Today September 12, EA Sports has finally released the FIFA 18 Demo worldwide. The game is not out yet. It releases on September 29 for Ps4, Xbox One, and PC. Now that we have a little portion of FIFA 18 available to play, let’s do a quick review of this new FIFA.
Let’s begin talking about the Graphics, one of the main feature of this new chapter. The game looks gorgeous on both PS4 and PC, the two platforms I tested it on. Obviously, the game on PC has more fps than the one on the consoles, but still the overall graphics doesn’t change much. The players’ got a lot of new facial animations, from smiles to angry faces, giving a more immersive experience for the viewer. Also, the audience got reworked.It is now more detailed and more reactive to what happens on the pitch; For Example, I scored a goal and ran towards the side of the fields to celebrate and saw people running near the player to celebrate with him from the stands.
Sounds and Soundtracks
The sound is great, you can hear everything. From the chants of the crowd, very accurate for most of the largest teams in the world, to the screams of the coach on the sideline. For this chapter, I have noticed the characteristic “ooooh” for the Cristiano Ronaldo celebration. It’s the first time in the history of the saga that a celebration type brings voices along with it. The soundtracks are not complete in the demo, but they seem to fit in the game menus without becoming repetitive, at least in this few hours of gameplay. Usually, EA Sports chose songs that we can typically hear on a typical radio station. We might even recognize some songs in the future and yell “oh, I already know this song!”
Let’s jump to the core of the game, what we were waiting for. The gameplay has changed more than expected after watching the closed beta videos on the net. Already from the kick-off, it feels like a different game from FIFA 17. The game has adapted to the new rules of football, so it means that the kick-off can be played directly on the player behind, without the need of a second touch. The movements seem heavier in some situation, like while turning 90 degrees, while in others it is the complete opposite. EA Sports has implemented a new Frame-To-Frame technology for the animations. There is more responsiveness with most of the players while in control of the ball, any animation can be interrupted or modified when we want to grant a better control of the action.
On the other hand, the movements without the ball are slower, so it’s not easy to defend against fast players. Luckily new animations for the defenders have been added, giving the opportunity to steal the ball with a push of a button with the right timing. The sliding tackle seems more precise and gives more ways to reach the ball than before.
The physics of this updated frostbite engine seem much more oriented on the strength of the players rather than the pace alone. You can defend the ball easier while standing with the goal on your back if you have a strong forward like Lukaku, Manchester United’s main striker. In the same way, a strong defender can steal the ball easier to the opponent and avoid him to get it back just by pressing LT or R2.
Thanks to the new animations frame to frame the dribbling can be much more efficient if you know how to use it well. This year, finally, it seems that the raw speed can be of some use in certain situations. One of the problems of the last FIFA was the pace limitation. Players like Aubameyang who got 96 pace, could be outpaced by lower rated players, like André André with just 75 speed (A true story from my experience, you can’t even imagine the rage). This time it seems that if a player runs on the wing, a standing still defender can’t run after him immediately and reach him as if it is nothing special. This could be a nice change, but I’m afraid this would make slower players useless.
To be clear, it is not the same as FIFA 15, where every 90+ speed player could outrun an entire defense on his own just by running, but it could be a powerful weapon in the right hands.
The demo itself has 13 teams you can use, even if the team transfers are not updated. Matuidi is still in PSG for example instead of Juventus. The matches last 4 minutes each half but you can choose any difficulty for the AI. The options can be changed but are not saved, so it means you have to change them everytime you open the demo. I’m talking about the custom cameras or key bindings. This year the AI seems a lot smarter and less boring than the previous chapter. in FIFA 17 the AI was good but used too many back passes, lowering the rhythm of the match. This new AI is more aggressive when attacking, it tries to dribble, and is more challenging than before.
Requirements for the PC version
- FIFA 18 minimum requirements are the following:
- CPU Intel 13 6300T or equivalent, AMD Athlon X4 870K – AMD FX-4350.
- RAM 8 GB
- Hard Drive Space Required 7 GB
- Supported Video Cards Nvidia Geforce 660 2GB or AMD Radeon RX 460 / R9 270
- DirectX 12
Not Everything is perfect.
The overall game is pretty much enjoyable, and I have big hopes for the final product, but still, new mechanics means more bugs in sight. In my experience so far I collected some very unpleasant bugs. This newly implemented technology of the Frame to Frame animations sometimes leads to players losing the touch of the ball. I know, it happened even in the past FIFAs, but this new “freedom” could enhance the possibility for this bug to interfere in critical situations.
Another tedious matter is the minimap. I don’t know if it’s something related only to the demo or not, but the color of the players on the minimap is just black or white. It isn’t anymore following the primary color of each team’s kit. I was playing with Chelsea with white shirt against Real Madrid with the black one, and on the minimap, the black dot was me and the opponent’s was white. It could be easier to understand if everytime your players are the black ones, but for the first time, it was a pain in the ass to find my players on the pitch quickly.
In conclusion, my experience so far with this demo of FIFA 18 is very active. The rage moments are always behind the corner, but that’s part of the game. The players could fail a stop, shot, a pass, but that happens in Football, it’s part of the match. If Fifa 18 won’t change completely from the demo as FIFA 17 did, this could be a good year for every FIFA fan. Let’s hope this will keep going this way, and we’ll see you back when the game releases on September 29.