FIFA 18: Further evolution or poor imitation?

FIFA 18: Weiterentwicklung oder müder Abklatsch?
Games 09/28/2017

This latest FIFA release doesn't come as a surprise – on the contrary, it is eagerly awaited by the fans year after year. Despite the loyal fanbase, it is always a challenge for developer EA to preserve the tried-and-true formula while at the same time providing enough new features; as well as to simply release a great new game. The pressure of expectation is even higher now that competitor Pro Evolution Soccer  is starting to move up the ranks, edging ever closer to the top dog: Gamers are starting to wonder how best to invest their money. FIFA 18 still has one major advantage: Even though the Brazilian and Chilean leagues have been replaced with fantasy leagues this year due to a lack of licensing, FIFA 18 nevertheless holds most exclusive rights.

Nevertheless, the question on everyone's lips is: Is FIFA 18 just FIFA 17  in new packaging? Or is it still worth purchasing the latest relea

Real Player Motion Technology: Motion capture on a whole new level

Capturing the movements of real people using motion capture is not a new concept. Even in older games like Beyond: Two Souls, the facial animation was so realistically rendered that there was no doubt as to which actors  had been used as models. FIFA 18 is using this technology to ensure that individual footballers use different styles of play.

The players in FIFA 18 are also categorised according to height and stature. Accordingly, not only are steps made smaller or larger, but shorter players are also significantly more agile, while larger players can put more power in their shots and can therefore be further away when taking them. In addition, fans will probably immediately notice Ronaldo's signature footwork. Together with other top players, he allowed his movements to be recorded via motion capture, so as to provide more realistic gameplay. Similarly, the virtual Robben also displays his signature arm movements. Furthermore, some players will ball their hands up into fists, while others will stretch out their fingers. These tiny details create a massive difference in terms of the game's atmosphere.

Hair, sweat, and freckles

In addition to body movements, the almost photorealistic facial animations really do create the feeling of being in amongst it all. So in FIFA 18, of course CR7 has perfectly styled hair. For players with their long hair worn out, the strands stick to their head toward the end of a sweaty game. Other impressive details are the beads of sweat running down the faces of the players; as well as their healthy, red glows showing the results of their exertion. Players can even take a moment to admire Ronaldo's delicate freckles. The developers have really pushed the limits in a new way with the Frostbite engine, serving up a true feast for the eyes.

"The Journey 2" and the game modes

In game modes, FIFA 18 uses the tried-and-true formula and thereby delivers us 50 hours of gameplay. Whether in career mode as an individual footballer or manager , or with an individually compiled Ultimate Team – gaming fun is guaranteed. The well-known and popular story mode, "The Journey", also continues. The story of young talent Alex Hunter continues in the style of a TV series. After seeing the Englishman's early triumphs, he now makes his way into the big wide world. FIFA 18 also offers an optional multiplayer mode, in which we can give Alex a makeover with tattoos and a new hairstyle.

Experience a true stadium-style celebration

Of course, it shouldn't just be the footballers themselves which look and feel real – the entire atmosphere of the game should be captured as realistically as possible. FIFA 18 has taken an important step in the right direction on this issue, committing plenty of time and energy to the spectators. The stands are more dynamically lit, and fans no longer all look alike. Especially nice: When a goal-scorer celebrates by running to the barrier, the fans enthusiastically stretch out towards them. The short sequences in between play make FIFA 18 almost feel like a live broadcast.

Conclusion: In many ways better than its predecessor

A great revolution is hardly to be expected for a game series releasing a successor every year. Nevertheless, FIFA 18 has addressed minor deficiencies across all areas, yet again clearly improving the entire game experience. The graphics are impressive right down the line and, thanks to movements now being recalculated for each frame, FIFA 18 also looks much smoother. Aside from the graphics, the gameplay is also impressive. Control is more direct, and the AI players behave in a more intelligent and cooperative manner. Passing is made easier as teammates open themselves up more frequently. Furthermore, the matches are more fun and the game's speed is slightly slower, allowing us to react better to the actions of our opponents.

So for those who really doubted it: FIFA 18 yet again guarantees loads of exciting gameplay, and has continued to improve upon last year's version.

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