Fifa 17 Review
Fifa 17 is the most recent iteration of EA Sports soccer video game. It continues in the long line of strong games for the franchise, and is the first that joins the new EA Frostbite engine. The new engine is noticeable throughout the game with the graphics continuing to be sleek, and the game running very well throughout. With Frostbite also comes a newer more physical style of play in much of the game. The physical game counteracts the often speed based game of the previous game, that said many different routes to play are now enabled with both speed and physicality possible in pursuits of success in the game.
One of the biggest new features this year is the story mode. The Journey brings something to FIFA never seen before in the franchise. Following in the path of NBA 2k16’s story around Frequency Vibrations, Fifa 17 brings forward the story of Alex Hunter. Unlike the story in NBA 2k16 the Journey pushes the envelope and is actually an interesting story. That said it is rather drawn out story, and rather predictable at times. It would have done slightly better with the option to skip games, or to avoid having to play all 38+ games in a premier league season.
Beyond that the story being only doable as a premier league side, instead of as any club around the world really restricts the mode. Further as the makers of Fifa chose to focus on a player instead of letting you have your own player in the vein of 2K means that much of the nuance of other such modes is lost in the Fifa version. Also being Alex Hunter specifically is a bit annoying.
The mode is incredibly restrictive forcing you to be an English player, and the narrative is consistent whether you are scoring goals or not. You are forced out on loan, even if you score hat tricks every game, and Harry Kane (or some such player) is brought in and never plays because you score all the goals once returning from loan. That is perhaps the most ridiculous part as Harry Kane hardly would be sold to any premier league club. The mode also a bit restrictive in only allowing you to be an attacking player, at least when I played it.
As for the actual gameplay on the field it is reminiscent of previous years. The most striking difference is the ability to play physically and to move players away from the ball and force people off the ball. That said the physical nature also allows fouls that were called in previous versions to often not be called. The referees often just let stuff happen that would not happen in a real game of soccer. Another big change in this year’s game is the ability to do your own free kick and penalty styles. Once you get a grip on Penalties for the most part they are as easy as they were on previous games. The ability to change sides of the ball on free kicks also adds an interesting level of play to the game.
The most interesting thing I find about the gameplay is that more often than not goals seem to be scored on ridiculous own goals, with play often being more about making the opponent make a mistake than scoring a solid goal offensively. The amount of own goals this year is strides above previous versions. Also the passing continues to be ridiculously wrong as directional passing does not work, and often when pushing to pass to a certain player the ball is kicked vaguely in the right direction, but does not move as you would expect. This is understandable in lower leagues and with weaker players, but when Cristiano Ronaldo is passing to Gareth Bale you expect the ball to at least go in the correct direction.
Much like NBA 2k17 I feel that this iteration of Fifa continues a downward trend of recent years. Whether that is because I’ve been playing these games continuously for the past 7 or so years and everything eventually grows stale, or because the game is actually getting weaker I don’t know. But the final conclusion is that this game is not as good as it could be. 7.6 out of 10.