It’s an often overlooked but very important part of any game really. The soundtrack has the ability to make or break even the best of Triple A titles and FIFA has long been a shining example of that. FIFA’s soundtracks have become so legendary that certain songs are now synonymous with specific iterations. Consequently the likes of Fat Boy Slim, LCD Soundsystem, Blur and even Chumbawamba are the direct soundtrack to countless memories. This year, FIFA 18 boasts a stout playlist from some of modern musics heavy hitters and even a few gems from icons. Here is our favorite tracks from EA Sports FIFA 18.


1. Mean Demeanor by Run The Jewels : Killer Mike and El-P give us more rapid-fire, no-nonesense bars from their ever beastly collab. Past FIFA titles rarely featured hip hop acts, especially from the states. On 18 that has changed and we like it.


2. Energy by Avelino ( feat. Stormzy & Skepta): Some more high energy hip-hop from three of the UK’s finest. Grime is exploding and has become synonymous with the game like never before. A prefect track to get fired up before slamming an opponent. 


3. Deadcrush by alt-J: The Boys from Leeds are masters of blending genre’s that shouldn’t really blend well. This track is an example of the aforementioned as Joe Newman’s quirky, folk vocals ease over jumping, industrial drums and synth.


4. Active by Sneakbo feat. Active: Earlier we spoke about the grime resurgence and it’s place within football, especially in the UK. This legendary link up features two of the industry’s long time torch bearers spitting bars, plain and simple.


5. Dagombas en Tamale by Residente: Residente has slayed many a track over the years with the mighty Calle 13. His rhythmic flow suits this frenetic track perfectly which serves to round out the Latin American vibes.


6. Dangerous by The xx: This a nice, refreshingly uptempo direction for the notoriously moody xx. This track adds a nice dose of dance beneath those trademark silky smooth vocals. Not every FIFA song needs to be a an “Eye of the Tiger” call to arms, this one proves it.


7. Heart Attack by Older feat De La Soul: A funky baseline and synth already give this cut a throwback vibe. Add verses from the all mighty De La Soul and you’ve got killer retro driven gold. More fun uplifting goodness for one of FIFA’s best soundtrack in recent years.


8. Something For Your M.I.N.D. by Superorganism: A microcosm of footy and FIFA this multinational eight piece band first made waves via Spotify where one of their songs caught Frank Oceans attention. Quirky, odd, unique and brilliant this a fitting cut is shining example of the broad versatility if FIFA’s sonic arsenal. 


9. Stay With Me by The Amazons: It’s a fact, the biggest and most entertaining league in the world is in England. Thus it makes sense to have a playlist full of British artists. The Amazons are your quintessential British rock band and ‘Stay With Me’ is a quintessential British rock song. Simple and undeniably great.


10. Get Lost by Washed Out: Finishing off the list we have a Stones Throw rookie but a Chillwave vet. Washed Out slays this synth driven dico/dance track with haunting vocals. The pulsating tempo breeds focus and adrenaline. Two things we all need when diving into a heated FIFA sesh. 


It’s that wonderful time of year again. A brand new FIFA release is upon us and just a few days removed from launch, we’ve had a solid week to sink our teeth into the latest from EA Sports. With an ever-growing endeavor. this year’s title boasts more nuances and unique game modes than ever. But is that good? Has the actual game play improved? Has Ultimate Team improved? Is the AI better? Below we try to answer those questions by dissecting the good and not so good. Here is our EA Sports FIFA 18 review.

Gameplay: Prior to launch, after a demo release and early access there was a crescendo of chatter across social media about FIFA 18 basically being FIFA 17. Now, with the full iteration complete, we can clearly and honestly dispel that silly notion. FIFA 18 was clearly designed with an emphasis on attack. The shooting has never been easier with the ability to score from several angles. Goals will fly in with driven shots, near post, far post, screamers from outside the box and the resurrection of the overpowered finesse shot. Passing remains intricate as the circumstance dictates the quality and weight of the pass. A player generally needs to face a teammate to make a clean pass rather than a one touch no-look which is very difficult to hit. Through balls and driven passes remain essential as a regular pass often feels less accurate or weak. Off the ball player movement is massively improved on the attack with AI attackers making intelligent runs to cut open a defense. Furthering the top-heavy attack style is the responsiveness of the dribbling which is the best it’s ever been. Consequently pulling off skill moves is easier, especially the ball roll, pull back and pace control. Also just like the finesse shit, FIFA 18 sees a return to an emphasis on speed. Once a pacey player beats a defender, it’s pretty much a done deal and we love it. Mertersacker shouldn’t be able to keep up with Aubameyang.   Conversely, keepers are noticeably weaker than before and the biggest change that has countless gamers whining is the defense. The AI no longer bails out overly aggressive tacklers. As responsive as attacking feels, defending often feels just as sluggish. Containing and jockeying are absolute musts. 

ULTIMATE TEAM: FIFA’s most successful game mode has grown into its own beastly juggernaut. With the world’s best opting for FUT as their preferred method of online play this can be an absolutely brutal and unforgiving way to play FIFA. With that in mind, EA has given you more options with single player modes in squad builder challenges where you face off vs an AI Ultimate Team to win prizes, packs, and coins. Aside from that, the FUT subscribes to the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” ethos. Online seasons, FUT Champions, Drafts and the overwhelming stock market that is the FUT transfer market remains relatively untouched but with the inclusion of OTW and Icon cards. This is hands down the best and most addictive way to play FIFA today. 

The Journey: The Journey literally picks up where you left off last year with Alex Hunter. You plug along in from preseason to the league and more all the while building up Alex’s attributes. The paradigm remains relatively the same as last year. The key differences happen via the storyline and an ability to tweak customizations to Hunter’s appearance via tattoos, gear, boots, and haircuts. This Journey excels as a fun and unique game mode which adds more to the single player experience or as a break from the brutality of online play. Other than that it can feel a bit stale for more serious gamers looking for a challenge.

Sights & Sounds: FIFA 18 shines beautifully with gorgeous graphics, sound and overall ambiance. Stadiums are more raucous with crystal clear chants, hissing, boos and explosive cheers for a goal. The camera vibrates as fans rock the stadium and crowd animations are improved with more variety from last year. The players look incredible and the motion-capture, especially on the world’s best, is shockingly diverse. It’s impossible to for such a massive game with so many clubs to get everything spot on but FIFA 18 gets a lot right.

Pro Clubs/Career Mode: With so much attention and money coming from FUT it’s obvious that other modes will suffer a bit. Career mode remains almost exactly the same as previous years but with added cut scenes that feel a bit forced and stale.  Pro Clubs remains fun but again almost untouched from its predecessors. With the nuances coming from a new more streamlined menu. As FUT continues to grow we wonder what will happen to these stagnant game modes in years to come.