Hello comrades! As we start entering the hype zone for FIFA 19, let’s start closing the loop on FIFA 18.
We’ll begin by taking a look at what FIFA 18 did right!
A Big Connectivity Improvement
When we started FIFA 18, it seemed like the servers were performing the same as 17 during a good period.
But it was hard to say because at the launch of a game, EA were likely pulling out all the stops to ensure a smooth experience for so many players at once.
November and December were not great months for us in terms of connectivity, but things massively changed in January.
It’s unclear what exactly changed. Did more servers get added? Was there a server side update for something? Perhaps one of the patches improved the netcode? Who know!? But since then, the game has been waaaay smoother and it performs better than 17.
That’s not to say that delay is completely gone, you’ll still have instances where you want to pull your hair out. But we’ve seen a massive step in the right direction and hope it continues.
Note - we can only speak about North American and South European servers.
The Death Of Crabwalking
L2R2 dribbling was hugely important in FIFA 17. The highest level of the game was played by constantly spamming L2R2, and waiting for an opponent to make a defensive error.
It got monotonous and players would glide across the pitch in hyper unrealistic ways.
Thankfully, L2R2 dribbling has been massively nerfed in FIFA 18. The mechanic actually has its uses depending on the situation, but simply spamming it all game won’t do anything for you.
You can use it to check your runs, fake out opponents, and sometimes make diagonal or lateral movements, but you no longer possess the power of the crab gods.
Close Control Dribbling
The addition of close control dribbling has casual and hardcore players alike.
With just 1 button and the analog stick, a player with great dribbling attributes can do a nice little turn or create an extra inch of space that’s needed for a great chance.
At the same time, higher level FIFA players can use this mechanic to check their pace or pull of even more unpredictable feats.
It’ll be interesting to see how the mechanic itself is balanced going forward, but it’s definitely been a great addition in its debut year.
Full Back AI
FIFA full backs have always been brain dead. If you send them forward, they never defend. If you keep them on balanced, they go up and don’t come back.
So for years now, we’ve had to keep full backs on the stay back player instruction.
But FIFA 18 finally fixed this! In this game, you can totally use your full backs in attack and defense at the same time, they’re much better at transitioning between modes of play.
Of course, this has led to speedy fullbacks dominating meta, but that’s one of those things that makes sense. Which top tier team plays with a slow FB/WB in real life? That’s not really acceptable for most clubs and leagues, and there are only a few exceptions.
There are many more things FIFA 18 got right, but these are the ones that stood out the most to us this year. Is there anything that you want to highlight from this year’s game? Let us know on Twitter!
Next week, we’ll be back with the things that FIFA 18 unfortunately got wrong!