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FIFA 18: 4 things the incredible new trailer tells us about the game

The teaser may be short but reveals some significant details about EA SPORTS' latest FIFA

Fans got their first glimpse of FIFA 18 this week as EA dropped the first official trailer.

The same day, Cristiano Ronaldo was sensationally unveiled as the FIFA 18’s cover star.

There’s plenty the trailer tells us about the upcoming game – especially given that it’s powered by using the game engine, Frostbite.

Remember, check out our absolutely everything you need to know about FIFA 18 for the latest FIFA news.

Here’s what we got from the trailer.

Graphics

Ronaldo looks more lifelike than ever before in the latest screenshots from FIFA 18

EA SPORTS
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Ronaldo looks more lifelike than ever before in the latest screenshots from FIFA 18

Thanks to Frostbite’s enhanced lighting capabilities, players’ skin tone in FIFA 18 looks far more realistic than in FIFA 17.

This is due to something called Physics-based Rendering (PBR) – which renders graphics in a way that more accurately models the flow of light in the real world.

This means re-creating everything from essential reflections, to specular intensity, gloss and global illumination – where light bounces or is emitted from objects other than the primary light sources.

Players now show individual beads of sweat that drip down their faces, while details such as wrinkles and under-eye shading add another level of realism.

Crowds, too, look to have had an overhaul – with less repetition between models and a more varied animation portfolio.

Animation

This will likely be the biggest area of improvement.

It’s clear from the way cover star Ronaldo is running that he’s been motion captured – with his trademark style instantly recognisable.

Movement is smoother and more realistic – especially when he’s seen changing direction and shifting weight on to different feet.

The Real Madrid star’s animation is much improved this year

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The Real Madrid star’s animation is much improved this year

With that in mind, we’d expect to see other players with trademark styles – such as Arjen Robben – move in a much more lifelike way.

Managers 

While some effort was made to try to capture managers’ behaviour and individual characteristics, further refinement was required to help add even more character.

Thankfully, if this game engine footage is anything to go by, we’d expect to see a huge improvement in FIFA 18.

Boosts in facial detail and expression are a dead cert, while we’d expect more lifelike animations to better reflect their individual personalities.

Dynamic lighting and improved skin tone detail makes this the best looking FIFA by some margin

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Dynamic lighting and improved skin tone detail makes this the best looking FIFA by some margin

Replays 

Improved depth of field, lighting and motion blur can all be seen in full effect in the trailer, which means better, more realistic replays.

While we know nothing about the camera angles that’ll be available, we’re sure EA will create new ways to view their stunning engine in full flow.

Watch the FIFA 18 trailer below.

For Ronaldo, being picked as the cover star marks the end of an incredible season for the Portuguese forward – which saw him win the European Championships with Portugal last summer, La Liga, and the Champions League.

Cover stars are traditionally amongst the best players in the game, but there was a small minority of fan who called to downgrade his FIFA 18 rating as they thought he was too good in FIFA 17.

Others wanted to see Ronaldo’s FIFA 18 weak foot ability awarded the full five stars off the back of a string of wonder goals with his left.

Whether he gets a lower rating in the last game is still anyone’s guess – but given that he’s the cover star, it’s unlikely to take too much of a hit – and given his form in recent months, it may even rise.

FIFA cover stars through the years

  • FIFA 17: Marco Reus
  • FIFA 16: Lionel Messi and Jordan Henderson
  • FIFA 15: Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal
  • FIFA 14: Lionel Messi
  • FIFA 13: Lionel Messi, Joe Hart and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • FIFA 12: Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshire

Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus fronted the last game after a public vote, but was met by a lukewarm reception from fans.

The preview year Jordan Henderson featured on the cover with Messi – causing a stir on social media, with some complaining the Liverpool midfielder wasn’t a big enough name to grace the cover of such a prestigious game.

But those doubts are unlikely to be forthcoming with the announcement of Ronaldo on the cover, with the world’s most famous footballer likely to make new and existing players rush to the shops when it goes on sale in September this year.


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Everything we know about FIFA 18 so far

What other big changes can we expect to see in in FIFA 18?

FIFA 17 has come under fire for some aspects of its gameplay – but as FIFA 18 will be powered by the same engine, we doubt much will change here.

Input delay – the time it takes for a button press to translate into an on-screen action – has led to some negative feedback in FIFA 17.

There have also been claims of ‘EAaids’ or ‘scripting’, which refers to the game dynamically adjusting online matches to favour weaker players.

Animation was sometimes clunky and unnatural in FIFA 17 – but we’re confident EA will smooth things out in FIFA 18

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Animation was sometimes clunky and unnatural in FIFA 17 – but we’re confident EA will smooth things out in FIFA 18

Whilst the former issue is a result of the game’s severs compensating for ‘Ping’ or connection strength variance between online players, we’d expect to see action taken over ‘EAAids’.

Whether this will be the re-introduction of a “momentum” bar, as in FIFA 06, or just a tweak of the alleged in-game code remains to be seen.

Either way, fans want something done about it.

 

When will it come out, and will there be a demo?

FIFA 18 will launch on September 29.

For those wanting early access, the demo usually lands a week or two before the game launches – but expect EA Access members to get first dibs.

Will Cristiano Ronaldo still be the best player?

It’s been an incredible year for the Portuguese, so he’ll definitely remain the game’s best player in FIFA 18.

Some believe he may have a stats downgrade, though – especially with regards to his pace and dribbling (which we’ve mocked up below).

Ronaldo will likely be the best player in FIFA 18 – despite him getting slight downgrades in pace and dribbling

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Ronaldo will likely be the best player in FIFA 18 – despite him getting slight downgrades in pace and dribbling

Lionel Messi, who has been in blistering form of late, will keep second spot.

Who will be the cover star?

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named this year's star.

Criistiano Ronaldo was confimed as the new face of this year's FIFA

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Criistiano Ronaldo was confimed as the new face of this year's FIFA

Will The Journey feature again? (SPOILER ALERT)

Absolutely. 

According to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, The Journey Season Two will feature new characters and story-lines and will ‘build on the foundation created with story mode this year’.

Alex Hunter’s debut was largely well-received by critics and fans alike.

The Journey was a success – but Season 2 needs to flesh out the characters more and offer more player choice

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The Journey was a success – but Season 2 needs to flesh out the characters more and offer more player choice

One of the issues with The Journey was that player choice did not affect the story as much as many would like.

As a result, expect improved dialogue wheels with actions that genuinely affect Hunter’s fate.

The EA-published Mass Effect series saw a similar evolution of the dialogue wheel – eventually allowing your character to interrupt NPCs mid conversation.

This feature would be a welcome, and easy to implement, addition.

Will free kicks and penalties stay the same?

Penalties won’t change much, but free kicks could see an overhaul.

The new “momentum” system that governs the set-pieces is incredibly hard to master and has been panned by FIFA players.

As a result, we’d expect this to revert back to the more “traditional” shot power and curl mechanic.

Penalties can be hard to master – but can be prone to erratic goalkeeper AI

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Penalties can be hard to master – but can be prone to erratic goalkeeper AI

The system works wonders for penalties, though – allowing for much more control over shot placement and power.

Goalkeeper AI during spot kicks is often found wanting, so expect EA to address this.

What will be the best new feature?

Dynamic weather will almost certainly feature in FIFA 18.

Need For Speed (2015) and Battlefield 1 -are both powered by the same engine and make use of unpredictable in-game weather systems.

Speaking to Metro last year, EA DICE’s Patrick Bach explained why weather is so much more than just a ‘pretty effect’.

Image result for battlefield 1 rain

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Battlefield 1 uses a dynamic weather system – which affects gameplay

“We often talk about these different dimensions in Battlefield, where you have the rock, paper, scissors and then you marry that with the destruction and you create unpredictability from different angles. And with the layer of weather we actually change the way you play in a very drastic way,” he said.


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“So, if you have the tactics of being a sniper and it starts to rain then you probably have to change tactics. And the same with fighter planes, once the fog rolls in it’s like, ‘Okay, this is not as effective anymore, so I probably need to go back on the ground’.

“It’s not only a pretty effect, it actually changes the way you play the game.”

Dynamic weather would add a whole new layer of tactics to gameplay in FIFA.

Image result for need for speed 2015

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The latest Need for Speed is powered by Frostbite and, like Battlefield, features a weather system that changes on the fly

For example, weather taking a turn for the worse could negatively affect player ground speed, passing accuracy and injury probability.

Players could fall over more easily, goalkeepers could be more likely to fumble fast shots… the list is endless, and would all help add an extra level of realism to the game.

How about the soundtrack?

Established artists such as Blur, Kasabian and Radiohead have all featured in the past, but recently there’s been more music from emerging talent making its way on to the game.

Whilst it’s too early to make any predictions, expect this trend to continue in FIFA 18.

When will FIFA 18 be released?

It will be released on 29 September – with EA Access members getting their hands on the game first.

When will pre-orders start?

FIFA 17 pre-orders have kicked off now.

Pre-order now to get incredible offers, including three days early access with the Ronaldo (Deluxe) and ICON (Super Deluxe) Editions. Plus, kick off your FIFA Ultimate Team™ season early with special bonuses and items.

You can find more information by visiting the FIFA 18 website 

What is in each package?

Icon Edition 

  • Play from September 26th with 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 40 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (two per week over 20 weeks – worth up to $120)
  • 3 match FUT Team of the Week loan player (one three match loan player for 20 weeks)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • Ronaldo Nazário FUT Icon loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Ronaldo Edition 

  • Play from September 26th with 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 20 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for 20 weeks – worth up to $60)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Pre-order for PlayStation 4,  Xbox One, and  PC

Standard Edition 

  • Up to 5 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for five weeks – worth up to $15)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists