FIFA 18 fans have got their wish.
After a huge fan outcry, Brazilian legend Ronaldo has finally had his stats upgraded.
FIFA fans had been left fuming when the original Ronaldo – winner of two World Cups, two Spanish titles and two Ballon d’Ors – had only been rated at four-star for skill moves.
The low rating meant that R9 couldn’t perform the move he made famous in real life… the ‘elastico’.
The move, now performed by numerous players, saw Ronaldo hit the ball with the outside of the foot to feint going one way, before instantly bringing it back with the inside of his foot to go the other.
Arguably the best striker of the last generation, Ronaldo scored 352 club goals and is second only to Pele (77) in number of goals scored for Brazil (62).
Fans were not impressed.
But EA Sports have gone back to the drawing board and updated his stats – and most importantly, El Fenemeno now has that all-important five-star rating.
FIFA 18 is out on Friday, here’s everything you need to know.
When will Fifa 18 be released and on what consoles?
The official date of release is 29 September.
That said, if you have EA Access on Xbox One or PC you will be able to play up to 10 hours of the game from today – otherwise you still have to wait until September 29.
Last year’s release was Tuesday September 27, Fifa 16 Tuesday September 22 and Fifa 15 on Tuesday September 23.
It will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
There will also be a Nintendo Switch version, which will be called EA Sports Fifa.
Xbox 360 and PS3 users will only be getting a downgraded ‘Legacy Edition’, which will feature no new gameplay features, and the only new editions being the latest kits.
You will be able to purchase the game in stores and online as well as via the PlayStation Store and Xbox.
How much will the game cost?
FIFA 18 will cost around £49.99 – but given the demand, some outlets may undercut this.
We expect the cheapest the game will go for at launch to be around £45.
Who will be on the cover?
Cristiano Ronaldo has been revealed as the cover star of Fifa 18.
The move marks a stunning turnaround from EA Sports as the Real Madrid star’s great rival Lionel Messi was on the cover from 2013 to 2016.
Dortmund’s Marco Reus was on the cover in 2017 but it appears EA have opted for a higher profile figure this year.
What’s new in Fifa 18?
As always, we can look forward to the usual minor upgrade in graphics and gameplay… but this year will see nothing major on that front.
That is mostly because the current edition was the first under the new Frostbite game engine.
One major boost will be the ‘dynamic weather’ feature, which essentially means that rather than playing in 90 minutes of pounding rain or blistering sunshine, the weather will change throughout.
While not only set to look spectacular, it will also mean you will need to change playing tactics and maybe even personnel quickly, or fall behind…
An EA spokesperson said: “It’s not only a pretty effect, it actually changes the way you play the game.”
Elsewhere, there have already been a few new features announced, with many rumoured to be in the pipeline. Read more on that below.
What new leagues have been confirmed in Fifa 18?
So far the big-name attraction, money-bags machines, the Chinese Super League, has officially been added.
If you’re craving some Carlos Tevez time, you will be able to fire up Fifa 18 and crack on Shanghai Shenhua. You’re welcome.
The Indian Super League is also widely expected to be added alongside the German third tier, with work beginning on them in April.
Will The Journey be returning?
It certainty is… the first instalment was a raging success, widely applauded by gamers and critics alike.
However, it’s expected to see something of an upgrade, possibly even continuing the career of young forward Alex Hunter.
After working your way to the big-time in the Premier League – with a quick spell on loan in the Championship – the gripping story mode ended somewhat abruptly.
The Fifa 18 edition may well see Hunter deal with such issues as international football and the struggles of coping with fame.
With that in mind, Fifa may take on board fan advice and ensure that your dialogue and storyline decisions have a greater overall effect – while hopefully allowing you to play more than just a single season.
EA have more than enough experience in this field thanks to smash hit Mass Effect series. Watch. This. Space.
What about the other Fifa 18 modes?
FUT continues to bring people flocking back to Fifa with the majority of gamers taking advantage of the card-style game.
That is expected to see very few tweaks, such is the popularity, but what of career mode?
Once the favourite of the fans, it seems to have come something of an afterthought with our pals at Fifa.
While the addition of training and pre-season tournaments added a much needed injection of fresh blood, there’ still more that may be added.
For instance, more in-depth loan reports and the return of team ‘momentum’ – not seen since Fifa 06 – are just two things rumoured to be added in Fifa 18.
Subtle tweaks like that – and many others – could catapult the ‘enjoyable in small doses’ mode back to the hearts of gamers all over again.
Will Fifa 18 ditch the new free kick and penalty-taking mechanism?
Oh boy, do we all hope so.
Last year, Fifa implemented a brand new set-piece-taking system – their most in-depth yet – allowing you to further control accuracy, power and even your own personalised run-up.
Sounds great on paper. Unfortunately, it was widely panned by gamers, with many hoping and praying the ‘old’ system will return.
After months of avid playing, many still haven’t quite figured out how to regularly bend it like Beckham into the top bins or power home the perfect spot-kick.
Even once you’ve ‘mastered’ it and developed a lethal technique, even the most minor of twitches or slips can result in the most hideous looking effort ever seen.
Whether Fifa are considering a change after just one edition, which would mark a major backtrack, remains to be seen.
Who will be on the cover of Fifa 18?
Who else but Cristiano Ronaldo.
Not Lionel Messi, that’s for sure… after all, the Barcelona ace is contracted to Pro Evolution Soccer only.
The Argentine ace had been on the cover for years until ending his association.
If they’re going to pick the biggest name available, it would be hard to look past Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fifa 17 saw Borussia Dortmund star spash some yellow onto the front cover, while Fifa 16 asked fans to vote for their favourite cover star… with Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson winning.
As for Fifa 18, there have been absolutely no murmurings as yet, so watch this space.
Will indoor mode be returning?
Fifa 97 and Fifa 98 remain two of the greatest editions of the famous franchise ever… and why? Indoor football of course.
Back in those days, the graphics and gameplay were comparatively primitive.
Just imagine taking Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Neymar indoors, in a futsal style event nowadays.
Perhaps even a little Fifa Street-style element? The option of a DJ, some blasting tunes and a hatful of new skills.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
That said, nothing has been suggested as yet, but that doesn’t stop the annual ‘bring it back’ cries. We can all dream.