EA has revealed that their choice for the cover athlete of this year’s FIFA installment, FIFA 18, will be none other than Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, FIFA Content Manager Jon Cole shares that players will be able to play as a new, ultra-detailed, motion-captured version of Ronaldo in FIFA 18 when the game drops on September 29th of this year.
FIFA 18 will build on many new features introduced in last year’s very successful FIFA 17, including further visual fidelity and graphical improvements following the move to the Frostbite game engine for the first time, as well as the return of The Journey, the new story-driven single player mode that debuted in last year’s FIFA title. This year’s story mode will be called The Journey: Hunter Returns, hinting strongly that the story will once again follow the exploits of protagonist Alex Hunter, introduced in FIFA 17.
Stills and video of the gameplay from FIFA 18 so far show the graphics to look remarkably sharp and realistic; it’s never been easier to make out individual blades of grass or players’ drops of sweat before:
Of special note in the trailer, though, is a sign of possible discrepancies between different platforms’ versions of FIFA 18, noticed by the keen-eyed folks at Polygon. Get a look at this screencap of some fine print from the end of the reveal trailer above:
As you can see, both the Frostbite game engine technology and The Journey: Hunter Returns story mode are available only Xbox One, PS4, and PC; notice anyone missing? According to this message, the Nintendo Switch will not be getting access to these arguably very core aspects of the game, putting users of the brand-new Nintendo console on the same level of gameplay as users of the more outdated PS3 and Xbox 360 systems. EA does not formally address this discrepancy in its official announcements, and it is yet unknown if there will be any trade-off in price or alternative features for users of these consoles. There will, however, be a “Ronaldo Edition” of FIFA 18 available for pre-order, giving buyers a CR7 starter item in FUT, up to $60 worth of Jumbo Premium Gold Packs, and three days early access to the game, allowing them to play starting September 26th.
More information on FIFA 18 will be available when EA hosts a “full reveal” of the game at this year’s EA Play event, on June 10th in Hollywood, CA.