One of the biggest changes in FIFA 17 was the introduction of the Frostbite Engine, which replaced Ignite from the year before.
EA confirmed FIFA 18 will be powered by Frostbite, but just what can we expect to see improved?
Speaking to Dream Team Gaming last year, Frostbite Studio Director Jonas Skantz revealed FIFA 18 will be a considerable leap in visual quality – despite running on the same engine.
We take a look at exactly what that could mean.
Thanks to Frostbite’s enhanced lighting capabilities, players’ skin tone looked more lifelike than in FIFA 16.
A handful of star players – Cristiano Ronaldo et al. – also had fully updated faces, adding lines and more detail to illustrate their age.
This feature will likely be rolled out en masse – increasing character model quality across the board.
It will likely be most significant when it comes to character customisation – with a wider selection of tweak-able facial details.
However, where Frostbite will really come into its own is animation.
There was a huge amount of overlap between animations in FIFA 16 and FIFA 17 – likely due to a lack of time.
However, EA has had plenty of time with the engine now, so we’d expect to see a substantial overhaul.
Manager animations were robotic and lifeless compared to the game’s best models, so EA will likely focus attention on them.
Stadiums and lighting
When compared to FIFA 16, stadium quality in FIFA 17 was not a huge step forward – bar a few changes in geometry and materials.
Frostbite allows far more detail to be added, and while we can’t expect an overhaul, finer details such as grass quality will almost certainly receive a boost.
Materials on flags will be revised – to react more realistically to changes in wind direction, while stewards, cameramen and other support staff will see improved animation and detail.
Expect more realistic lighting on the pitch – such as an interpretation of God rays – and improved shadow quality across the floor during day-time matches.
With the likely introduction of dynamic weather, expect light to change depending on whether it rains, snows or is overcast.
Improved post processing
Frostbite is full of tricks to make games look incredibly pretty – and FIFA 17 employed quite a few of them.
These will return better and more enhanced as EA continues to build on life post Ignite.
One of the biggest changes was seen in the replays and cut-scenes.
Wheres Ignite produced obvious trails behind anything in motion, Frostbite eliminated these altogether – making for a much cleaner, realistic image.
Depth of field, that blurred the background when focusing on an object (above), was also implemented, but will likely be more refined.
On current-gen console, FIFA 17 targeted 60fps during gameplay and a 30fps ceiling for any replays, cut-scenes or set-pieces.
Thanks to adaptive v-sync, FPS would remain pretty stable – at the cost of some minor screen tearing.
Expect this technqiue to be employed again in FIFA 18 – although FPS should receive a slight boost given the team’s better understanding of the engine.
NOW WATCH THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIFA 16 AND FIFA 17.