"#FIFA 18" is finally available on consoles and PC, but the question remains whether #EA did enough to justify dropping $60 to upgrade from the previous entry. With "#Pro Evolution Soccer 2018" proving to be a decent but not particularly groundbreaking addition to Konami's franchise, EA has a great opportunity to close the gap when it comes to the gameplay.

Off the pitch, "FIFA" has always dominated with a slew of addictive online modes and an impressive selection of official teams. While that has proven to be enough for fans to choose it above "Pro Evolution Soccer," the gameplay felt lacking in comparison.

Although not downright terrible, Konami perfected the passing game in recent years to such a degree which completely overshadowed its competition.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Gameplay

Konami's recent success might be its biggest weakness as "Pro Evolution Soccer 2018" could only tweak the formula from the previous entry. Due to that, the gameplay feels almost identical.

On the other hand, "FIFA 18" is a more substantial leap forward. Movement is greatly enhanced over the 2017 version, with real player motion technology being used to make sure the in-game players move like their real-life counterparts. More important, the AI has been tweaked and should show some more variety in terms of tactics. While this might not be an issue for those who only play "Ultimate Team," "Career Mode" is plagued by matches which feel exactly the same due to the opposition playing at the same tempo.

Player control seems to define "FIFA 18," with gamers having more of a say on where a cross or free-kick eventually lands.

Advertisements

This does not make the games easier either, as goalkeepers have also received a substantial upgrade.

Whether it is better than "PES 2018" is debatable, but there is enough here to warrant an upgrade.

Online and other modes

While "Ultimate Team" is mostly intact, the best addition is a new web app which is considerably more intuitive than the previous outings. Otherwise, this offers more of what most people enjoy.

Alex Hunter's story continues in "FIFA 18," and it probably is where the most time and effort went. Offering well over ten hours of game-time, Hunter continues to be a well-realized character, and the story progression is engrossing. "Career Mode" got a slight tune-up, with the inclusion of a new transfer negotiation system, it but remains an afterthought. EA clearly knows it is not the reason their game sells.