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FIFA 98 (PC) Review

Background Info

EA Sports did almost everything right in this game and for once listened to the some of the complaints from people about previous versions. The graphics are better flowing, the sound blows you out of your chair, and the controls actually work! I am highly impressed with the quality of this game and some of the new and key features of FIFA 98:

    1. True Simulation of the World Cup
    2. Player Editors
    3. League Play
    4. Referee Strictness Option
    5. Player Fatigue Option
    6. Computer Assited Headers
    7. Player Transfers for Money
    8. Multiple Weather Conditions

The controls are very similar to FIFA 97, but in this game, they actually work! I tried a friendly match first, to get the feel of the game. I ran along the sideline and lobbed a shot in front of the goal, to my surprise, I was actually able to head the ball in! I was able to jump over a defensive player trying a slide tackle on me! I was also able to put 80% of my shots on the net, which seemed an impossibility in FIFA 97!

I am able to do what I want to, there are no delays in the controls, I was able to "One-Touch" pass, and when I try a slide tackle, the player actually gets up fast, unlike FIFA 97. Based on what I have heard from the FIFA 97 fans, that when EA went from FIFA 96 to FIFA 97, gameplay was hurt significantly. It was next to impossible to do Bicycle Kicks, Headers, and any type of moves that made FIFA 96 so fantastic!

EA Sports stressed that gameplay would be the focus for FIFA 98. Those great plays that we did for FIFA 96 did resurface again in FIFA 98! I think EA went through some growing pains in FIFA 97. They created the game with a new 3D engine, which made the graphics look great and the Dolby Surround Sound, which provided some awesome sounds. That was a step in the right direction, but as I said before, it was difficult to make any kind of great moves.

FIFA 98: Road to the World Cup is exactly as the title says. You have a choice of 172 teams that you will try to take to the World Cup. First, you will have to try to make the list to be one of the 32 teams to go to France. Second, you will play all the qualifying matches, just like in the real World Cup, to become champion of the world! FIFA 98 will have 16 real stadiums from around the world also. Andy Gray and John Motson did make a comeback in FIFA 98. There are over 40,000 Play by Plays and Commentarys.

FIFA 98 has more flexible management screens too. There are attacking and defending formations as in the previous versions of FIFA, but you will be able to choose players positions and you can adjust players' attitudes. Defenders, midfielders, or attackers, can defend or attack individually.

One touch and "Give and Go" passing are new features too. Not only you control the player with the ball, but you can control the receiver of the pass as well. Headers, volleys, and finishes near the net are supposed to be easier to do as well. EA Sports claims it will be as easy to do as a shot or pass. It is still basically a "One on One" type game, but EA claims there are triple the moves that a player can make, including fakes, spin moves, and others. Defending moves are increased as well, there are 3 levels of tackles that you will be able to perform, conservative, aggressive, and severe. Severe can result in a red card, so it must be used with caution. You can also injure your player on a tackle too, which can result in one month on the disabled list!

Graphics: 90
Audio: 96
Interface/Options: 89
Gameplay: 90
Difficulty: 92
Overall: 93

By: Eric Dysinger 6/1/98

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