Xbox One, , PS4, , PC
September 29, 2016
Another year goes by and there’s one thing you can be sure of that will come along with it: FIFA is back. Sadly, FIFA 17 is only a slight upgrade on last years FIFA 16. Some new gameplay elements that players have been asking for have been included, like improved throw-ins, low shots at goal, and keeper controlled kicks. Not necessarily very exciting if you’re looking for a reason to pick up FIFA over the many other sport sims that are out there.
This would be the case except FIFA 17 comes with one big welcome surprise; The Journey. The Journey is the first real attempt at the FIFA series adapting a story mode. In The Journey you follow the Story of Alex Hunter. Hunter is an up and coming football superstar, who dreams of making it big in the world of football. You start off by playing through your exit trials in the football academy, and naturally you do so well that you get heaps of offers from all the big name teams in the Premier League.
After playing a few games with your selected team, it becomes apparent that your best friend is doing a lot better that you, and you end up spending a lot of time on the bench. You eventually go out on loan to a Championship League team. It’s here that you will prove yourself by playing well in matches, and exceeding in training drills, that will see you rise as a star and rejoin the ranks in the Premier League. You’ll then score endorsements and go on to play for the coveted FA Cup.
The training drills you take part in are a really great way to teach newcomers to the franchise how to perfect some tricky maneuvers or even all the necessary ins-and-outs of gameplay, while the harder drills will have veteran FIFA players honing their skills even further.
“The writing feels natural and not overworked. I felt like I was a part of a UK TV mini series.”
The stand out about FIFA 17’s story mode is that… it’s actually really good! The voice acting is fantastic, the writing feels natural and not overworked. I felt like I was a part of a UK TV mini series. I often found myself getting excited for the next cut-scene, because I just loved the characters and how their relationships were developing throughout the game. The way that your character is driven by his passion for the game and also the love of his family really puts a nice human element into what was previously just a sporting simulator.
New this year to FIFA 17 is also a new engine for the FIFA games, now running frostbite. It’s quite noticeable that this engine works better for FIFA than EA’s Ignite engine. It seems like with the Frostbite engine that it’s made the players feel a lot more alive and allowed them to have more personality. For large portions of gameplay it almost feels like you could be watching an actual match, because of how realistic some of the movements and reactions are, from sizing up a player to making a through pass past them, right down to the over the top flailing on the ground after being tripped. Frostbite also takes you beyond the football pitch, to the locker rooms, your house, your managers office and more.
FIFA 17 looks and feels great; I’d even go as far to say it is currently the best sporting sim on the market and has definitely set the bar for football games from here on out. And if you can’t decide between PES and FIFA, then The Journey may be the clincher for you.
- Amazing new story mode
- FIFA Ultimate Team
- Frostbite engine
- Repetitive commentary
- AI is still easy to beat
FIFA 17 has everything that you love about the FIFA games. Career mode, FIFA Ultimate team, manager mode and the new story mode; The Journey gives you ultimate replay value and the Frostbite engine works beautifully for the game. I must go now because my Ultimate team is waiting for me!
*The Journey game mode and Frostbite engine not available on PS3 and Xbox 360