Not only are Friends List leagues and tournaments possible in FUT18, but you can also represent your part of the world in the EA Sports Interactive Leagues mode that debuted in the regular Xbox version of FIFA 17.
FIFA 18 Tournament mode on xbox
EA Sports has also carried over its Be-a-Pro mode from Madden which allows players to lock into a single role for an entire match. And, stop the presses, Be a Pro will soon support five-on-five human action online, which is abnormal for an EA Sports title. We ’re not sure why the decision was made to release this upgrade via DLC after the gameÂ’s release, but we applaud the decision to even try such a thing. Even the video upload feature seen in everything from sci-fi shooters to racing games has been added to FIFA 18, which allows highlight reels to be created from the myriad game modes, and uploaded to an EA-hosted website. A new Tournament mode (over fifty authentic tourneys) and the same comprehensive manager mode as in recent FIFA titles rounds out the true definition of robustness in video game form.
The area of the next-gen FIFA franchise that unarguably needed the most attention was player control. Independent player and ball physics was a bold step in FIFA 17, but one that resulted in a bit of incongruity between user inputs and character actions. Much of the jumpiness from animation-to-animation has been rectified in FIFA 18, even though additional moves and animations have been added. An entire linkable skill move set is now in place for the advanced player that doesnÂ’t mind using the analog controls in a fighting-game like fashion. A left trigger modifier allows the left and right analog sticks to work similar to Fight Night punches, pulling off everything from step-overs to rainbow kicks. This new system is still a bit clunky though, as it muddies up the animation transitions once again, but thereÂ’s some real promise here when the system is combined with independent ball physics moments (similar to the result of NHL 18’s new Skill Stick system).
Animations and player control in FIFA 18
It seemed fitting for Electronic Arts to clean up the shooting dynamic while they were tweaking the player control. FIFA 18 features a ball striking system more advanced than pretty much any other sport out there, taking into account player balance and speed, the height and bounce of the ball and the actual ranking of the character taking the kick. EA also paid particular attention to the fact that shots taken further out need more effort than those shot at close range, so the shooting gauge was re-mapped to reflect this. The gauge still seems a bit too sensitive for our tastes (even the shortest of button holds tends to create an 80%+ power shot) and could use some finer tuning. We do however love the new shot aiming system and the ability to set it to Assisted (shooting at left, right or center of the net), Semi-Assisted (the CPU computes the best quadrant for shot success) and Manual (player shoots exactly where you aim).
EA is finally taking a ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ attitude with their sports franchises, and it appears to be working. The gaming juggernaut is slowly building allegiances with the harder-core gamers that have been dogging the company for not stepping up as of late, which, in the long run, simply means better games for all of us. FIFA 18 is the embodiment of EA’s new attitude toward their SKUÂ’s quality and substance.
While this current FIFA is solid, EA still needs to put its best cleat forward and utilize this latest SKU as a stepping stone toward soccer game nirvana. FUT 18 is, however, an authoritative crossover step in the right direction.