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FIFA 18: EA overhauled FIFA Ultimate Team pack openings this year

The developer has really gone to town with them for FIFA 18

FIFA 18 gamers will be treated to reworked Ultimate Team pack opening animations as EA takes the fight to PES 2018.

EA released footage showing off the improved feature, which saw star players – including Cristiano Ronaldo – get ‘packed’ to an impressive fanfare of fireworks.


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Rather than just walk out, players now show individual traits – so Ronaldo runs out and does his trademark celebration, while Dele Alli does the ‘Dele wave’.

Players are flanked each side by huge billboards that reveal their rating, while fireworks are let off in the background.

Finding Cristiano Ronaldo in a pack is now more rewarding than ever thanks to vastly improved opening animations

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Finding Cristiano Ronaldo in a pack is now more rewarding than ever thanks to vastly improved opening animations

Now for some even better news – you may not need to wait until September to get you hands on the game.

In fact, there are five ways you may be able to get your hands on it early – some of which won’t cost you a penny.

Let’s kick off with the cheapest and, arguably, hardest one.

Closed beta 

EA is doing another closed beta this year – due to kick off around August 18.

Select members of the FIFA community – from YouTubers to professional gamers – will be invited to play on the game and submit feedback. But there’s an outside chance you could get in on the action, too.

The FIFA 17 closed beta invite was circulated at around this time last year

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The FIFA 17 closed beta invite was circulated at around this time last year

To give yourself the best shot, you’re going need to have an EA account – then, head to email settings and check the box that says you want to receive promotional materials.

If you’re lucky enough to receive an invite, you’ll be able to play an early version of the game.

It’s worth mentioning that the screen will feature a watermark – complete with your gamer tag. This is to stop you from taking screen shots or streaming the game – both of which will result in account ban.

The closed beta will feature a watermark with your gamertag on there to stop you streaming or taking screenshots

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The closed beta will feature a watermark with your gamertag on there to stop you streaming or taking screenshots

FIFA 18 demo

For those who can’t get their hands on the closed beta then you’ll have to wait for the FIFA 18 demo, which drops a few weeks later.

If past years are anything to go by, the FIFA 18 demo will arrive on September 15 – two weeks before launch.

The FIFA 17 demo dropped on September 13, with the full game arriving on September 27. FIFA 16 followed the same pattern, with the demo arriving on September 8 and the game released on the 22nd.

So, what’s in the demo?

If it’s the same build EA has been showing off at their preview events, you’ll be able to play as a number of teams including Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Here’s the full line up:

  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Chelsea
  • Real Madrid
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Juventus
  • Bayern Munich
  • PSG
  • LA Galaxy
  • Toronto FC

You’ll also likely be able to play through the first part of The Journey: Hunter Returns – although we wouldn’t doing that unless you’ve played the first one.

Check out what happens at the end of The Journey  if you won’t have time to play through the first chapter.

EA Access 

If you’re desperate to get your hands on the game and don’t mind coughing up a bit of extra dough, you can sign up to EA Access to play FIFA 18 five days before launch for a full 10 hours.

For £3.99 for a month, you’ll get access to a vault of EA games – including a 10-hour trial of FIFA 18.

The trial will arrive on September 21 – eight days before the game’s official release.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the face of this year’s FIFA

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Cristiano Ronaldo is the face of this year’s FIFA

Pre ordering

OK, so if you’re reading this, chances are you’re going to buy FIFA 18 – so why wait?

If you pre-order the Icon or Ronaldo versions of the game, you’ll get three days’ worth of early access to the full game.

Prepare to spend big, though – the former won’t leave much change from £100.

Remember, the Icon and Ronaldo editions are not available for Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Switch.

So, 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

You can find more information by visiting the FIFA 18 website 

FIFA Web App

If you haven’t heard about the FIFA 18 Web App then you’re missing out.

It essentially lets you manage your team remotely, play the market and, crucially for FIFA 18, give you a head start on your Ultimate Team.

The Web App is usually made available a few days before the EA/Origin Access trial period begins.

There are usually some early bonuses and loyalty packs, so it’s definitely worth the effort.

So, what did you think of FIFA 18 when you had a go?

We’re very impressed – it’s slower than FIFA 17 but that’s no bad thing. Plus, it looks spectacular – especially on PS4 Pro.

Why not take a look at our FIFA 18 early review for an in-depth analysis.

Even better, for all FIFA 18 news, check out our huge FIFA 18 breakdown

NOW WATCH THE FIFA 18 PACK OPENINGS BELOW.


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