13. A new practice arena
FIFA 18 doesn’t play favourites when it comes to practice arenas. Replacing the bumblebee aesthetic of Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park (PES has nabbed licensing rights, you see) is the white and silver splendour of a generic ghost ground. Where’s the crowd? Maybe there never was one. Maybe there was never any crowd at all. It really makes you think… Anyway, if you’re anything like us, you’ll spend a lot of time here after being on the other end of an online thrashing in order to score one hundred soft goals against a division two goalie. Incidentally, Borussia Dortmund’s ground is still available to play matches on, now under the name ‘Borussia Park’.
14. Contextual crossing
Every cross is a whipped cross in FIFA 18. No more double-tapping the lob button to swing in a fast ball – just press it once and you’ll direct a dangerously looping effort right into the danger zone. It’s intelligent too, so your player will know whether you want to arch a tricksy ball towards an attacker, look for someone on the back stick, or feed in a poacher at the near post. Hey Özil, if you’re so clever, why don’t you tell us which Silicon Valley startup to invest in?
15. Tighter dribbling
With all of FIFA 18’s capitalised and trademarked additions sounding off at once, it’s easy to miss the presence of a small but mighty new dribbling technique. Holding L1/LB allows you to turn tighter and take more delicate touches of the ball, deftly navigating encroaching hazards like a figure skater outrunning a collapsing ice rink. It replaces the fairly useless no-touch controls of last year, and joins shielded dribbles (L2/LT) and sprint dribbles (R2/RT) in your arsenal of things you can do with your legs.
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