I think I owe it to you guys and mention right on the outset that I have a soft spot for FIFA. I mean I’d go with FIFA over PES regardless of the year, simply because you are treated to a fuller experience with the former. So I usually just compare how close PES manages to get FIFA each year. But surprisingly enough this year, PES 17 is closed in on that gap and shook the very ground EA Sports thought they stood so firm on.
Last year FIFA was a bit of a let down as the on pitch action failed to live up to the hype. And even though FIFA 17 doesn’t really fix all the flaws in FIFA 16 it surely is an improvement to the franchise with one major addition that makes it a game to consider this year, which is the addition of the story mode. Each year EA Sports tries to refine the game by introducing new elements, upgrades and subtle tweaks that make the game even more realistic. Here are a bunch of changes that were brought in for FIFA 17.
One of the biggest changes made to this edition was the Frostbite engine. EA got done with the Ignite with FIFA 16 and added the new engine making the game look better than it has ever been before. With improved player likeness and the addition of 20 Premier League managers, FIFA 17 is the closest you can get to the game.
The biggest selling point to this year’s FIFA is the story mode, The Journey. It is a story mode that follows Alex Hunter. a 17 year old prodigy, who is looking to make it big in the football world. You can choose to sign any Premier League team but will find yourself warming the bench for the first few games. The idea is to work your way into the starting eleven by completing some of the skill tests. Down the line you are sent to loan to a smaller team, from which you need to play your way back into the original team.
The Journey allows you to build the character of Alex Hunter. At each juncture, you are given various options as to how Alex will respond to a situation. You can respond aggressively which makes him a bit arrogant and cocky or keep him calm and collected as he approaches various situations.
The narrative context takes this mode to another level. A combination of set backs and the support from Hunter’s family makes you want to genuinely help the chap out.
With managers like Guardiola, Conte, Klopp, Pochettino and Mourinho all in the same league, EPL is not going to be the same. No single team dominates the league which makes it even more interesting to watch perhaps is the best time to introduce managers to the game. Even though that doesn’t make any difference to the game, it an effort into giving the player a richer experience.
When I first tried my hand at penalties, it was a disaster. It is a mechanic that EA completely did over, which actually gives you more control over where to shoot, but is difficult to master. But over time you get used to the new penalties and its as fun as it ever was!
Dead balls have also seen a slightly new element to them. Now as your player stands over a dead ball, you have the option of moving the player around the ball to get the desired angle before shooting. This allows players a wider scope of shot on target without having to switch to a player with the opposite foot. You also can take a longer run up to generate more power on the ball from set pieces.
A new set of skill tests have also made their way into FIFA 17. My favorite so far is “Open The Gate” where you play as two attackers, who need to collect 3 coins every time before scoring while keeping the ball from defenders. As you progress the number of defenders increase. There are numerous other skill tests that allow you to sharpen your skills before you head out for the proper game.
As mentioned earlier, the gameplay is not too much different from 16. On the pitch, the passing can feel a bit sluggish at times, but you are able to shield the ball better than before in possession (which can work against you as it makes it harder to win back from the AI team). It’s a much more fun game against human opponents and seems to favor a direct route to goal. With more of a focus on pace, you can take runs with quick attackers and burst through an opponent’s back line. FIFA 16 allowed defenders like Terry to chase down attackers like Sturridge.
The new throw ins allow players to walk a step or two on either side before throwing in the ball, a minor but effective tweak to make the game more realistic. You can take low driven shots better this year around, which encourages players to take shots from outside the box.
The changes that have been made this year are very technical and are improvements that perhaps only a highly skilled FIFA player might notice. This is probably why FIFA 17, a game that usually ticks all the marks on a football game had to come up with the something fresh this year, hence The Journey. The soundtrack in the game is as good as ever. Every FIFA game picks out some really good songs that aren’t too famous, which is something I have always liked about them. The thing is PES and FIFA are offering two very different types of play and this might be the year that you would consider spending on two football games.
But before you ask, it’s FIFA 17 over PES 17, all day, everyday!