10 months ago
FIFA 18’s World Cup expansion is as beautiful as it is simple…
The World Cup add-on for FIFA 18 is awesome. That almost seems silly to say given it’s relatively obvious, but it’s only fair to underline that fact as directly as possible so anyone excited about this summer’s tournament can also get ready for a solid digital version as well. While it has the exact foundations you’d expect, said foundations do a very good job. Sometimes keeping things simple is the way to go.
The most joyous news of all is that this is free. You just download an update on May 29 and that’s that – a ton of World Cup information, stats and players become available to you should you want to lose yourself in the competition. If you’re wondering how this is possible, the real reason, if we’re being honest, is Ultimate Team which also gets new coat of paint.
Related: E3 2018 latest news
fifa 18 world cup
Printing money for EA like it’s going out of fashion, the appeal is that you can build a new squad using qualified nations, compete in a full World Cup and even enjoy a few regular modes with a World Cup twist. There’s new packs, of course, and you can share all of this with your regular FUT account, which is important as the chemistry system has been tweaked to tie in to what’s happening over in Russia. Given that there’s single player and online tournament options, drafts and squad building challenges, and your spoilt for content, which makes sense given how popular it’s become.
Outside of this is the base game which is equally dolled up. As well as all 12 stadiums, 32 licensed teams (with over 736 players), official ad boards, cameras, updated commentary and so on, you can also customise your own series where a group of new teams could end up in the main event. That may not be appealing when June rolls around, but there’s every chance after the hype dies down it absolutely will. To say this gives FIFA a well-needed boot – pun intended – in the behind is more than fair, especially because of how true it is to the World Cup. If you’re more excited about it than the sun this summer, you can close all the blinds and lose yourself in both the reality as well as its virtual spin-off.
Related: NBA 2K19 wishlist
fifa 18 world cup
None of this would be worth a damn if the football wasn’t any good, but that’s just not the case at all. EA Canada hasn’t touched the gameplay – and if they have it’s negligible at best – but it still holds up a good few months after release. You’ll be able to ruin teams should you take control of Brazil and take on Panama, for example, but there’s still a tactical game of football here when events are more balanced. The fact you can now do that for Russia 2018 is just a wonderful extra. Be warned, though, because a smart formation and strategy can still be utilised to pull off a massive upset.
So it’s basic, then, but a far cry from the days where you’d have to buy a whole new FIFA experience just to enjoy a popular tournament. Given that a lot of these additions were atrocious – we’re looking at you FIFA 06: Road To The FIFA World Cup – it’s lovely that in the modern day we actually get a hefty expansion for nothing. Again, yes, it’s the popularity of FUT that has allowed this, but you’ve got to take what you can get.
EA will release this for the Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch, although it’s a slight shame that online play for tournaments and friendlies is restricted to the former whereas Nintendo’s console only offers local play. With that said, the fact you can take that anywhere and everywhere offsets any sadness to some degree. It’s just a matter of what’s more important to you, although it’s fair to say that Microsoft and Sony have the more well-rounded options.
Related: Forza Horizon 4 latest news
Still, FIFA 18’s World Cup add-on will very likely be a wonderful way to throw yourself back into EA’s yearly sports franchise while also buying into the thrill of what we’ll be seeing on TV day in, day out. It represents the tournament with the gusto you’d expect it to, and pads it out with a ton of modes that should keep you busy for hours.
By September you’ll more than likely be done with it as that’s just how these things always seem to go, but that’s taking nothing away from what’s here. It ticks every box without overthinking it and will probably be a huge success. That’s no bad thing. Just try and remember FUT can be dangerously addictive. Everything in moderation.
Original review text follows
Available on PS4, Xbox One (version tested), Nintendo Switch, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
FIFA 18 is the best FIFA game EA has ever made. It’s that simple. I cannot believe the huge leap the series has produced in one year. This is streets ahead of FIFA 17, let alone any that came before that. The football on the pitch is more fluid, passing is improved, close control better, and we finally have upgrades to offline modes. Throw all that in with Ultimate Team’s continued brilliance, another engaging story in The Journey: Hunter Returns and the Frostbite engine’s beauty, I don’t think we could ask for much more.