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Times Digital Download – FIFA 18
December 31, 2017 | 1:02 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
Improve your gaming skills with FIFA18
 
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When FIFA 18 was released a couple months ago, I didn’t have my laptop with me – it was being packed and bubble wrapped at the time. Now that it has arrived, though, I’ve sorta been making up for lost time, playing the games I love when I’ve had the time – not that there’s been a lot of it – to spare. One of them, near the top of the list, is FIFA 18.

If getting my new laptop was great, then being able to buy FIFA 18 at a 30% discount was even more so, but I would’ve gladly paid full price for it. EA Sports FIFA 18 is an excellent game, and is sure to be loved by football fans all over the world.

How can’t they? The graphics – which once again use the patented Frostbite Engine – which has been used across a slew of super-hit games, including Battlefield I, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars Battlefront, Dragon Age Inquisition, and the Need For Speed series among others – have been given a major facelift, but even that pales in comparison to the realities of the beautiful game that have been brought into this virtual offering.

For one, the game is a lot more unforgiving – while FIFA 17 did hold your hand, even if it was a tad sternly – FIFA 18 chucks you into the deep end of the game, and while it does offer you the trainer option, playing the game is like piloting a MiG fighter aircraft. Make one mistake and you could end up regretting it.



If your defenders are caught napping, for example, don’t expect the strikers to fluff their chances, and pray you have a good goalkeeper between the sticks. Nine times out of ten, you’re going to have him picking the ball out of the net, because those in front of him were so inept, and it’s the same at the other end as well. You might feed your best goal scorers pass after accurate pass, but don’t be surprised if they do fluff their lines more often than not.

To err is human, and this is a game that clearly emphasises that. All the computer does is use logic to exploit the weaknesses you’ve created for yourself, but therein lies the core appeal of the game. FIFA 18 is not just a game that motivates you to improve your players, but improve your own skills as well – you need to if you want to keep pace with it, and that is the key factor in drawing gamers in over and over again.

The game’s Career Mode has also been given some great-looking and much-appreciated additions. For one, negotiations to sign new players and afford existing ones fresh contracts are a lot more long-drawn out and unpredictable. It reminds me of the old-timey Western films, which would see two people who didn’t quite like each other face off at high noon. Pistols and chaps may have been replaced by blazers and spacious offices, but the stakes are just as high.

Offer a desultory amount to a prospective player, whose dealings are handled by their agents, those virtuous and honourable people who are only out to make money from their well-paid clients, and he walks off in a huff, with not so much as a ‘thank you very much, see you again’. Even if you do get your opening offer right, there are a series of other hurdles to jump over

While you might think these are a bit time-consuming and tedious, the truth is that these are now the realities of football, and in their Alex Hunter as possible to the game, EA Sports have made FIFA 18 a truly immersive experience. In any case, who doesn’t love the art of the deal?

That’s not all – the game has also introduced quick substitutes during a match, negating the need for players to pause the game, where the computer recommends players it thinks you need to turn the tide of a match you’re losing, or see you through to victory if you are ahead of the opposition. It may be a small footnote but it is a greatly convenient addition to FIFA 18.

Career Mode may be a fan favourite, but the addition gamers are most looking forward to are the sequel to The Journey, FIFA’s initiative to help you achieve virtual superstardom through the eyes (and feet) of Alex Hunter. Having now made a name for himself as an up-and-coming player, Alex – who was raised by his mother after his father walked out on them – now finds himself in the doldrums when his form takes a beating.

A stint away from Europe seems to be the best course of action for him, and Alex heads to the other side of the Atlantic to sign up for a Major League Soccer club, a move that has in part been arranged by no other than – surprise, surprise – his father – who now has a family of his own, and wants to reconnect with his son.

Or does he? Is Hunter Sr looking to build bridges, or just cash in on his son’s riches and glory? Alex is most understandably conflicted by this turn of events, but how will it pan out?

Well, to do that, you need to play the game, and immerse yourself into the incredible experience of FIFA 18. [email protected]

The Short and Skinny

Name: FIFA 18

Producers: EA Sports

Genre: Sports

What’s it about: FIFA 18 is EA Sports’ latest take on the superhit football series, which like many of the other recent offerings of the game, continues to raise the bar and exceed expectations among gamers the world over

Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

Where to buy: Origin, PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace, Amazon, Nintendo.com

IGN Rating: 8.1/10

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