FIFA 18 review

On October 18, 2017 by Ash Meehan

It’s that time of the year again as EA Sports has released the latest iteration of their FIFA series, FIFA 18, but does this latest FIFA game match that of last year’s FIFA 17, which saw the long-running series get a story mode? Well, let’s find out.

Overall, FIFA 18 is a safe title, yes there are new additions and the story mode called “The Journey” continues, but as someone who has played FIFA games since FIFA International Soccer on the Game Boy, FIFA 18 doesn’t offer the same spark as FIFA 17.

Starting off with “The Journey” you continue to play as Alex Hunter, who in his second season is considered a rising talent in the Premier League, but in FIFA 18 Hunter experiences the transfer market for the first time and learns just how volatile it can be. While Hunter is happy at his club, his agent tells him Real Madrid are interested in buying him, the lure of joining such a prestigious club fills Hunter with hope, but as deadline day approaches it turns out to the Real Madrid offer was a fake and now Hunter is left in no man’s land with neither his agent or club knowing what to do. Thankfully, Hunter’s estranged father is on hand to help as he becomes his new agent and gets him a deal with LA Galaxy. After playing through the MLS season you are once again on the move as a number of big European clubs are looking to sign you, once you pick a club you are tasked with helping them win their domestic league and cup.

While FIFA 18’s “The Journey” is bigger and better than its FIFA 17 counterpart, the story does seem to be a bit over the top with the transfer and family drama, the family drama includes Hunter learning he has a 16-year old step-sister who is, of course, a football player. When I played through the story mode I couldn’t help but feel the whole story felt like someone mashed together Goal II with a mid-afternoon soap opera, as everything felt like it was getting more and more outrageous as the story progressed, I mean at one point Alex Hunter goes to watch his sister’s international debut with Thierry Henry. While playing through the story you can make key decisions, which change the way the story progresses, but these decision prompts never made much sense, for example, the game doesn’t let you decide whether you should listen to what your father has to say when you discover you have a step-sister or storm out of the dinner you are in, instead you just storm out, something I wouldn’t associate with the Alex Hunter I was playing as.

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With that said when you go onto the pitch while playing “The Journey” the game now has a wider camera that can either follow the ball or just track Hunter, this small change allows for a far better field of vision. Also, while on the pitch you can make use of the new partnership system, which allows Hunter to be teammates with a famous player, as a striker I was partnered up with Thomas Muller and together we tore the defences apart with almost telepathic teamwork as Muller would ghost into the perfect passing locations and in return he would know exactly where I was on the pitch at all times.

Besides The Journey, FIFA 18 contains a number of additional modes, including Ultimate Team where you can create your own ultimate squad via card packs and play against other players or AI, and career mode where you can make your own player and attempt to turn it into the world’s best player. Outside of these two additional modes there is kick off, tournament, skill game and practice arena. If you want to test your skills against other players there are various online modes, which include seasons, pro-club and co-op seasons.

Now, let’s look at FIFA 18’s new gameplay features. As you might imagine with every new FIFA title EA Sports look to improve on previous iterations, with that said FIFA 18 sees an overhaul to the dribbling mechanic, new team styles and improved immersive match day atmosphere. While the improved dribbling mechanic is welcome as it makes the whole mechanic easier to understand and execute for casual players, the improved immersive atmosphere is lacking, I say this because match-day commentary is still repetitive with some lines of dialogue not making sense in regards to what is happening on the pitch, and crowds still feel paper thin as crowd shots mostly involve fans being happy or sad, however, with all that said the improved atmosphere does see on-pitch debris, which mostly consists of paper airplanes.

In terms of gameplay, the new dribbling mechanic makes it easier for attacking minded players to find and create space on the pitch, while it’s easier, it still feels great to use your dribbling skills to get past multiple opponents and score a goal. In regards to attacking, I found that FIFA 18 allowed for better counter-attack football as I found myself getting behind the defence of teams multiple times thanks to a well placed lobbed ball from a teammate.

While your teammates are capable of performing great passes and attacking plays, they are also capable of some stupid moves especially in “The Journey”, these moves include taking too long to release the ball after you called for a pass and thus leaving you offside, and taking shots on goal when a teammate is clearly in space.

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FIFA 18 is a rather dull game, while the improved dribbling mechanic allows for more creativity nothing else about the game stands out. With that said if you are a football fan, you will enjoy the game regardless.

Score: 6.5/10

Pros Cons
+ Improved dribbling mechanic   
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
 EA Vancouver EA Sports Sports 3+ PS4, XBone, PC, Switch September 29, 2017

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on FIFA 18, visit https://www.easports.com/fifa.

Author: Ash Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.