Select Page

FIFA Review: Same old, same old?

Georgia Dack

Georgia is the website entertainment editor and is also an English literature and Film student; she (unsurprisingly) enjoys & likes to write about cinema, tv shows, books, music, and culture.

Considering the fact that it is released annually, waiting for Triple-A titles such as FIFA is arguably ludicrous; however, the release of FIFA 18 has been a curious one for me. Have EA exploited Ultimate Team for “loot crates”, and has the gameplay actually evolved?

Gameplay- Is it actually any different?

Writing about FIFA’s gameplay could arguably be seen as controversial as, naturally, everyone has a favourite FIFA according to their play style. That’s why I miss the days of FIFA 12’s use of pace and FIFA 13/14’s long shots. This year, however, EA have seemingly listened to my prayers, as both pace and shooting seem to be more accurate and powerful than I’ve previously seen in recent editions. As a result, there seems to be more of an “arcade” feel to FIFA 18, which I feel has been missing lately, with realism being prioritised more than anything else.

That’s not to say realism has been bad for FIFA – I can now literally count the hairs on Ronaldo’s left leg. However, EA’s idea of realism tended to revolve around slowing players down, limiting their skill ability and generally frustrating the player more than entertaining them. Now rather than throwing your controller against a wall, FIFA comes across as an entertainment product, with, for example, first-time passing now actually being a working game mechanic.

However, all these positives about gameplay have all contributed to one field of play: attacking. As a result, defending is a nightmare for those non-professional gamers who haven’t’ dedicated their life to it. Slide tackles, now the only effective way of tackling an opponent, are a tricky mistress; if you were to so much as blink an eye when making one, you can say goodbye to that defender, because they got sent off when you pressed that button.

The Journey (Spoilers ahead!)

FIFA’s flagship last year was one of wonderment when it came out, no effort had ever been made for an in-depth personal career mode. It helped that they had Mario Gotze advertised with the game, a character you could supposedly meet. Overall, I enjoyed it last year, but came away with a feeling of there not being much complexity. Decisions made were often black and white, and whilst Alex Hunter was a likable protagonist, he came across as more of generic EA character no. 754. So, EA’s clever idea was to transfer him away from all those decisions you made last year with no consequence.

No matter what you do, Hunter moves to LA Galaxy. No matter what affiliation you had with your previous club, it’s out of the door with you, because EA said so. I wouldn’t mind if there was a sufficient reason why, but I feel like it’s a botch job, not to spoil much. There are admittedly some genuine moments of gameplay; I appreciated playing as Kim Hunter, Alex’s step-sister, as it naturally promotes equality, and allowing you to sign either Muller, Griezmann or Dele Alli (you’ll never guess who I chose). But that’s only after I was forced to move again to PSG, which again, felt more forced to fill the criteria: “making something happen here”.

More importantly, the Journey has reached what I like to call ‘the GTA problem’. Bigger is most certainly better in these games – more options, more characters and more scenarios – but the gameplay is still the same. I admittedly stopped playing the Journey last year because, after a certain point, nothing happens besides: play match, and well, that’s it. This isn’t an easy solution for EA to fix, but there does need to be some originality somewhere. I don’t necessarily know the answer, but repetitive gameplay has always been FIFA’s Achilles heel.

Ultimate Team and Career Mode

2017: The year of the Loot Box. If you’re a FIFA fan you’ll know that EA jumped on this bandwagon about 7 years ago now. Ultimate Team’s selling point in terms of essentially gambling for players has always had an air of controversy about it, however, I think EA did the right thing and merely left “packs” as they were. However, EA have done little to remedy the repetitious gameplay in Ultimate Team, with the only significant edition being daily and weekly objectives. If you were to complete these, you get rewarded in packs and coins varying in desirability depending on the difficulty of the objective. Seem simple?

But as much as it is easy money, it is also annoying and hardly the incentive I need drawing me back. It’s the reason I gave up on freemium games, with notifications popping up left, right and centre, often for very little rewards. As always in Ultimate Team, if you want the big bucks, you pay for them.

Now, Career Mode is an interesting aspect, having not played it in recent years for being (guess what) too repetitive. But the much-hyped feature this year is actually being involved in negotiations with players and managers, and not over the old, ancient email, yet this is more of a gameplay gimmick rather than a step forward. The same decisions are made that you would have made in previous editions, but now in person. Hooray.

So is FIFA 18 worth buying? Yes. Whilst it has its ever-present flaws, the gameplay has actually improved for the first time since FIFA 12. They may not have succeeded every time, but this year, it’s evident that EA have at least tried.

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Tweets

  • Today is ! Head down to see some great student bands!
  • Update for those graduating: Additional graduation tickets will be available for purchase from 10am on Wednesday 1st June
  • ENTERTAINMENT | Jack Hsuan reviews PC game !…
  • Lecturer strikes start today. Read why here…
  • Update: Exams which are set to take place at the same time as the lecturer strikes will go ahead as normal.…


Latest Issue

Latest Issue

Recent Posts