Every year the small group of career mode enthusiasts pray for a new and improved game mode but most of the time they’re left disappointed. Money hungry EA appear to neglect its oldest, instead choosing to invest in the money machine which is FIFA Ultimate Team. This year it’s different.
EA have made very subtle changes to Career Mode, although these changes should’ve been implemented last year. Despite the small changes to transfer and contract negotiations improve realism, Menus feel fresh and gameplay offline is closer than ever to real life football.
One Day Transfers
There was nothing worse on Career Mode than negotiating a transfer fee and the potentially waiting two/three weeks for both parties to meet a resolve. The act of bargaining took a long time and wasted the precious days of a small transfer window.
One new edition to the game is cut scenes, set to simulate real transfer negotiations. Meeting with the manager transfer fees can be easy negotiated including improve player swap feature, where the opposition manager will tell users what positions they’re looking to improve. The implementation of sell on fees also adds more bargaining powers to users and CPU managers alike.
In-Depth Contract negotiations
The same subtle tweak to transfers has been implemented to contract negotiations. Before, negotiating a contract could be stressful. With not much to negotiate on it was very bland. Only negotiating on a weekly wage it made it hard to convince players to sign a contract if they rejected an initial offer. In the latest edition contract negotiations have stepped up.
Adding in more realistic features the process in signing a player is more complicated, yet more enjoyable. Clauses being introduced are a big draw when it comes to signing a player. Release clauses, goal/ clean sheet bonuses and signing on fees have added extra drawing power, although it does make it harder to negotiate contract. Players in my experience tend to want a high signing on fee, which can add a hefty amount to a transfer, especially for smaller teams.
More visuals when analysing squads
EA have completely changed the way Career Mode menus work. Traditionally users would search for a player and be able to bid straight from the search menu. Now users have to add players to a transfer HUB. This allows players to shortlist players and reviews all their options before signing a target. This allows users to review all fees, bonuses and stats before offering a contract.
Squad Reports have had a change; there is a graph to see players best stats. This gives a general overview (Like retro PES games) allowing more analysis based on what users feel is most important. My only issue with this feature is the inability to select your starting 11 as the players seen first, just a small annoyance.
Finally, the improvements to the gameplay have drastically improved for offline play. One critic of offline FIFA is the unrealistic gameplay. ‘It’s all about pace’ is always a big criticism, however this years edition is well suited to slower, precise build up play. It takes longer for chances to be created; therefore users must have a killer edge.
Crossing is improved this year which makes wing play a viable option. On the previous editions crossing has felt clunky and lacklustre. On FIFA 18 the crosses are floated instead of struck directly to the keeper. It allows for players to score power headers or a sleek volley.
One criticism I have of this years offline gameplay is the keepers. They have got better as the year has progressed however they just aren’t good enough at times. They are often beaten at the front post or their positioning is way off, leaving the striker with an open goal.