Author: Andre Sooklal, PERFORM Sports Media Correspondent, Flow Sports Host, BA Sport Management
With the World Cup just a few days away, many FIFA18 fans got excited when it was announced that on May 29th, 2018, EASports would be releasing its FIFA World Cup 2018 update. Of course it’s no big secret; I am a huge fan of the series, dating all the way back to 1994. So it comes as no surprise that I was one of those fans. So now that is has been downloaded and installed, I wasted no time in playing the game and giving my thoughts. So like my FIFA 18 review before this, I broke it down to some quick pros and cons so let’s get into it!
IT’S FREE !
So one of the main issues many gamers have had over the years with the franchise are those horrid games that they sell to you when major tournaments come around. We of course being the fans that we are get them anyway but we all know how we felt afterwards, they were usually condensed versions of the game, which came off as a quick cash grab, and you would honestly forget about it after a month or so. The game play was usually different and it basically felt very unfulfilling and a waste of money. However, this time around it seems EASports has learned its lesson and listened to the loyal fans of the franchise and decided to give us an update, instead of having to fork out cash for a game that is usually not well received. I remember purchasing the World Cup 2006 game, primarily because my country (Trinidad & Tobago) qualified but like all the other games before them I was left easily bored. So it is definitely a positive step by EA SPORTS to let the fans have this one for free.
IT’S THE SAME GAME (And that’s a good thing!)
Just to build on the first point, one of the many criticisms of the former EA Sports releases was that the games felt like an entirely new game and not in a good way! They would often introduce new gaming mechanics, in what I assume was an attempt to make the game more fresh, but just came off as annoying. This time around, the update transitions smoothly into the existing game. It is a welcome surprise and makes the update far more appealing. The original interface is there and you have the option to just play the standard game or play the Fifa World Cup campaign. This is a classic case of where not changing things too much is a good thing. If you like the update or not, you can still go back to the original game and continue and it does not feel like a slap in the face like the previous versions which were sold separately. The game play seems to be a bit slower, and this is great for players who empathize pace only; it adds a sense of balance. At least, other than that for now, there are no obviously outstanding changes to the game mechanics (At least in my eyes!) so the awkwardness of having to re-adjust to the game physics just isn’t there and that makes it definitely more appealing.
THE VISUAL UPDATES ARE FANTASTIC! (It feels like a World Cup.)
To football fans and in particular FIFA18 fans the devil is in the details. The inclusions of the 12 stadia, uniforms and players adds to a definite sense of authenticity to the World Cup experience. You have the option to customize the groups and play in the stadium of your choice if you see fit. Personally, I didn’t do much changes but you can if you want to! The transitions and pre game introductions are very vibrant and capture the energy that is associated with the World Cup. To add to this, the high resolution crowds, chants and banners all are just wonderful examples of the visual detail that adds to the experience.
GAMING UPDATES: FUT, World cup campaign and more!
Andre’s current 2018 World Cup Campaign with Argentina so far! will it end up like this?
The very popular Fifa Ultimate Team feature carries over and you can now assemble your international dream team if you so desire! Playing with your team online was an extra plus and just plain old fun. The feature is not limited to the current era of players; fans of this game will be familiar with legendary players like Maradona, Pele and Ronaldhino and you can also add others. To be honest, the FUT is an entire topic by itself so fans of that aspect of the game will definitely be appeased by this. Also in addition to this you can play the campaign by selecting on of the already qualified World Cups or customize the tournament so that you play with teams such as U.S.A., Chile etc. Of course the standard features are there, you can do the “Kick off.” Option and get straight into a quick matchup in a non tournament setting if you so desire.
As wonderful as this update is, it is far from perfect. So let’s hear of some of the cons of the update.
SQUADS ARE NOT UP TO DATE!
The first obvious thing is that the squads are not up to date. I checked out several teams and in the squads, they still had players from the last World Cup teams. I was a bit disappointed but I am assuming that EA SPORTS has an update (If not already) in the works to sort this out. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that when the update was made the national squads were not finalized and is simply just one update away.
So one of the few appealing things about the previous World Cup games is that there was the option for you to go through the entire qualification process. So for example I could play with my country Trinidad & Tobago and go through the qualification process. This included all the FIFA registered teams in all the confederations. However, this time around they have decided to exclude this. This aspect was one of the few things I liked about the previous versions and it was definitely fun trying to qualify for the World Cup with your home team and getting your buddies to join in as well. So you are limited to just customizing the tournament with the current teams in the game.
7 PLAYER ON BENCH, INSTEAD OF 12!
So you pick your team, you are ready to play and then when you are in the team management you realize that you cannot put more than 7 substitutes. So for those of you who don’t know, each squad is allowed 23 players and outside the starting 11 you have the full complement of subs at your disposal. This is not the case and definitely takes away a bit from the authenticity of the experience. In addition to the fact that you may not have the right squad, you are vastly limited with your options and it’s definitely a mistake made. So depth on the bench is definitely a real issue. So there you have it folks my quick pros and cons of FIFA 18. I can safely say despite my cons, it is definitely one of my favourite versions of FIFA yet and of course it is not perfect but the makers of the game have definitely served up another fine addition to this franchise that we all know and love. I would definitely give this easily a 4.5 out 5 in my ratings.
So there you have it folks, EA Sports has released its 6th version of this and they have to be commended for making some proactive changes such as making the game free (Sort of), you still have to own a copy of FIFA 18 to be able to download it, the visual aspects of the game are definitely top notch but it is far from the perfect game but overall can still be an enjoyable experience. No World Cup qualifying campaign in the update is definitely something that was missed and hopefully in future versions will be added. So overall I would give this update a 3 out of 5.
Author – Andre Sooklal
Twitter – @AndreSooklal
Instagram – @AndreSooklal
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