What is FIFA 18?
With over 700 teams from 28 countries represented, FIFA 18 is an authentic recreation of the beautiful game. Whether you want to get stuck into the Premier League, take a team from EFL League Two all the way up to the top, or go toe to toe with Europe's finest, there's a huge variety of international leagues, tournaments, cups and teams to play with, alongside national men's and women's squads. In terms of gameplay, FIFA 18 brings with it a number of tweaks under the surface, including an overhauled crossing system, the ability to make "quick subs" at the touch of a button, and a much more detailed crowd, who'll respond to your every move on the pitch.
How do you play FIFA 18?
FIFA 18 is a game of many modes - and almost everything here is playable with up to four players in local, same-console multiplayer, alongside the game's elaborate online options. For those looking to get stuck into some computer controlled opponents, there's the ability to set up custom tournaments (either international or national cups and leagues), a career mode that lets you either manage a club, or take on the role of a player (although with both, you can play as the whole team when it comes to matches), and a brand new instalment in FIFA's story mode, "The Journey", which follows the career of young Alex Hunter, as he heads into his second season in the Premier League. This time, even The Journey is playable in local co-op.
FIFA Ultimate Team also makes a return, this time with a few tweaks under the hood. Essentially a card collecting, "build your best team" mode, everything you do in Ultimate Team rewards you with points, which can be spent on new packs of cards, in turn getting your team new players. New for FIFA 18 are "FUT Icons" - legendary players that can be added to your squad, Daily Objectives that mean there's always something new to do, and Squad Battles that let you take on a selection of other player's teams, alongside both single player and online season modes, and more.
Outside of Ultimate Team, FIFA 18 has online multiplayer support for 1 v 1 play in friendlies or seasons (a mode which tracks your wins and losses), 2 v 2 in co-op seasons, and up to 11 v 11 in pro clubs.
How easy is FIFA 18 to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, FIFA 18 is incredibly customisable, with a huge range of different settings, control schemes, and optional assists to help ease new players into the game. For those just starting out, two button mode simplifies FIFA's sometimes complex controls down to just two buttons - essentially one for pass, and one for shoot, with the game choosing what type of shot or pass is best in that situation - letting even younger players get in on the action. The game's six difficulty settings also let you tailor the challenge to suit, and make a big difference to how the game plays, with beginner mode pitting you against opponents who are slow to react, and not all that strategically smart, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Legendary sees you face off against a team that works as a well oiled machine, and are incredibly tricky to beat.
FIFA 18 also has a number of optional assists that you can turn on, which work behind the scenes to translate your button presses into swish footballing movements. From auto-aim for shots, to some automatic help in guiding the direction and power of passes, the assists won't make you unbeatable, but they will help you make fewer mistakes. There's even a handy "trainer" option you can turn on, which gives you context-specific prompts when your player has the ball, suggesting the best possible moves for that situation. And as an added bonus, those who prefer to take the law into their own hands can disable the offside rule.
- The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of FIFA 18 are "legacy editions", and as such, contain none of the upgrades or new features found in FIFA 18. These legacy editions are essentially the same game as FIFA 17, only with updated kits and teams.
- FIFA Ultimate Team mode requires an online connection to play, whether you're playing it in single player or online. The rest of the game (bar online play) is fully accessible without connecting to the internet.
- The Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18 is based on FIFA 17, and doesn't contain the FIFA Ultimate Team Icons, or "The Journey" story mode.
With nothing in the way of bad language, sexual content, or violence, there's nothing in the way of mature content in FIFA 18. However, as a game with a strong focus online play, the usual notes about voice chat with strangers apply.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Switch