Every football fan waits for September to roll around as a new season of optimism begins on and off the field.
Yes, it’s the release of the biggest selling sports game, FIFA, to release its latest edition.
Whether you loved FIFA 17 or hated it lets all be honest here and admit we were all going to get hold of FIFA 18 as soon as we could. Alex Hunter makes another sprightly appearance whilst new additions have been made to both Ultimate Team and Career Mode.
More new features have been added than ever before to give the game a real sense of reality.
This year EA have gone all out to try and make FIFA as realistic as possible. They have really tapped into the way football is being played every week to give us virtual players a real sense of what it must feel like.
In Play Features
Remember those days in FIFA when you used to be on the ball with Cristiano Ronaldo taking on Per Mertesacker for pace and somehow the big German would win the battle. Well hopefully those monstrosities won’t be occurring anymore with the new feature called real player motion.
If you want to be able to turn on a six pence like Antoinne Griezmann or dribble like Cristiano Ronaldo this is now achievable. Obviously not in reality but thanks to FIFA’s additions of player traits your players will do the business for you on the pitch.
Other major changes include the ability to pick certain crosses such as whipped, arched, pinged and back stick to allow for more customisation to your play. Dribbling and your players first touch has also become a lot harder to get right. Long gone are the days where a pinged ball would just stick to your players feet. Now they bounce of in all different directions meaning much more thought is needed.
As much as these more realistic improvements have added to the game, some also take away. The complexity of defending is just becoming somewhat annoying.
It’s okay for the regular player of the game but jockeying and perfecting when exactly to make your tackle to a relative amateur is becoming harder every year.
Often a game mode which is somewhat forgotten about due to the popularity of Ultimate Team, but this season certainly sees a major addition to the mode.
Have you ever wanted to get fully involved in your sides transfers? Meeting agents and players and offering the best deals face to face. Well now you can thanks to new and improved player negotiations.
If you think you can be some wheeler dealer though like Harry Redknapp think again. Offer anything lower than what the other club expect then don’t be surprised if they walk out on you. Keeping friendly terms with clubs is very important.
Team styles and immersive atmospheres have also added to the Career Mode spectacle. Now if you’re in charge at Liverpool and you go to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United then expect a hot reception. Specific club banners and chants will make you feel as close to reality as possible. The passion of a fiery derby has never been so touchable.
A quick sub feature has also helped the speed of the game. A press of a button and your players are on and off the pitch quicker than Raheem Sterling runs.
As much as has been added to make the game mode better on the field many including myself feel that the improvements haven’t quite gone far enough. More needs to be done to spruce up the menu’s and possibly challenged within the mode to make it more enjoyable.
Every year Ultimate Team continues to improve and highlight why it’s the best mode in the game. The smallest of changes make this mode fresh and allows for it to remain the most exciting part of FIFA.
Legends have been scrapped this year and have been replaced with icons. Simply put you can now get certain players for example Ronaldinho at three different stages in his career. The ratings get higher as the cards indicate when they were in their primes.
Pack openings have also become even more enjoyable if that was possible. The new walkout feature allows the best players in the game to appear from the pack with your club kit on with a tonne of fireworks surrounding them in what can only be described as a spectacle.
The weekend league continues to play a prominent part in the mode however there were very little changes to this mode to make it any more tempting. The only real added feature allows you to watch the pro players in their games and realise just why were not at that level.
Forget the weekend league though, if you don’t want to break numerous controllers and ruin your weekend with rage then try out its little brother. The new addition of Squad Battles has been the biggest hit.
Its uncanny how similar it is to the Weekend League however it runs all week with you playing offline against people’s squads to earn rewards. It incorporates the joys of Weekend League without the stresses to make for a perfect game mode.
Single player rewards used to be a little on the poor side, but the rewards gathered from Squad Battles are surprisingly worthwhile for your efforts.
As much Ultimate Team offers there are still holes that need to be plugged. New formations and improved custom tactics are a must with the ever-changing play you see every week. Squad Building Challenges could have also done with a revamp, but we can’t have it all.
Overall, it’s a game that has come on leaps and bounds from last year and has really allowed us all to at least for the hours we play it feel like were a professional footballer. Its brought virtual gaming as close to reality as possible and with new features has certainly added excitement. Improvements are still there to be made but this game is the Real Madrid of FIFA’s. Strong all round with flare and added extras in abundance.