Image: Twitter (Pete Thompson) / Haoran Un (FIFA 18, PS4)
It’s World Cup time, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more soccer – and virtual soccer – than usual. But if you’re feeling a bit patriotic when it comes to FIFA 18, you might notice that something looks a bit … off.
EA’s annual FIFA franchise is doing the World Cup a little bit differently this year, and as Luke has noted, it’s honouring the tournament in the most consumer-friendly way possible. The publisher has typically re-released a standalone game just to honour the world cup, rather than patching the mode into the current iteration of FIFA.
It’s always been a right pain in the arse, because you were essentially paying for the same product. This year, however, EA have just patched the World Cup, kit and caboodle, into the main menu of FIFA 18.
And that’s fantastic! Except there’s one problem if you’re Australian: the players look a little, well, off.
Take the Aussie skipper, Mile Jedinak:
Jedinak was fondly nicknamed “The Beard To Be Feared” in the UK, thanks to his hairy crop. FIFA 18, however, doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo:
For reference, this was captured on a base PS4. Irrespective of console, however, there’s a pretty big difference between a giant bush of facial hair and … well, bugger all.
It’s not just the Socceroos captain, either. Take one of Australia’s most iconic sporting stars over the last decade, Tim Cahill.
In real life:
And in FIFA 18:
The skin tone is all wrong. Cahill’s real skin tone is more of a deeper olive colour, owing to his half-Samoan descent. FIFA doesn’t seem to quite get that blended tone, however, ending up in a result that’s more … brown.
Here’s one of Australia’s brighter players through the qualifier phase, Josh Risdon:
And in FIFA, he’s almost closer to Wayne Rooney.
Not every Aussie player is hard done by, though. Some are easier for developers to render than others. Take midfielder Aaron Mooy, who’s basically a bald white bloke with distinct features. FIFA 18 doesn’t do too badly:
On the bright side, at least FIFA fans get to have a bit of fun at the game’s rendition of the Socceroos for free this time around. And with the group Australia has drawn this year, any extra bit of motivation – even if that’s just a strong performance to encourage the devs for FIFA 19 – will help.