Developer: Electronic Arts Vancouver & Electronic Arts Romania
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29th of September, 2017 (PAL, NA & JP)
FIFA 18 has arrived to the Nintendo Switch and is surely going to be a welcoming addition to anyone’s Switch Library. The Switch version has almost all the features of that of the PS4 & XBox One versions, though some of these features have been cropped to work on the Nintendo Switch engine according to EA and so some games modes do not have the full features that are present in the PS4 or Xbox One version.
To be fair though, as a gamer, too many features can be just as big a turn off as too little. The main bulk of FIFA 18 is there, you can choose teams from all over the world. You can create your Dream Team in the FIFA Ultimate Team mode along with customizing your Team Name, Logo, Kit along with managing contracts, obtaining more players and participating in challenges and matches to earn coins or obtain exclusive items, Nintendo Switch Jersey anyone?
One thing that was always a turn-off for me was Microtransactions and the FIFA series has this down to a tee, especially in the Ultimate Team Mode, where you sometimes have to spend real money in order to secure your favourite players. Many of my friends and co-workers have all succumbed the temptation of paying serious money just to get their hands on their favourite players, and this is still the case with FIFA 18 as players from the previous iteration are not transferrable from title to title. Of course, microtransactions aren’t the only way to get the best players, they can also be obtained by plenty of hard work and serious grinding.
As regards to how the game looks physically, it does look really good. The graphics are up to par and though come criticisms could be made about the close up rendering of characters the game on the whole really does hold up. FIFA 18 runs at 720p in handheld mode and 1080p docked but with the trimming of excess game fat, both modes run at 60 FPS. The actual gameplay is responsive and after getting a second opinion from a friend of mine that has actually bought FIFA 18 for PS4, the gameplay is pretty much identical.
As regards to difficulty, if you are new to the FIFA videogame experience, there is a large learning curve. However, there are plenty of tutorials on hand to help you get the grasp of shooting, passing and the many other skills you will need to master if you want to reach the top of the leagues. The first quick match you play will adjust the difficulty to be suit your gaming experience. I was luckily enough to be classed as semi-pro which I am happy with as the only football games I have played recently was the football minigame in Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympics on the Wii U.
One of the biggest features that is available the other consoles but the Switch version is currently lacking is online matchmaking with friends. At the moment you can only play with randoms which is extremely odd as a big part of playing FIFA online with friends is to brag about having the better team and that your skills put them to shame. EA is currently working on this though so hopefully they will patch it into the game. On the plus side, local multiplayer is available and gamers can enjoy playing matches together with a set of Joy-Cons on the Switch in both tablet and docked mode. You don’t get the full gameplay controls using single joycons but for quick matches, it is not really important. Both players can use Pro Controllers which will give full button functions and access to tactics.
One Feature that is also not supported by the Nintendo Switch is compatibility with the Ultimate Team Web App. The app allows you to make transfers and customize your Ultimate Team while away from your console via Mobile. This may be a bit of an upset for some hard core players that are used to using the mobile app for the PS4 and XBox One version but then again, those consoles are not portable like the Nintendo Switch so is it really a deal breaker?
I never thought I would see the day that I would actually be reviewing a FIFA game when I have no real interest in Football or Videogames based on Football, especially those under the banner of FIFA. However, putting my prejudices aside FIFA 18 is a well deserved title to have on Switch and should be given no less than 8/10. Though it could be seen as a watered down version compared to what has been released on other consoles, the core essentials are all there and Gameplay is just as good as PS4 or XBox One. All the buttons and functions are all where they need to be. Shooting and passing can be a bit too sensitive so you have to be very quick to respond to get off the desired manouvre but with practice, anyone can become a formidable player.
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by Electronic Arts