FIFA 18: Release Date, Top Player Ratings, New Features, Preview and More

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2017

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 23: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid looks on after the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy 2017 match between Real Madrid and ACF Fiorentina at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on 23 August 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

FIFA 18 will be released worldwide on September 29, and it will bring with it a whole host of new player ratings and features to enjoy.

After Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 was released in Europe on Friday to rave reviews, FIFA must once again look to top Konami's effort in the ongoing battle of the football sims.

PES has long been held up as the more authentic of the two in terms of most accurately capturing the way football is played, and this year, it appears EA Sports has taken a leaf out of its rival's book with more measured gameplay and realistic passing:

One of FIFA 18's top new gameplay features is the introduction of Real Player Motion Technology, which EA Sports describes as an "all-new, game-changing animation system," with the movement and playing styles of the world's best players faithfully recreated through motion capture.

Here's a look at it in action:

The game will better reflect team styles, with sides adopting the tactical approaches of their real-life counterparts, whether that be to soak up pressure and counter-attack, adopt a high press or keep possession.

Dribbling has received an overhaul with "defined touches, tighter turns and more explosive transitions to attack," which, coupled with a greater variety of crossing options, means wing play could take on a whole new life in FIFA 18.

Enhancements to the AI in the form of New Player Positioning will see them react appropriately to different situations, be it bursting into the box to get on the end of crosses, making runs in anticipation of through balls or supporting strikers up top.

Fans will be eager to learn the updated ratings of their favourite players, and cover star Cristiano Ronaldo receives top billing ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi:

FIFA 18 will also see Alex Hunter return in the continuation of The Journey story mode, as he forges his career away from the Premier League, per EA Sports FIFA:

The mode boasts more influential choices, new playable characters and greater customisation options for Hunter in what looks to be an exciting new chapter of his story.

Some of The Journey's cinematic style will be implemented into Career Mode this year too through interactive transfer and contract negotiations, as well as news clips of press conferences, player unveilings and more.

The proof will be in the playing as to how FIFA stacks up with its rival this year, but it appears the latest instalment of EA Sports' flagship franchise will be a well-presented package.