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Review: FIFA 18 gives a boost to the story of Alex Hunter

FIFA 18 fills out the story of

FIFA 18 fills out the story of Alex Hunter as he moves into the wider world of football. Credit: Electronic Arts

PLOT Are you ready for some international football?

RATED E for Everyone

DETAILS PlayStation 4, Xbox One; $59.99

BOTTOM LINE A good way to get your kicks.

Alex Hunter’s adventures as an up-and-coming player in the glamorous world of football continue in the Hunter Returns story mode, and while the game adds little touches to its other modes, this is FIFA 18’s major piece of business in the offseason transfer window.

The story of Alex Hunter contains new choices, takes him across the globe and introduces new characters, but its basic structure is the same. The mode is now broken up into chapters, but you still play lots of games, practice and work your way up the skill tree. These things are not inherently bad, but the routine would be more enjoyable if its basic mechanics culminated in a more interesting destination. The match performance grading dings you for actions it shouldn’t, and the menu feedback can be contradictory.

Meanwhile, practicing to be in the starting lineup and having to spend points on skills you don’t want (due to the restrictive skill tree) isn’t an exciting backbone for the mode when you’d just rather get to the next turn in the story.

These flaws are tolerable because the tale itself — which ventures into serious subjects without bingeing on drama or hamming it up — is once again a success. Family and the business of football are presented and executed believably. The inclusion of playable characters other than Hunter is smart because they not only help the pacing of the story, but they also add depth to the characters involved. The script, voice actors and graphics again deliver a great experience.

FIFA 18 shows Alex Hunter moving into a wider world of football, and while that story experience is absorbing, it also reveals how much work areas like the career mode — which hasn’t meaningfully changed in years — need. It’s still worth it to play all the modes the title has to offer, but this is a title that caters to its superstar.

— Game Informer Magazine (TNS)

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