FIFA 18 – Xbox One Review
EA Glitches…they’re in the game!! Of course it’s FIFA 18
It’s that time of year guys where most relationships end and divorce’s are handed out left right and centre. Where you purposely cause an argument with the other half so she says you have to sleep on the couch, but we all know the real reason is to play FIFA! Most of you who read our reviews will have read that I absolutely loved Madden 18 and claimed that it could be bigger then FIFA this year and my word have the sales showed just how good it really is. So FIFA 18 has a lot of expectation and a lot to do to be considered the best sports game once again in my opinion.
Here at AbsoluteXbox we love everything about FIFA, we run tournaments left right and centre and hold very competitive seasons every year, with amazing prizes such as game give aways, and that can be found over at our sister site Absolute Gaming. So it would come as no surprise that FIFA 18 would be the biggest score in our little gaming network, well apart from Krusty because he doesn’t like FIFA (I know weird) and Chadji because I always beat him.
I would like to take a step just for a second, Real Madrid are arguably the single biggest football club of all time, multiple European trophies, multiple Spanish division titles, multiple Spanish cups and just a few world club champion cups to boot. Anybody who’s anybody wants the chance to play for the galacticos, it’s every young footballers dream to sign for Real Madrid and play for them. So how is it that in FIFA’s 23 year history it has only managed 3 of Real Madrid’s super megastars in terms of the covers. Roberto Carlos with a beast of a left foot in FIFA 2003, Kaka the prodigy (look how long that lasted) in 2011 and of course Cristiano Ronaldo 2018. Just to put it into prospective Wayne Rooney has appeared on the cover 6 times since 2006 equal only to the Greatest Of All Time Lionel Messi. Don’t get me wrong the players on the covers probably deserve it but I could be here all day listing players from Real Madrid’s past teams that were far better and more deserving.
Whilst I’m in the middle of ranting I may as well continue, there is no way a top game like FIFA can have so many problems. The glitches are horrific, the gameplay is slow and the servers are worse then Crystal Palaces league record this season. I know it is a big game and a lot of work goes into it and yes it is a relatively new engine they are running, but with all the planning, resources and time they have surely FIFA can manage to get a fully working game with no problems in a year. Most other big titles manage it so why can’t they. Just a few examples are, the referees for a start and their appeareance. If you look closely, you`ll see what I mean. Another is the damn celebrations, which really winds me up, some celebrations work normally, others well your players disappear under the stadium never to be seen again, and that’s if it goes to the cut scene, sometimes you can be left hanging by your team mates and left to be celebrating on your own, and then the game decides to go to the cut scene after. So you celebrate twice. Talk about milking it!! FIFA have to be really careful as PES is really catching up and I know a few players that have turned to PES and claimed it is much, much better.
Anyway that’s my rant almost over, the second part is the gameplay which I mentioned above. It has definitely changed from last year, where the focus was all bout improving defence and was a massive positive from previous years and the skill gap between players was dramatically decreased. What that meant was if you was just starting out and your amazing bronze squad was up against the likes of a player who spent £100’s and had Ronaldo, Messi etc. You had more of a chance of winning which was great for the game. But this year they seem to have completely forgotten about defence, as in you may as well just play with 10 up front. Whether you have Boateng or Bony in defence it really doesn’t matter, unless you are the AI you will probably miss everything. (Warning DO NOT play Bony in defence)
It isn’t all bad news though the lack of focus on defence has brought the best out of our strikers, making it less of a bore 0-0 draw to an exhilarating 7-7. If you have the right players you can almost score from anywhere on the pitch, making Ronaldo’s screamers in real life football look like something you see on the school ground. Nothing like smashing the top corner from 40 yards and thinking wow… that… was…. amazing! With the addition of some amazing new tricks like the newly dubbed “El Tornado”, the attacking play almost takes me back to the good old days of FIFA 14 which to be fair has been the bench mark for the last 3 years which hasn’t quite been reached since.
So what’s new this year? Well as expected there are a lot of new changes in “The Journey” and after playing Maddens version of the journey, it needed it. Not surprisingly after Alex Hunters 1st season everyone wanted to know what would happen next, with plenty of speculation about his future no surprise just like in real life he joins the transfer merry go round. With lots of talk on the rumour mill , the biggest names in football want him, or do they? Short of doing what Berahino did when he was at West Brom and driving to another clubs stadium and waiting outside hoping someone would sign him Alex’s deal falls through. Alex then needs to team up with his dad in the MLS to survive in the gruesome world of football. Personally I would have liked to have seen more choice in the journey, whether it would have been to stay at my current club an earn my back in the team or at least had a choice of teams that I could choose from the MLS clubs. This years journey is based mostly on his family and close friends which gives it a real touching feel to it, and surprisingly also allows you to play as fan favourite Danny Williams, and more surprisingly and possibly our next journey candidate Alex Hunters sister Kim. The only disappointment I can give to the journey is the IF cards they give out at the end, ok Danny Williams card is expected, but saying Hunter is the biggest thing in football I was expecting a much higher rated Ultimate Team card.
Whilst on the subject of Ultimate Team, big changes have also happened here as well, which has really improved Ultimate Team as a whole. No more do you have to put up with poor tournaments, no more do you have to spend thousands of precious coin to find that 1 player from Algeria to add to your team to compete. They have added the rather fascinating “Squad Battles” which is basically multiple games a day for a week, and you can carry some games over to the next day if needed, and the more points you get, the better the prizes. Even though the squads are chosen by players this game mode isn’t played against other competitors, it is against the computer. This is something I think they could possibly change because I play better against real life opponents (or maybe I just need better players). You get the most points by playing on “ultimate” difficulty which for me personally is a ball ache, best I can do at this moment in time is World-class. If you want the top prizes you need to be playing on the highest difficulty. They have also got rid of the Legend players and replaced them with icons, but to be fair its pretty much the same thing. Apart from that nothing else has changed, your seasons and FUT champions modes return.
The biggest and most notable of changes this year come in the form of Career Mode. I know, I was in shock as well as FIFA never do anything on career mode apart from add a few teams here and there. They have added transfer negotiations into the game, it took me a little while to find it, but you get to sit down and negotiate everything from price, years on their contracts, bonuses, and if you are selling a player you can even add on sell on clauses. I really think this is a very neat edition the only flaw is that nobody speaks, I would have liked to of heard some sort of voice included, even if it was a generic voice for all negotiations. But that is not the best new feature, the best thing that FIFA have added is quick subs. You get to chose 3 subs before the game, and during the game every time the ball goes out of play you can hold RT and chose from your 3 subs. This stops any unnecessary pausing (unless a different player gets injured or sent off) and lets you play the game uninterrupted. They have added something similar into Ultimate Team as well, which is great but it doesn’t work the same. In UT you only get a choice of a player on the pitch and a player on the bench, you don’t get to chose beforehand.
Lots of downs surround FIFA 18 this year which is so unfortunate, as some of the new additions to the game and really beefed it up and have been great. If they can figure out the bugs and quickly, it will surely beat PES hands down, but they have to move fast or they will end up like Barcelona, and missing out on their man (Coutinho).!
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Website: FIFA 18
Code supplied by XCN