Before now, if you wanted a play a football game on the move your options were rather limited.
The 3DS hasn’t been on the receiving end of a Pro Evolution Soccer or FIFA game for years, and the PlayStation Vita?.. well, yeah. Your only real option is to play on your mobile, and that just doesn’t cut the mustard, does it? Thankfully, the arrival of the Switch has brought with it a new football option for those on the go – FIFA 18 – and while it may not have all the content of its higher-powered console brethren, it still provides a bloody good game of football.
For me, using the Nintendo Switch as a home console isn’t all that appealing, but as a handheld it rocks my world. If I wanted to play FIFA at home, I’d boot it up on the Xbox One X coupled with my big 4K screen. From time to time that simply isn’t an option, however. Maybe I’m on the train somewhere, or maybe I just want to kick back while watching some tripe on the TV. In those instances, being able to play FIFA on something like the Switch is just the ticket.
The first thing you notice when you boot up FIFA 18 on the Switch if you’ve played another console version of the game, is that it’s missing one big mode: The Journey. There are still all the core modes to keep you playing all year long, such as Ultimate Team and both manager and player careers, but FIFA 18‘s continuation of last year’s newly introduced story mode is absent from the Switch version. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but one that’s quickly overcome. Especially with the actual act of playing football being so much fun.
Jumping into your first match, it’s apparent that the visuals have been downgraded to get FIFA 18 running adequately on the Switch hardware, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. Animations remain fluid, players still look like their real-life counterparts, and gameplay is smooth. This is pretty much the FIFA you know and love, only now playable in the palm of your hands.
Whether you’re sat in a comfy armchair or on a tatty seat of public transport, you can immerse yourself in the beautiful game as the crowd chants, the players make their desperate move for the ball, and the commentators narrate over the action. You can enjoy new features added to this year’s release too, such as the new corner kick system that gives you more options than ever. Being able to pinpoint where to kick the ball before taking control of another player to move them into position allows for more advanced tactics, adding more depth to the gameplay than ever before.
There’s a reason why the Switch is doing so well, and that’s because it supports games like FIFA 18. Games that offer nearly all the benefits of a full-on console release but can be played anywhere. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version, but FIFA 18 on the Switch is essentially the same game, and that’s brilliant.
Never before has a portable football game been so feature packed. Never before has a portable football game looked so good. And never before has a portable football game played so well. If you’re a Switch owning football fan I’d say that FIFA 18 is essential, and even if you already own another version of it it’s still worth considering for those times when you’re on the go. I don’t know how successful you’ll be trying to play an online game via a hotel’s wi-fi though, but then the game’s online options are rather limited on Switch anyway.
So yeah, FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch is great when played as a portable game. Not perfect, but pretty damn great. Just thought you should know.