and added in.

Career Mode

Career mode has had a few nice additions which make it more personal and interactive. You now choose your manager model (although I wish you could create your own) who stands at the side lines instructing the team. They’ve also added in cut scenes for contract negotiations where ‘you’ meet up with the manager and then the player to negotiate a transfer fee and wages etc. these are very nice touches. I’ve personally started two manager careers, one with Real Madrid and another where I’ve brought the Orlando Pirates into league two and am going to bring them up through the leagues. This second option is really challenging as you really need to think about whom you’re selling and buying and focus heavily on training.

Online

I’ve done a few ‘seasons’ with a friend which are essentially a best of 5. Again there are some really nice little changes such as a statistics which show how many goals you’ve each scored, overall possession etc. and when you win the season there’s a nice little trophy lift, which helps you rub it in a little bit more!

Journey Mode (I guess Story..?)

I had only briefly played journey mode on the last game so I was really excited to try it on here and play it properly. I’m really enjoying it so far. It opens with a kind of FIFA street game in Brazil to get you into it and follows Alex as he potentially transfers away from your chosen club. I love that you can customise Alex and the customisation depends on your personality (different hairstyles depending on if you’re cool or fiery) and the in game challenges and rating really add an extra pressure.

All of the game modes are great because the gameplay is great which is a key to any good game. As you play more you pick up more little tricks and techniques which make the whole game more exciting.

Graphics

It’s a really good looking game and the players who’ve they spent time on look fantastic (there are players who look awful, even a rising star like Asensio, but apparently will soon be updated in a patch). There are clearly quite a few character models from a few years ago for players who haven’t had their hair updated or look really young but the players who they’ve spent time on look completely fantastic. You quickly grow used to the graphics and how good it looks but it’s a bloody beautiful game, made better with nice touches like the grass being marked where a slide tackle has happened.

The only things that mark the game down is that it is a repeat every year with little things added in, and they definitely hold back features so they have something to release next year. It’s also not perfect (the commentary is still crap) and they could do more like having a customisable manager, but there aren’t many (if any other) games that I can say I’m going to be playing for the next year probably at least once a week and I still think it’s by far the best multiplayer game for online or couch. Also I’m massively biased as there’s been a massive focus on Real Madrid and Ronaldo is finally on the cover 😉

8/10

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