‘FIFA 17’ bounces off the goalpost

Courtesy of EA Canada "FIFA 17" is the first entry in the series to utilize the Frostbite engine, which has also been used in such games as "Battlefield 1" and "Mass Effect: Andromeda."

Courtesy of EA Canada
“FIFA 17” is the first entry in the series to utilize the Frostbite engine, which has also been used in such games as “Battlefield 1” and “Mass Effect: Andromeda.”

By Sean Armstrong | Staff Writer

This year “FIFA 17,” like every year has arrived amongst plenty of hype and just as much controversy. However, this year “FIFA 17” deviated from the uninspiring, unoriginal pack Fifa had become, with improvements to set pieces, AI intelligence and offline modes.

The Journey, the new “FIFA 17” game mode, where you play as rising star Alex Hunter, was a nice deviation from the norm. Hunter’s story was interesting, but it certainly wasn’t original. If, for instance, a player chose Manchester United as their team in The Journey, then they play a storyline similar to the real world player Marcus Rashford.

Marcus Rashford is a young up and coming player that is in great form, but is still struggling for first team appearances, just like Hunter in The Journey. The story of “FIFA 17” is nothing overly special at this point, but it is a nice step in the right direction.

Goalkeepers don’t dive the wrong direction like in past “FIFA” installments, CPU controlled teams no longer make blatantly bad passes that give up possession. The graphics also took a huge leap forward. It looks more like the a live game broadcast than in any previous “FIFA” game.

However, while the mechanics behind the game may have improved, with the new Frostbite engine allowing more freedom in free kick situations, there isn’t anything revolutionary about this game.

Nothing stands out in this installment as being better than any previous “FIFA” titles. Sure, there are more teams than in past “FIFA” games, the game play also flows better than before, but The Journey lacks being a major mark in the franchise. The Journey is a good start to a revolutionary game mode, but there really was no actual choice in what happened in the story, no matter what Alex Hunter accomplishes the same event occurs.

No matter if Hunter scores a hattrick every game, or if he gives up possession every time he gets the ball, he still goes out on loan. No matter the situation, 07Hunter is doomed to follow the storyline “EA Sports” prescribes for him, and that needs to change for The Journey to become The Journey.

Hopefully, “FIFA 18” will improve on the choices of the player in The Journey game mode and allow for storylines to diverge and mutate into different situations.

The series has had revolutionary ideas in the past, and these ideas have stood the test of time. “FIFA Ultimate Team” was a step towards online gameplay that no sports game had seen, and it allowed the game to be better as a whole, but Ultimate Team was also a flawed game mode at first. In fact it’s still flawed, those who win usually put the most money into building their team, but with each installment of the “FIFA” franchise Ultimate Team has improved.

The Journey could do the same thing, people just have to voice their concerns, and The Journey will get better. All in all “FIFA 17” was a nice step forward for the franchise, but still short of perfect.

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