FIFA 17 hits store shelves worldwide today and it is possibly the most highly-anticipated version in a while.
For the last few years FIFA obsessives have been disappointed with the lack of improvement in the way you play the game on and off the pitch. However, this time FIFA should feel very different after EA Sports made some major adjustments to the latest version. Here are a few things to look out for…
Possibly the biggest change to the latest edition is a new feature called The Journey. It gives gamers the chance to live life on and off the pitch as the Premier League’s next rising star. You start off as a youth player called Alex Hunter – a Clapham-born 17-year-old – and your target is to progress to the top of the game. Your performances as well as choices off the pitch will mould your unique story. EA Sports consulted top names such as Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, James Rodriguez and Marco Reus to make sure it is as realistic as possible. You decide which team he plays for and make important decisions through a series of interactive cutscenes. It’s your chance to be a professional footballer!
EA Sports have chosen a Frostbite engine to power FIFA 17, which is already used by other EA titles including Need For Speed and Battlefield. The new engine should push the boundaries of realism, making it feel like you are properly part of the matchday atmosphere and experience. Without the move from EA Sports Ignite to Frostbite, The Journey wouldn’t have been possible. “The overarching goal is to leverage the abilities of many of our game teams to produce an engine that delivers world-class games,” said FIFA Technical Director Ed Kilham. “For FIFA, the move to Frostbite allows us to develop new features that were not supported by the previous engine including the new cinematic story mode in FIFA 17, The Journey.”
Set piece rewrite
If you were anything like me, you will have found free-kicks much too hard on the last game (or much too easy if you’re like my mates,) but generally people had their routine way of taking them. FIFA 17 provides gamers with a totally unique experience for every set-piece situation. For free-kicks you can now customise your run up, add spin on the ball and even bend one with the outside of your foot – Roberto Carlos style! On penalties you can now take your run up from different angles and distances, while you can add pace to throw-ins or fake it.
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) September 21, 2016
More detailed Career mode
Although not quite as in-depth as the new The Journey feature, the classic FIFA Career mode has added a lot more detail. FIFA 17 has taken some of the good aspects of The Journey and loosely added them to the Career mode feature. You are now given specific challenges by your board such as looking after the club’s finances or maintaining Brand Value, whereas in previous versions of the game you may only have been instructed. If you choose to be the manager you are likely to find yourself immersed in the game more than ever, with it feeling a lot more like running a club than simply buying players.
Heaps more subtle improvements
The new FIFA is sounding like a huge improvement on the last few already, but there’s plenty more for you to get excited about. Thanks again to the new Frostbite engine; FIFA 17 will have 3D head scans of Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus players after becoming the official video game partner to those three clubs. Players such as Wayne Rooney, Manuel Neuer and Paulo Dybala will come to life thanks to the extra detail.
Not only are there cool new improvements, you can win a lot of money after EA have announced a $1.3million eSports initiative for winning the FIFA Interactive World Cup. Gamers will be able to compete in a new mode known as ‘FUT Champions’ for a chance to play in the brand new ‘Weekend Leagues’. If you’re good enough for the ‘Weekend Leagues’ then you could find your way into the World Cup if you do well. Kerching!
Also worth mentioning are the ten new legends available for your FIFA 17 Ultimate Team. The legends are as follows: Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Marc Overmars, Luis Hernandez, Emmanuel Petit, Juan Sebastian Veron, Rio Ferdinand, Alessandro del Piero and Carles Puyol. Not only that, but new musician-designed kits will be available to collect on Ultimate Team from the likes of Kasabian and Damien Marley.