Review by Simon Kemp
Another year, another Fifa game. Here we go again . . .
EA has been putting out Fifa games for more than 20 years now and, to be honest, the franchise has had its ups and downs. It also has competition from Konami with the Pro Evolution Soccer series. This always leaves fans with the same question every year: is it worth getting this year’s version?
Every year we’re tempted with new features, revolutionary new physics and better-than-ever graphics. And most times the most noticeable difference is the face on the front of the box.
Not this time. If you look carefully at the box this year you’ll see two very important words: Frostbite and Journey. These two words are why you should buy Fifa 17.
Yes, there is still the plethora of modes, variety, statistics and options to keep the Fifa nerds happy, but it’s those two words that make this game a must for everyone else.
‘ll start with The Journey, Fifa’s latest incarnation of the Be A Pro mode. It’s a part football, part RPG, part soap-opera story charting Alex Hunter’s football career from the playing fields of East London to the Premier League. You play as Hunter and have to steer the young player through the academy to realise his dreams as a pro.
Match day and training are obviously important, but (as it does these days) your personal life and social media presence also contribute to Hunter’s progression.
So it’s not going to win any awards for best RPG game, but The Journey is a fantastic addition to Fifa and may be a pointer to where the franchise can go next.
Frostbite, or more accurately Frostbite 3, is the second game-changer.
Those familiar with EA games will know that it’s the next gen game engine behind games such as Battlefield, Mirror’s Edge and Rory McIlroy Golf.
It’s obviously fantastically powerful, and indescribably complicated, but that doesn’t matter because the only thing you need to know is that it makes the game look and play incredibly.
From the crowd animation and incredible lighting to the genuinely lifelike replays, the game has never looked better. The physics of both the players and the ball is excellent and everything feels a lot more, well, natural.
The players also look different – not only do they look more like their real-life versions, but they are also physically the same. The different builds of the players are more apparent in both looks and the way they move and react during gameplay.
And, finally, you can drive a low shot with power. For the first time, hitting the ball hard won’t necessarily mean it flies into the crowd!
As normal for an EA Sports title the presentation is pretty much TV quality, the attention to detail is astonishing and the online, career and Ultimate Team features are heading towards flawless.
Yes, it’s another Fifa game, but this year, for me the annual “buy or not to buy” is a no-brainer. This is definitely one for the collection.