It has been a week since FIFA teased gamers with the release of its demo for the latest instalment in its franchise, and football fans around the world are now hotly anticipating next week’s release of FIFA 17. The franchise is today a global phenomenon and the gaming world’s highest selling gaming series, with its predecessor FIFA 16 selling over one million copies in just its first week in the UK.
While it is a date savoured by gaming fans every year, the hype for FIFA 17 seems even greater than usual. EA have confirmed that this year’s FIFA will work on the new Frostbite game engine, opening up a plethora of new avenues for the game and improving much of the gameplay. Having pored over EA’s trailers and had a week to explore the demo, The Hut offers seven reasons why we think FIFA 17 will be the best edition yet.
Undoubtedly the most exciting development for FIFA 17 is the making of a new story mode called The Journey. This first-person game mode will see you follow the career of an up-and-coming youth player named Alex Hunter, a multiracial 17-year-old footballer trying to follow in the footsteps of grandfather Jim Hunter—an England international star in the 1960s.
The Journey will allow you to select your starter club and take full control of Hunter’s development; from which club he goes on loan to, to which position he is best suited to, to how he deals with his peers and the press, you are given complete control of Hunter’s career. Your decisions will impact the way your manager, teammates, family and the press respond to your, allowing you to truly carve out a unique story on your Journey.
To give The Journey an authentic feel, EA worked with young stars including Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli and Harry Kane to glean an insight into how it feels to make it at a huge Premier League club. EA have used professional actors, directed cut-scenes, real-life dialogue and music from Academy Award-winning musician Atticus Ross to create an immersive game mode ideal for single players.
Arguably the biggest improvement the new Frostbite engine offers FIFA 17 is the transformation of the game’s graphics. The new game looks dramatically clearer and more defined than its predecessor, with huge developments in the lighting, shadowing and colouring of the stadiums. The vast improvement in graphics comes to the fore in The Journey, where details such as the emotion in facial expressions and bodily movements feel much more natural and in line with the graphics of other leading games, especially in comparison with previous editions of FIFA.
We are also big fans the attention to manager animations which means we can enjoy a grumpy Arsene Wenger in his caterpillar coat or a jumping Jurgen Klopp far more often than is necessary.
Corners on FIFA have often been a cause of frustration and occasionally anger for FIFA fans. While the real game has evolved with teams developing tactics and strategies on how to approach corners, FIFA has remained lodged in the past of simply lumping the ball aimlessly into the box and hoping the ball will aim somewhere in the vicinity of your tallest defender.
For FIFA 17, EA have hugely developed corners so that you can now choose the precise area where you want your corner to land. This allows gamers to put more thought into corners, potentially finding weak spots in the box where your 6-feet plus defender is being marked by a smaller player. We have also noticed that corners now appear to outswing more than in previous editions, meaning that you can generate more power in headers from corners.
It was a bit of a let-down on FIFA 16 when you wound up for a 35-yard piledriver shot only to see your hopes and dreams balloon high, wide and handsome over the bar. FIFA 17 seems to have aided this problem, now allowing you to shoot with increased shot power using a new driven shot mechanic. We hope this will mean the opportunity of more screamers.
Two Person Pre-Match Training
We all know that defeating your friends at home or online is the greatest joy FIFA can give, even if FIFA have tried to make its latest game more single-player friendly with The Journey. But is there anything more frustrating than waiting for your game to load and having to watch your opponent dribble through a series of cones or shoot through blocks of wood in the goal? Fortunately, FIFA 17 has now remedied this situation and now includes two person pre-match training, so you can embarrass your friend even before the game gets started.
Improved Physical Play
FIFA has been praised in recent years for evolving its speed play. Where in previous years a remarkably quick player would be unstoppable, FIFA 16 made life much more difficult for fast players by taking into consideration other contributing factors such as technique, balance, and changes of direction.
Similarly for FIFA 17, EA have hugely improved its physical play. In the modern game, shorter players such as Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and Luis Suarez make up for their smaller statures with a bullish strength and ability to shrug off much bigger opponents. FIFA 17 features improved gameplay that allows more complex approaches to the physical game, included the ability to shield the ball from opponents using the frame of the player’s body.
Since the launch of the demo, many players have noticed the importance of key players in matches and how playmakers now have much more influence over the outcome of games. While in older versions of the game any player had the potential to change games with a moment of brilliance, in FIFA 17 it is notable that your attacks will be much more effective if they are started (and preferable finished) using key players such as an Ibrahimovic, Sergio Aguero or Alexis Sanchez.
This is in part thanks to the game’s development of on- and off-the-ball movement. Players seem to make much more intelligent and varied runs in this game that is sure to be a minefield for defending.