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Hands on preview of FIFA 18: Three big things you need to know about the game

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FIFA 18 will be available for everyone on September 29, but GiveMeSport were invited by EA Sports to an event a few weeks before its release to give their new title a spin.

As you may have seen, Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest rated player on the game with an overall rating of 94. Long-term rival Lionel Messi weighs in second with 93 and Neymar trails in third with 92.

The only Premier League player inside the top 10 players on the game is Chelsea's Eden Hazard. The Belgian has an overall rating of 90.

So what's new with FIFA this year? Well, it seems like the main thing they have done is add to what has made the game so enthralling in recent years and built upon those foundations.

The biggest notable difference to me was in the gameplay.

Gameplay

First things first: if you base your teams around pace and strength, things are changing on FIFA.

Running away from your opponents is much harder and even when there is a clear gap in pace between player and opponent, you will not leave them in your dust.

The fluidity of the game itself seems a step slower, but with that comes greater control and there is a direct emphasis on moving the ball and building the play.

Popping passes into your front man and connecting with runners off of them seems far easier, but the real key may lie in the all-new crossing dynamic.

EA Sports have given a lot of time to how they put balls into the box now and if you're smart, you'll look for players with a special delivery over those speed demons on your flanks.

Career Mode

It's becoming more and more like Football Manager all the time! In FIFA 18, you have actual sit-down negotiations with opposite managers as well as players and their agents in a bid thrash out deals. 

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Of course, you can skip the super long, drawn out talking part of these affairs and after you've watched them a couple of times, you will.

One thing we did notice is that prices have inflated like the market has in real life and players outside of the Premier League tend to have release clauses for the first time ever.

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Managing Manchester City, we signed N'Golo Kante for just over £80 million (Antonio Conte really wouldn't budge) but when we attempted to sign Jonathan Tah for his £40 million release clause, we hesitated waiting to sell players to afford him.

His agent didn't like that. After one day of waiting, they told us not to bother him and we couldn't go back and persuade them! The lesson here is, have the money first if you're going to buy someone.

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Overall

FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is much of the same in terms of what's on offer, but the way the market works in picking up players and opening packs has been made to feel smoother and easier to comprehend to the newer fans.

We did not get to play The Journey - no one did - as that mode is being kept under special wraps by EA until its release at the end of September. What we do know is that Alex Hunter will have the chance to play for Real Madrid and may well spend preseason in Brazil.

Contrary to popular belief, when he is playing in the favelas it is NOT FIFA Street.

Overall, it seems as though the game has made some strides in terms of gameplay and ultimately, for all the dressing around the other modes, that's what is most important.

I personally always enjoyed getting down the wings with a pacey winger, but I was also frustrated with the hit-and-miss crossing on FIFA 17. They have addressed those issues and actually moving the ball crisply is a far more enjoyable experience.

The career mode may be dressed in cool little additions, but it has made no major strides otherwise at first glance. The real thing to get excited about is actually playing the game!

To preorder this impressive title, head to Amazon and get yourself a copy now!

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