FIFA ’18: Gimmicks and the FIFA series

Steve Norman on some of the FIFA series' most enjoyable gimmicks...

FIFA or PES, PES or FIFA? An oft-held debate for a period during my formative years. As a young kid it was always FIFA, until ISS Pro Evolution Soccer came out. Then the switch was made, despite the lack of real team names, Hull City being Yorkshire Orange and Burnley were Lancashire Claret. The gameplay and Master League mode gave the Konami effort the edge.

FIFA came back though with it’s fully licensed game adding various gimmicks and game modes to attract players once again. For me, it worked. I have not touched PES in years, and neither have any of my friends, save for that one weird one…

As the latest football titan arrives in FIFA ’18, we take a look at some of the gimmicks and game modes FIFA and EA have introduced to us over the years…

The Journey

FIFA has had a career mode for a long time; you create your player, you make him the slimmest and most handsome version of you you possibly can and you put yourself down as a striker, winger or creative midfielder. I mean, what freak does a career mode as a left back? Then you play either as the team or as an individual.

The Journey was something completely new. For FIFA ’17, EA introduced a story mode, something completely original, at least as far as I can see, for a sports sim. You take on the role of up and coming young player Alex Hunter, and your performances and actions on and off the pitch affect the story. While it could have flopped it was actually really good and it was a shame the Journey only lasted one season. Although it will return for FIFA ’18.

Ultimate Team

FIFA and EA’s biggest money spinner in recent years, Ultimate Team combines FIFA, fantasy football and sticker albums. The idea is that you have to build ‘The Ultimate Team’. You start off with a basic squad and have to earn coins by winning games and tournaments, or completing challenges, to improve your team. And it is not just a case of buying the best players, you have to create a squad that has strong chemistry.

Why is it a money spinner? Well if you aren’t that good, or you are too impatient, or just have money to burn, you can use real money to buy packs full of players.

FIFA Street

Remember that Nike advert where, for some reason, on a big boat Eric Cantona held a three a side tournament between the world’s best players? Well this was the computer game version of that. FIFA Street was a game focused solely on ‘street’ football, although with real players. The idea was to pull off insane skill moves and tricks, as well as winning small sided matches.

A fun idea, although the novelty did wear off reasonably fast. There are some rumours it may return for FIFA ’18.

Classic Teams

Some the the older games allowed you to play as classic teams, so England from 1966, Brazil from 1970 and so on. This meant you could control the likes of Pele, Diego Maradonna and George Best.

It also gave you the opportunity to re-write football history, taking on the losing side in some of football’s biggest matches, and trying to change the outcome.

Are you a FIFA fan? Looking forward to the new game? What are your favourite gimmicks? Let us know!

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