EA Sports can't really be blamed for focusing on Ultimate Team, because the mode is a money-making machine for FIFA's developers and one of the most popular parts of the game annually. Those who favour a more traditional experience have been left behind in recent years though. That poor Career Mode needed some love.
Rejoice, single-player fans, because EA are finally sprinkling some magic on the entire suite in a bid to make it feel fresh. Remember just how stale FIFA 17's career (whether playing as manager or pro) became after just a few seasons? Well, all those afternoons spent wishing FIFA careers could be so much more have been worth it.
FIFA 18 promises a variety of changes to how Career Mode plays out. It remains to be seen just how great these will be a few campaigns in, but at least EA are trying to offer something different. Now, you get to deal with diva-esque player egos and make the big-money decisions face-to-face.
Just try not to smack digital Neymar on the nose when he asks for more cash and a hefty bonus per goal at the eleventh hour of negotiations...
On the surface, the new 'Squad Hub' may seem like an incidental change that won't drastically alter the way you play Career Mode. Dig a little deeper however and it becomes clear that this is something EA should've done years ago. Finally, all those details about your players can be found in the one place.
Previously, you had to trawl through several different menus to find out key information about your players. It was hardly a huge hassle, but it's nice to have everything collated neatly into the hub. Not every improvement needs to be sweeping, and this is evidence of that. EA's mission should be making Career Mode more accessible, after all; spending less time in menus is a good thing.
Want to know how long a player has long on their contract and find out how much they're worth? No longer do players need to enter the separate menus associated with contracts and transfers, because that info is handily side-by-side in FIFA 18.