All aboard the FIFA train for the next installment of EA Sports’ football game franchise. FIFA football has well and truly established itself as the number one footballing game on the video games market. Hundreds of millions of copies of FIFA 17 were sold last year, a year which saw FIFA 17 crowned as the best-selling console title in the world. Like every year, FIFA 18s biggest rival will be the annual Pro Evolution Soccer installment. The past decade has seen the FIFA franchise consistently outgun its rival in terms of gameplay, graphics and playability but perhaps the biggest road block for most video game enthusiasts is the fact that FIFA have almost all the licenses of the various football clubs around the world whereas PES simply does not.
So, what’s new with FIFA 18. First of all, in FIFA 17 we witnessed FIFA’s first footsteps into the world of esports – the wildly popular entertainment sport. The FIFA 17 esports scene witnessed two professional FIFA players scooping over $300,000 between them in front of thousands of fans both at the event and through television and computer screens. FIFA 18 is set to be in part guided by the professional players. Fans of the franchise want FIFA 18 to be as realistic as possible and so do the professionals. The professionals asked the EA developers for more realistic crossing. They got. They asked for the AI defending to be nerfed down. They got it. FIFA 18 is set to be the most realistic installment of the franchise to date and fans cannot wait.
Release date – September 29th 2017Pre order for three-day early access
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2014 game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game follows the story of a ranger by the name of Talion who seeks revenge on the evil forces of Sauron after his family are killed. However, Talion is no mere ranger, he is given wrath like abilities by the Elven Lord Celebrimbor. Shadow of War will be a third-person open world action-adventure game. Shadow of War will once again use the Nemesis system which was highly praised after Shadow of Mordor’s release. If you are not familiar with the nemesis system, then let me explain.
The game can track any Uruk – the general antagonists in the game – that the player comes into contact with. The Uruk’s will have their own names and abilities – they will not simply be faceless enemies with no character, personality or emotion. The game will track Uruk’s that perform any notable talents within the game such as killing the player, or surviving an encounter with the player. If an Uruk perform notable talents, they will be promoted and given new skills which will make them harder for the human player to beat should they encounter each other again. Uruk’s will have a range or different strengths and weaknesses which can be exploited by the player, the player gains these intelligence leaks through interrogating other orcs in the game.
The nemesis system has been updated for Shadow of War. Orcs have now been separated into tribes, spreading their culture and relationships throughout Mordor. You might find some orcs who favour savage fighting whereas others may prefer using magic or experimenting with fire. Perhaps the biggest change comes with the addition of allies. The enemies you dominate and beat can be recruited into your own army. You can even choose to have Uruk’s as your own personal body guards.
Release Date – October 10th 2017
Red Dead Redemption 2
When have Rockstar not released an incredible game? Red Dead Redemption 2 is set for release next year and if the still images are anything to go by, it looks beautiful. Once again players will find themselves located in the wild west, mixing with gun-slingers, bandits, treasure hunters and outlaws. John Marsden’s demise in Red Dead Redemption still brings a tear to the eye. Little is known about the storyline of the second installment in the franchise. It is expected that the open world environment will be larger than the original, which would not be surprising given the fact that RD1 came out in 2010. In 2016, Red Dead 2 was nominated the as the anticipated game. Release was initially scheduled for Autumn if 2017 but has since been delayed until 2018.
But anyone who played RD1 will undoubtedly want to get their hands on the sequel. I can’t wait to begin riding my ‘damn nag’ across the border to Mexico, hog-tie some bandits and drag them across the rural wasteland and play some Liar’s Dice with the most notorious cut-throats and thieves in the wild west.
Release Date – Summer 2018
Call of Duty will back back this November with another installment in its ever popular series. This time CoD is going back to its routes. This installment will revolve around WW2. CoD WW2 will be the first CoD that has been set in this era since Call of Duty: World at War which was first released all the way back in 2008.
CoD WW2 will give players the chance to play as the allied forces in campaign mode as they look to battle the Nazi’s and push them back to Berlin. Of course, online multi-player mode is where the game will be regarded as a success or not. Call of Duty players long for a high online kill/death ratio but with no automatic health regeneration in this installment of CoD they may struggle to begin with. On the other hand, the professional CoD players who compete in esports tournaments have offered their advice to the games makers on how to ensure that the game relies on as much skill as possible. The popular zombie’s mode also returns which will please many of the loyal CoD fans.
Overall, Call of Duty games always offer the thrills and quick pace action and CoD WW2 is no different. However, it is thought that the game does not quite manage to deliver the authenticity of WW2 that it was looking for.
Release Date – November 3rd 2017
Football Manager 2018
The highly addictive computer game in which the player can become manager of any football club they want will be back for the 2017/18 football season. This will be the 14th installment of the ever popular football management simulator since it debuted in 2005. FM18 will take you into your own footballing world. Will you take control of PSG and help to take the team with Neymar to glory? Are you an Arsenal fan that will finally give the boot to Wenger to appease the millions of #WengerOut Arsenal fans? Or perhaps you want to take over the managerial reigns of your local team in an effort to make them one of the best football clubs in the world. The world is your oyster in Football Manager 2018.
Although new features will not be officially announced until late September, FM18 social media accounts have hinted at what is to come. One new feature that seems likely are cut scenes and animations. FM18s Instagram account published a picture of two actors holding a trophy aloft. FM fans have called for a variety of improvements to be added into the game including larger image rights to players and teams and even in-game pitch invasions.
FM18 will be available on PC and mobiles, sorry console gamers. Steam are offering a 25% discount to all who pre-order the game and have FM17 in their games library.
Release Date: November 10th 2017