[Review] FIFA 18 Continues Its Journey Forward

Story (The Journey)
Reader Rating1 Votes
The Good
The Journey continues to entertain
Great graphics
Gameplay tweaks make for dynamic gaming
The Bad
More can be done for player career mode

Sports simulations like FIFA 18 fall in a unique space within the gaming community like none other. It is one of the only genres, where its fans might not really consider playing any other game. This is the ‘gamer’ that spends time watching the sport on TV cheering on his team, has a game every so often with his or her mates and eagerly waits for the next edition of the game and shells out money for a roster update.

These are the games that have a captive audience and also tend to get complacent and never really strive to break new ground. With FIFA 17, we were first introduced to the shiny new Frostbite engine and it was well applied in ‘The Journey’.

This year, fans will be happy to hear that The Journey not only returns, but has evolved as well. Player models have never looked better and the physics of the game are more accurate.


Frostbite brings smoother gameplay and better looking player models

In the never ending debate on which is better, traditionally Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has always had the better football mechanics. Each year though, the gap seems to be getting smaller. FIFA 18 has seen definite improvement in the way the teams move and co-ordinate attacks.

New Dribbling mechanics give you greater control allow you to run at, and past, defenders. Launching an attack is a whole lot more dynamic as you transition from a few short passes and close control to a blitz. It’s quite the sight to see a winger gallop along the touchline, pushing the ball forward as he evades a challenge without breaking stride.

The new crossing controls also mean that your wingers and wing-backs are all the more deadlier as they whip a cross into the box for an oncoming teammate to majestically thump into the net. It is a whole lot easier to control the placement (near, middle and far) of the ball and get to the player you intended to.

EA’s motion capture techniques have allowed the game to showcase some of the best player models ever seen. Players run and move the way they are supposed to, and look good doing it.

The Journey continues

Thierry Henry joins a star-studded cast in The Journey.

Alex Hunter is back and his Journey Continues in FIFA 18. The Journey story-mode which was first introduced in FIFA 17, brings back the original cast and introduces us to a couple more new characters and expands on the Hunter-verse as you experience short, standalone stories with new playable characters that Alex meets.

I was very impressed when the Journey was first introduced, and I have to say, it’s only gotten better. FIFA is starting to do a whole lot more with the Journey to help immerse fans into the world of pro-football. The Journey gives us a behind the scenes look at the complexities of agents and transfers from the player point of view.

In the era of BBC, MSN and the newly formed MNC (Mbappe-Neymar-Cavani), the Journey is a throw-back to the classic strike duo as you develop a strike partnership to deliver glory to your club.

The Journey continues to be a star studded experience with appearances from Thierry Henry and Antoine Griezmann to cover star Christiano Ronaldo. Even NBA’s James Harden makes a couple of appearances.

Play futsal in Rio

The Journey is truly an enjoyable aspect to the FIFA franchise that sets it apart from PES. I loved the fact that you start off in a short futsal match in Rio. I’m hoping that’s a game mode option in the future.

Build the Ultimate Team

Ronaldo Nazario is just one of the FUT Icons you can use.

FIFA 18 brings a few new changes to FUT as well. Fans can now discover new daily objectives, compete for weekly rewards in Squad Battles, watch the world’s best players on Champions Channel, and have a chance to play with legends of football with FUT ICONS such as Ronaldo Nazário, Diego Maradona, Pelé, Ronaldinho and Lev Yashin.

The new single player Squad Battles will allow you to take on other squads from the FUT community to earn rewards and move up the leaderboards. In the Featured Squad Battle, you can challenge the squads of football players, pro FIFA players and celebrities to test your skills and build your team.

In addition to brand new ways to play and earn rewards, squad building challenges, FUT Draft, FUT Seasons and FUT Champions modes return to FIFA 18 as well.

Goal or no goal?

FIFA 18 does well to build up on the advancements in FIFA 17. The Journey is definitely a game changer when it comes to seeing off the competition. Every year the gap between the two football simulations becomes smaller and The Journey offers a mode that the PES just has no answer for.

Much has been made about the implementation of the Frostbite engine… and it shows. There are various implementations from weather effects to player models and stadiums that brings a level of realism every football fan craves for.

While not perfect (I still hate the ‘new’ penalty system) and I feel there hasn’t been enough done to push the player career mode forward, FIFA 18 scores and is a must buy in my book for the football fan.

FIFA 18 is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC from 29 September 2017.

PlayStation 4 FIFA 18 Bundle

Sony have announced that a PlayStation 4 FIFA 18 Bundle Pack will be launched on 29th September at a suggested retail price of SGD 479.

The bundle will include the following:

  • PS4 (500GB) console
  • PS4 FIFA 18 Blu-ray disc
  • DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller x 1
  • PlayStation One-Year extended warranty service voucher card
  • 3-month PS Plus subscription card
  • Special limited edition bonus: Download code for FIFA Ultimate Team Rare Players Pack and 3 ICON loan players

The FIFA 18 for PlayStation 4 comes in 3 different editions:

Standard Edition (Digital version SRP: SGD 79.90); Ronaldo Edition (SRP: SGD 104.90, digital version only)

  • Three Days Early Access
  • Cristiano Ronaldo 5-match FUT Loan
  • 20 Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (1 per week over 20 weeks)
  • 8 Special Edition FUT Kits
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Theme (For Pre-order Only)

ICON Edition (SRP: SGD 119.90, digital version only)

  • Three Days Early Access
  • Cristiano Ronaldo 5-match FUT Loan
  • 20 Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (1 per week over 20 weeks)
  • 8 Special Edition FUT Kits
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Theme (For Pre-order Only)