How do you make the best-selling football game franchise of all time even better?
The EA Sports Fifa games have been ever-present on every console from the Sega Mega Drive to the latest PlayStation 4.
But with the introduction of a new single-player story mode Fifa 17 sees the franchise’s most significant update since the launch of Ultimate Team.
What’s it all about?
A story mode is new ground for Fifa. Sure, you can already control a single player during matches, but the idea of having control over his off-the-pitch affairs is something different.
The story mode, known as ‘the Journey’, was revealed at an EA press event ahead of the E3 gaming show in LA. Within 24 hours a YouTube video called ‘Fifa 17 – the Journey’ had over 2 million views.
The Journey explained
It’s basically Fifa as you know and love it, mashed up with a role-playing adventure game. You take control of a single player with the aim of building his career both on and off the pitch.
What does this mean? As well as controlling him when he is playing on the pitch you will also:
- Spend time at home with him and his family
- Listen to agents offer lucrative contracts
- Watch as he hangs out at training grounds
- Hear the advice of agents, family and coaches
- Negotiate tense meetings with managers
You’ll see family homes, training facilities, tunnels, aeroplanes and other areas of a footballer’s life normally off-limits to gamers. It’s all made possible by Frostbite.
The Frostbite games engine was developed by the team behind the Battlefield shooter series. In Fifa 17 the idea is to make it as true to life as possible – both on and off the pitch.
Improved graphics bring more detail into the game – whether we’re talking about a brightly lit dressing room or a gloomy managers’ office.
Characters too can show the emotion demanded by the story – such as happiness at being offered a deal or frustration over a mistake.
Who is Alex Hunter?
The player who stars in the story mode is Alex Hunter. He’s a young lad preparing for his first season in the top-flight after having impressed as an academy player.
The pundits have already tipped him for greatness, but for any promising young player there are many potential pitfalls to navigate… and that’s where you come in.
What about the football?
The actual playing of football will of course remain the nuts and bolts of Fifa 17.
When you’re playing as Alex on the pitch, it’ll be like the existing Career mode where you control a single player.
Can I still play regular Fifa?
Yes, of course. You’ll be able to play Fifa as you always have – only better.
Traditionally when you play Fifa you’re in control of the whole team – whether you’re playing online in Ultimate Team or one-off exhibition matches with family at Christmas.
Any new gameplay features?
Yes, from free kicks to corners – the gameplay has been improved.
- Play a threaded through-pass to set up a perfect goal
- Head the ball into the ground to catch the keeper off guard
- Strike a driven finish and keep your volley low
- Penalty kicks – tailor your run up with the perfect angle and speed
- Corners – enjoy greater precision when picking out a teammate in the box
- Free kicks – put your own spin and movement on the ball
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