FIFA 18 hits shelves on September 29th, and we were lucky enough to sit down and give a tentative version of the game a whirl in London recently. Our full preview can be found on site.
One of the aspects of the game vastly improved on last year's entry is artificial intelligence, both in terms of the user's own players and opposition, CPU teams.
When playing against the computer, teams will portray a likeness to their real-life equivalents in terms of style of play and tactical approach.
FIFA's creative director Matt Prior breaks it down for us:
It does come down to the individual traits of the individual performers, but on top of that you've got the tactics. So, Barcelona is the obvious one with their kind of tiki-taka short football. If you transferred Messi to Chelsea, you'd see him play differently. Obviously, he'd still be Messi, but he wouldn't bring tiki-taka along with him, because over the top of that will be the style of play that Chelsea play, so it's kind of a combination of the two. And then obviously you can change it to tiki-taka if you want to.
It is kind of a representation of the real world, right? They bring players in, but Pep will have his own style for City. So if David Silva had signed for United, he'd be playing boring, defensive football, but at City he'll be playing attacking football...and still lose!
So if you play against the computer in a game versus United, they'll be boring and defensive?
I'm not going to say that! They will be representative of their real-world tactics...
Yeah! Well, their style will be custom-tuned to represent their real-world style. So, yeah... But you can change it!!!
Sorry, United fans. Although if you're playing as United, you won't need to worry about it.
The Journey also returns, with Alex Hunter now fully customisable - in terms of his appearance, at least - and it looks like a massive step-up from last year's introduction of the long sought-after mode. There's plenty more of that in our big preview, but Matt Prior also informed us how The Journey's fictional protagonist has begun to transcend the game, and how the actor who plays Hunter is now a wholly recognisable figure within the world of football.
Adetomiwa [Edun], who's the guy who plays Alex Hunter was at a couple of the shoots, and the players were like 'ayyyy!' you know? Interestingly, I came here (Stamford Bridge) with him to watch a Chelsea game, and we were a little bit late due to the chaos getting in. And we were running up to the stand, and it was funny running past guys and they were going, 'You know what? You look like that guy from FIFA!' And we wanted to get to our seats so we were like, 'No, no'. And they'd be like, 'Are you sure?'
There must have been 20 people who took selfies with him, they all recognised him. So it's interesting, he's already embedded himself into the fabric of real-world football culture. He gets stopped all the time now.
You can check out our full FIFA 18 preview, including what we're most excited for, in the 'Gaming' section above.