Alvin Thomas looks ahead to next year’s World Cup in Russia with a game to take on the world.
The king of all sports games is back. Yes, folks, FIFA 18 is here – a full three months before the start of 2018 – and it is close to being the best game ever to have come out of the EA stables; at least, since the same title from 2015.
You see, I have a bone to pick with the developers: Of late, FIFA games have lost their arcade-like responsiveness in favour of a stiffer and mechanical physics engine, making it a very frustrating game to play. FIFA 17 is no exception.
In retrospect, its competitor – Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PES) – was light-years ahead of its counterpart. I know fanboys will chuckle at me for saying that.
In response, FIFA 18 addresses the previous titles’ on-pitch inconsistencies, thereby making it a more formidable game for players. It’s closer to FIFA 15 – the benchmark – than ever before, and it brings numerous new features to the table. Think of it as merging the best of both worlds.
Soft-tackles and slides are more natural now, and even rookies can take control of the game swiftly. FIFA 17 was notorious for its difficult and unnatural tackling and sprinting. While all of this may sound granular and insignificant, these changes give the game its edge.
Also new for 2018 is newer and prettier in-game lighting, which helps bring the stadium to life. The crowd reactions are enthusiastic and dynamic, too; meaning, you don’t see chants repeated in your games. For example, Spanish matches are received by fans with drums and vuvuzelas while the English crowds take gibes at the away team (it’s a bad time to be an Arsenal player, I tell you).
Meanwhile, the in-game commentary is superb, and even the lineups are read out by the stadium announcers, making it feel life-like. It is also commendable that the commentators discuss real-life transfers and results; it’s uncanny, sometimes.
Together, however, all of this makes way for a very special gaming experience.
It’s almost like you’re partaking in an actual game of football… you know, from your sofa.
In true FIFA fashion, there are several game modes: Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and Ultimate Team. Of course, you can also enter live auction players and use your in-game coins or real cash to purchase players; it’s a dream come true for online gamblers (KSI and Miniminter can get back in the game, after years of absence from the scene).
This is also where FIFA excels over PES: it captures the true essence of world of football and wraps it into a game CD.