29th September2017. The day that many a football fan was waiting for. The day that FIFA 18 arrived. This game was supposed to be a huge improvement on the previous year’s work with a much anticipated continuation in the chapter of ‘The Journey’.
There are many Positives and negatives to FIFA 18:
Gameplay: To anyone who has played the previous version of the game, this is a much more realistic game. EA have managed to slow down the gameplay and put more focus on buildup play rather than just using pacey players. Earlier, it was easy to just knock the ball ahead and beat a defender for pace, but now, gradually EA have managed to reduce the effectiveness of pace. This brings back players with the pace of Per Mertesacker, Thiago Motta and Olivier Giroud into the game. The focus on buildup play means that now the game will be more dependent on the quality of the person playing the game rather than the pace of the players in the starting eleven.
This goal may not have counted but it shows how efficient the passing engine has become.
Penalties have changed. While it is a small change, it is a more realistic system compared to what one would encounter in PES. It is always tricky to incorporate penalties but this system of penalties is very realistic. FIFA has also improved its game-faces which now extends to the game faces of managers from famous non premier league clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, etc. Shooting via chips has improved too. The delightful chip shots are a lot more effective in FIFA 18. Another welcome change in this game is the the way a fake shot is played out. Better dribblers like Ronaldo, Sanchez, Hazard, Messi, Neymar, etc have a more fluid and different way of cutting back which makes it easier to evade a defender as it is for them in real life.
The beautiful chip is much more effective in this game.
The crowds and the feel of a real life football game have been improved too with distinct faces and more chants being recognised by FIFA. Crossing is another very important part of the game where huge improvements were required from last year. This year, one can make various kinds of crosses which will not be very easy for a keeper to catch. For long balls too, it really seems like the two people are fighting for a header at the end of a long ball. While playing, the battles for such headers look a lot more aggressive and realistic. The tackles made by a defender too look very realistic. Defending itself has been made harder than before which means players will have to concentrate while organizing the defence.
Cutting has become much more effective when done with the right player in the right situation.
Career Mode: A big step forward in Manager Mode is that the negotiations are a lot more realistic. Rather than just making your offer and awaiting a reply, the game actually makes you get in a room and negotiate with the opposing party where it could also happen that you or the opposing party storms out due to lack of agreement. Another small feature added is delegation. Using this, one can delegate negotiations to another person in the club with instructions about minimum and maximum amounts to be offered.
Miscellaneous: A small feature is the quick sub option. While selecting your squad, one could just select substitutions that they would make during the course of the game. Once the second half of the match would have started, during a break in play one would have the option to make such a substitution. If one has not put up any such quick substitutes, the game would suggest some based on fatigue. While some of these suggestions are illogical, it is nice to have such an option where you can make a substitution without having to pause the game. Like last year, when FIFA had a deal with the premier league for graphics, they now have a similar deal with La Liga for their match-day graphics which make those scorecards a lot more realistic.
Gameplay: Glitches, Glitches and oh so many glitches. Maybe it is just a few FIFA games but in my short experience I have seen a few glitches. While they may not directly affect the outcome of the action, things like legs moving in the wrong direction while shooting need to be fixed. The goal nets too look a little raw. A lot less realistic from last year. Although the crossing has definitely improved, sometimes it seems like it is a little bit too easy to score once a cross reaches its target. Sometimes the header would be straight to the keeper but to the amazement of users the keeper would dive and miss the ball completely. We need more aggression between the Defender and attacker in the box as well.
While crossing has improved, this also shows how easy it could be to sore from crosses.
Another issue is the ball control. Some people including me feel that the ball control has deteriorated. It is easier to be dispossessed by an opponent and sometimes the input does not give the expected action from the player. Another talking point is that some of the goals look unnatural from the way that they are struck by the scorer or the manner in which the buildup to the goal takes place.
Installation: Another negative about this game was the fact that people had to install the game even after downloading it. The full game is a massive 46 GB, but one can start using some features of it once the download reaches 10 GB. At 10 GB you are only allowed to use the demo features while the rest downloads. This led to many people who paid for early access with slower internet connection disappointed as 1 day of their 3 days early access would have gone in waiting for the entire game to download. FIFA could have mentioned that to people before they purchased the early access edition or even let the game start downloading a lot earlier than it did to ensure that people had the full game downloaded before the 26th of September.
Miscellaneous: The fact that FIFA are not allowed to use the Nou Camp in their game this year is disappointing. Regardless of PES’s license deal with Barcelona, FIFA could find a way to get the permissions to use the Nou Camp. Referee selection was a nice little addition to the game last year. This allowed one to select the referee they wanted in the match. Each referee was shown with details about his leniency towards giving cards. This feature isn’t available in FIFA 18 currently, though it could be added in the next update.
On the whole, the game is an improvement on FIFA 17 in many ways. The game feels a lot more realistic compared to last year. EA took a bold decision by slowing down the gameplay drastically . For now, it seems to have worked.
Featured Image via easports.