Huge shock! Madden 19 was revealed by EA at their E3 2018 conference. Well perhaps not a huge shock, not even a little shock really, more like a super predictable reveal, but oh well. Nothing new was shown or talked about. but there’s a trailer, so hurray!
Want to experience the FIFA World Cup through more than just passively watching the tournament unfold? Well EA have stepped up to provide what you need: a free trial of FIFA 18.
Through the free World Cup update available on FIFA 18, you can play through the tournament, re-writing history as you see fit and generally experiencing the joy of football at the highest level on the world stage. The FIFA 18 trial is feature complete but with a limited run for the World Cup, so if you’ve got a football craving, jump on in. It’s available now on every platform.
NBA Live 18 is the latest game to be made available for free in the EA Access vault on Xbox One.
NBA Live 18 is the latest Basketball game from EA. It includes an “Ultimate Team” mode that allows players to draft different players to create a custom roster, similar to the FIFA and Madden series’. It is the first basketball video game to feature a full WNBA roster.
It also features a single-player career mode called “The One,” again similar to “The Journey” story mode in the latest FIFA games. In this mode, the created player has the chance of taking their skills across leagues and even join the NBA Draft and Combine whilst Basketball experts analyse your performance and give their opinion on the direction the player is going to progress through the mode. The game mode allows players to experience basketball life on and off the court with more clothes and a Game Face app for iOS and Android devices, allowing players to scan their face and insert it into the game.
Our very own Dave Moran reviewed this for TiX and gave it a highly respectable 7.5. You can read his review RIGHT HERE!
The FIFA 18 Demo is now available to download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You’ll be able to play Kick Off mode with a selection from the world’s biggest clubs and stadiums, as well as a preview of the next chapter in Alex Hunter’s story, “The Journey: Hunter Returns” ahead of the game’s official launch on September 29th.
Kick Off Mode – Experience FIFA 18’s Real Player Motion Technology, a groundbreaking animation system that unlocks a new level of realistic, responsive, and fluid gameplay. Player Personalities give some of the biggest stars in the world the distinct traits of their real-world counterparts, Team Styles let players mimic their favourite clubs’ on-field tactics, and Immersive Atmospheres bring some of the football world’s most famous stadiums to life during matches. Plus, enjoy the brand-new broadcast overlays for La Liga and MLS, as well as vibrant and region-specific sights and sounds that make football’s biggest stadiums come to life.
The Journey: Hunter Returns – Alex Hunter is back for a second season, and rumor has it, he’s on the move. Preview the next chapter in Hunter’s story in the demo as he travels the world alongside a star-studded supporting cast featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, Thierry Henry, and new playable characters. The future is bright, and the world is talking about Hunter – but life in football isn’t always fair.
It will come as no surprise, but EA have announced FIFA 18 and it will be released on September 29.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star will player gracing the worldwide cover of the game. His data was recently recorded during a training session at a mobile EA Capture studio in Madrid. Data capture of Ronaldo’s acceleration, run cadence, skills, and shooting technique were all recorded to bring veracity to his likeness and personality in FIFA 18. His data also informed important gameplay elements including fluidity, player responsiveness and explosiveness.
More info about the game will be revealed during EA Play. For now though you can check out the reveal trailer below.
As I sit in front of my assistant manager at Arsenal, he tells me how much they think of me, how much of a future I have ahead of me at the club. I smile and say how well I think I’m settling in…
“We’re sending you out on loan” he says
Such is life for a young footballer, big signings come in and down the ranks you. After a few substitute appearances for Arsenal, I found myself leading the line at Newcastle. That was just part of my journey, yours could be very different.
This year EA have given us their new career mode, The Journey. You play as Alex Hunter, who faces his final chance to make it big. Alongside his best friend you take part some exit trials, pass and you could get picked up. Fail and its back to ultimate team for you.
It’s an interesting mode, you have a mass effect style conversation wheel to engage in dialogue, which in turn affects your fans or manager. You take part in training sessions and play in matches, with objectives set by the boss to meet. Some are a bit unfair, you are a 17 year old kid expected to score two and set up one with 20 mins to go? Not likely. It is fun though and well put together and will no doubt have a tweaked version next year too.
I always find myself surprised at how much change there is with FIFA, sometimes it’s only subtle, but this year you’ll find lots has changed, for the better.
Unlike Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, FIFA feels weightier; Players are slower but move in a more realistic fashion, though there are of course all the hilarious glitches that have been reported. It was interesting to see players get in each other way more often which again leads to some calamitous defending. Goalkeepers seem to have improved again, most noticeably when it comes to saving parried attempts. The football doesn’t fizz round the pitch like in Pro Evo, spin is more noticeable, sometimes unpredictable and when you do score outside the box it feels more spectacular. Players are better at shielding the ball than ever before, their first touch is sometimes exquisite and can wrong foot a whole defence, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a goal as defending again has been improved.
Set pieces have had a revamp, a circle icon on the pitch helps you pinpoint where you want to put the ball, also giving you the option to drill or float a ball in. You can revert to the original system, but I quite like how the new system is integrated. Unfortunately the one set piece they have completely broken is penalties. Moving the right stick in a direction sets your player off on a run and before you know the ball is often dribbling towards a goalkeeper, that or hitting a corner flag. Penalty shootouts are a farce. Generally though matches are hard fought affairs, you’ll see lots of close matches and you’ll always feel like you have earned your win. This is of course helped by fantastic presentation. Realistic chants from the different teams you play against, the shouts from players on the pitch and the fantastic lightning can really draw you in to a game. With a huge amount of licenses available to FIFA there are very few teams you won’t be able to play as. The addition of the Frostbite has clearly made some difference to the game, players and this year, managers look even more realistic.
FIFA 17 is full of game modes you’ll be instantly familiar with, Pro Clubs returns, with the ability to create your own badge and kit this year. It’s limited but a nice touch, if you have an online pro from FIFA 16 you’ll be able to transfer that player over to 17. Seasons, Co-op seasons and online friendlies are all present, but the most fun is to be had in FIFA Ultimate Team.
To the uninitiated, FIFA Ultimate team or FUT is a card collection game, in which you earn or buy cards to build your ultimate team. Matching players from the same, club, league or nationality will help improve the team’s chemistry, enhancing your chances of winning. Winning matches earns coins which can be used to buy players in the transfer market or open packs of cards. It’s massively addictive and this year there have been lots of excellent changes.
Squad builder challenges are excellent, the aim is to meet the requirements of a certain squad. This may be ensuring the chemistry is above a certain level, or that a certain number of nationalities are in the squad. Meeting the requirements nets you some awesome prizes, from Gold card packs, to rare players. Winning the prizes means giving up every player in the squad you have created, so be warned. FUT Champions is also new to Ultimate Team. Each week, there is a chance to qualify for a weekend tournament that if you are good enough, could see you at the FIFA Interactive World Cup.
FIFA 17 is another great game in the series, you can see the effort EA have made to move the game on and although it suffers from some silly glitches it’s still great fun to play. The obvious question people will ask is whether it’s better than Pro Evolution. Having played both it’s hard to say as they both are great for different reasons, I’ll be playing more FIFA this year because I prefer the gameplay, but it’s worth giving both games a try.
Whenever I play an NHL game, the first things I attempt are:
Smashing an opponent into the glass with a body check
Starting a fight.
Essentially I think of the film ‘Goon’ whenever I play. It wasn’t long before I managed to initiate my first fight in NHL 17. It was even quicker before my Be a Pro player hit the deck and left the rink humiliated for his five-minute penalty.
NHL 17 builds on the excellent title from 2016, refining its gameplay, making lots of improvements to its game modes and ensuring the game is accessible for rookies and pros.
As you begin NHL 17 for the first time it will help you decide on a control scheme and difficulty – you are able to choose between playing the game with the rather cool stick based system, a mixture of stick and buttons or with just two buttons for an ‘NHL ‘94’ experience. For the benefit of this review (and my broken wrist) I went with the mixture of stick and buttons. For me this was the perfect combination, using the stick allows you the flexibility of movement whereas using buttons kept things simple.
Lots of new animations have been added to make players look even more realistic, goal tenders especially, they react much better than ever before making goalmouth battles much more interesting. As you would expect from any EA Sports title, the presentation is superb, from the clean UI to the TV presentation for matches. The commentary is clever and the on-ice action is brilliant.
Be a Pro returns, allowing you to create your own player and work your way up through the ranks to the NHL. You can of course just start in the NHL. What’s great about Be a Pro is the coach feedback. Every game you are graded on your performance, to help you improve you’ll be given tasks to complete on the ice, such as winning face offs, defending, attacking or even body checking an opponent. The on-ice trainer is a big help, adding an overlay on the rink telling you which buttons to press. It isn’t perfect, it doesn’t always explain itself very well, which is more of a hindrance to novice players.
There is much more to do in NHL 17, Franchise mode gets an overhaul from last years Be a GM mode, this year, you’ll build a team from the ground up. Managing the team’s budget by setting ticket prices, upgrading facilities and setting up events to help generate funds for the team. It’s certainly a maide you can lose yourself.
Draft Champions is great to play, giving you the chance to play with best of the best in the world if hockey. Draft your team then play to win rewards to use in Hockey Ultimate Team, another very addictive mode that has had some great improvements. This year’s HUT focuses on the synergy between your team, it essentially improves upon previous year’s chemistry score. A nice feature this year is the ability to trade in unwanted cards as sets, doing so rewards you with premium card packs.
There are plenty of online modes to play with and as ever things run pretty smoothly, games are easy to find and for the most part it’s a lag free experience. There is season mode, playoff mode, as well as on and offline shootouts.
Customisation has had improvements to, being able to build your own arena being the most fun to use. You can change all sorts including scoreboards to pyrotechnics and even inflatable tunnels that teams skate out through.
NHL 17 is an excellent update that does a great job of catering for all skill levels. Graphical improvements and new animations add a new layer of authenticity to the on-ice action and there are plenty of game modes with depth to make sure this is a solid purchase.
Madden titles of late have been remarkably well-built. The improvements to the animations, control response, visuals, and features have made a significant jump in this generation compared with the last. Madden 17’s enhancements to the game are less significant but result in a title that feels familiar and wonderfully tweaked. Indeed this is the most accessible, realistic and impressive Madden so far.
This year’s Skill Trainer is superbly comprehensive, teaching precisely what you want to know about the complicated sport. Whether you’re a new comer or veteran, here you can learn as little or as much as you need. Basic controls to advanced tactics are thoroughly covered as so to prepare you for the savvy AI and players you’ll meet online. It’s a terrific jumping off point to start your Madden 17 experience.
Meanwhile, on lower difficulties you can activate a number of assists – ala Forza – to make your learning curve less steep. Skill moves can be set to automatically be performed depending on the situation, furthermore, a run path assist shows you which direction you’re heading. Additionally, the new Concept Counter reveals which play the offence is making, allowing you to counter more effectively. And of course, as your skills develop these assists can be turned off.
Franchise mode remains the go-to single player component – although Ultimate Team is arguably just as big a draw now. Whether you’re a player or owner, Franchise mode is more accessible than ever. The roster UI has been improved and now features recommendations on who to trade, cut, and sign, making it easier and faster to manage your team. Additionally, helping elevate the slog of Franchise mode is the new Play the Moments feature. Here, instead of having to play matches in their entirety, you only have to play the most crucial moments. Touchdown opportunities, field goals, third downs, etc. are played as normal, otherwise the jumbotron and a chart shows you how the rest of the game is coming along, allowing you to jump in and take control if you feel the AI is misrepresenting your team. It proves a handy time-saver if you’re looking to advance through the Franchise mode with more haste.
Player stats now play a bigger part in the ability to perform advanced maneuverers and use certain skills. Juking is a great example, with players with less the 80 in that skill struggling to perform them elegantly. It add the incentive to look at players’ stats more closely and use their power moves, adding deeper elements to the game overall. Meanwhile, defensive zone coverage has been improved and the ability to swat the ball has now been added, this is alongside improved ball physics makes fumbles, tips and turnovers more of a threat therefore injecting further realism into the game.
Madden 17 isn’t entirely without fault however. Long load times occur now and again, especially in the Ultimate Team solo challenges. Meanwhile, the old three click system is back for kicking the ball, which may feel like a step back, although it does eliminate any frustration the analogue stick flicking may have caused.
However, the tweaks to the game overshadow the aforementioned minor faults. Finally being able to skip cinematics and camera cutaways is a welcome addition that once again aids in the speed of the game. There’s great chemistry with the new Madden commentators, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, with the expected generalised comments and player histories accompanying some great play-by-play analysis that feels natural and realistic.
Indeed, Madden 17 takes the strengths of the last two iterations and enhances them with smart tweaks. The game feels more balanced than it ever has, thanks to a focus on realism and vast tactical options. Meanwhile, the handful of new animations are easy to appreciate as you dash up the field and suffer bone crunching tackles with splendid visual fidelity.
It’s been revealed that FIFA 17 will run on the Frostbite Engine for the first time and will be released on September 29.
“Frostbite unlocks a whole new world of possibilities for the FIFA franchise and its fans,” said David Rutter, VP and Executive Producer. “We have never been as excited as we are today about the future of football and the experiences we are going to deliver in FIFA 17.”
FIFA 17 also introduced four new football ambassadors who have halped influenced complete innovation in the action on the pitch. James Rodriguez of Real Madrid C.F., Anthony Martial of Manchester United, Eden Hazard of Chelsea FC, and Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund. They all worked with EA SPORTS to bring to life the gameplay innovation which will be revealed at EA Play. The ambassadors also appear in the FIFA 17 pre-order offer as loan players in FIFA 17 Ultimate Team.
Fans who pre-order FIFA 17 Super Deluxe Edition can get up to 40 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs, Team of the Week loan players, and other FUT content. Click here to read about all the available pre-order offers.