The demo of FIFA 18 is here: is it the revolution that EA Sports promised?
This FIFA 18 demo is meant to give players a preview of the newest iteration in the FIFA family. Unfortunately, if this demo is any indication of the full game, it seems to have fallen short of the mark. The game looks great, only because it has to, but that isn't enough anymore. The demo appears to be more like an update to FIFA 17 than an entirely new iteration of the game.
The new features of FIFA 18 can be boiled down into four areas. First, the crossing system has been improved so passing is much easier. Second, the game features a real-world likeness of Cristiano Ronaldo since the player helped so much with the game. Third, players in the game act much more like their real-world counterparts. Lastly, the evasion system for the game has been completely revamped.
One thing is quite clear from the demo. When each of these new features come together, the experience on the pitch is quite a bit more tactical and physical than it has ever been. Players actually seem to behave not only independently, but with their own unique patterns and skills.
In older versions, you could easily defend just by pressing a single button, but that is no longer enough. Not only that, but you must defend the ball yourself with much more vigor than before. The AI-controlled players are ruthless when you lose even slight control of the ball.
The main disappointment with the FIFA 18 demo is that it doesn't seem to have anything completely new. While the game is better looking, realistically physical, and highly tactical, it doesn't express much else that makes it stand out from FIFA 17. If you were to believe the marketing from EA Sports, FIFA 18 was meant to represent the evolution of the game to the next level.
Strangely enough, it even seems as if EA failed to fix some of the problems with FIFA 17 before they started with FIFA 18. AI-controlled players still behave erratically from time to time, and they do so in the exact same fashion as before. It's almost like EA had no idea those problems were prevalent.
In terms of only the graphics, it's certainly true that FIFA 18 is a great improvement. The players have more animated, realistic faces, and they move with more realistic, fluid motion. Even the surrounding stadiums have experienced an upgrade to their aesthetic. Immersion is still easy with FIFA thanks to the realistic gameplay and the cries of the crowd. Those who don't care that the game hasn't seen much innovation this time around will still enjoy the classic FIFA gameplay.
It's sad to say that FIFA 18 is only decent. If they want to remain at the pinnacle of the soccer simulation market, EA should step it up for the next version. If they fail to do so, PES may very well take the top spot.