EA must have been feeling pretty generous when it deployed the free World Cup update to FIFA 18 - the company has, in previous years, made the most of the licence by releasing stand-alone World Cup titles.
While the update has gone down as a very welcome addition to the game, some players have voiced the opinion that the gameplay isn't quite up to the core FIFA 18 standard. Some have claimed that EA has made changes which make it feel slower to play, and that both passing and dribbling have become harder. It has also been claimed that shooting is now overpowered, lending an 'arcade' feel to the game.
However, according to Andrei Lazarescu - producer of the Switch version of the game and the World Cup update - none of this is true. Speaking to Eurogamer at E3, he explained his theories for why players feel the game has changed.
Refreshed player stats based on the national team form is one reason; these will differ from the stats seen in the same players in the main game, especially in the Ultimate Team mode, in which the abilities of each player can be boosted over a period of time. Lazarescu thinks that FIFA fans are heading into the World Cup update expecting every single team member to be as fast, skilful and potent as they are in the Ultimate Team mode, which isn't likely. As a result, the game feels different.
That's a pretty convincing explanation, but Lazarescu has another theory, and it's a little more straightforward. The World Cup mode has an entirely overhauled look, and this could contribute to the impression that things have changed behind the scenes when, in fact, they haven't:
Players saw it and thought, oh, this is new, and psychologically it feels like new gameplay.
Do you feel that the World Cup update feels different in terms of gameplay? Does Lazarescu's take on the situation convince you? Let us know with a comment, and if you've yet to try the game out, it's on sale at the moment.