Game Review

EA’s ‘Fifa 2017’ Review (2016)

Find out what ScreenCritics thinks of EA’s latest FIFA offering – FIFA 2017. Is it title-winning form, or another pretender to the crown?

Fifa 17 promised to let the players feel the game like never before and tried to immerse players in the world of football, making it feel like the game was about you. With a new emphasis on single player as well as new mechanics galore, there’s a lot to mention in the latest Fifa outing. But is it title-winning form, or is this new edition of Fifa a relegation candidate?

Fifa 16 was arguably the best Fifa game EA has pushed out in a long time. It was the culmination of years of build, a game that played as well as it looked. It also came packing a huge roster of modes and  managed to refresh a stalling series with a different series of attacking movements and gameplay actions that made it an overall good experience for the player. Fifa 17 takes this a step further by keeping the majority of that gameplay but by making the player the target man of the game. It makes the game feel more catered towards the individual like never before – Something that becomes prevalent in the new Journey mode.

The Journey is where you take control of a young player, Alex Hunter and try to make him into a premiership star. The first thing that you do with Alex  With Alex’s childhood friend Gareth Walker by your side, you enter the real gritty han of football when trailing out for the ‘Exit trials’, again another side of football not really noted by the Fifa series up to now. These make for two very good editions to the story mode. Unfortunately for Alex and Fifa this is where the Journey mode starts to go dramatically downhill. For all the hype that surrounded The Journey game mode; you’re not really granted the ability to truly shape your destiny. Every attempt I made to be ‘The Zlatan of Bournemouth’ did nothing to help or hinder my chances of playing, from criticising managers to team mates, nothing seemed to work. I was welcomed into the team with open arms – it’s a jarring break in reality. Also the fact that you can’t edit the player in any way makes the game feel a bit outdated, something they need to seriously reconsider in future outings.

Essentially ‘The Journey’ is just a Fifa 16 Be A Pro season, with a few cut scenes added and a little bit of a story added to it. Add the fact that you can only do one season with the mode, and the very laughable ‘Rewards’ that you get for the completing the game mode makes the player leave with a very sour taste in their mouth. The reward at the end of the game mode is an Alex Hunter Ultimate team card, which if you don’t play the mode, makes it useless. Overall The Journey is a mediocre start to a game mode that has the potential to be an excellent edition to the series in the future. But it just seems a bit rushed and needs a lot of work doing to it. PES’ Be A Pro mode from a few years ago is much better than this edition.

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Even in terms of gameplay; Fifa 17 is something of a disappointment. Fifa 16 made the player feel that no matter how poorly a player was playing they could still score a goal and get back into the game. Fifa 17 ruins this balance slightly. Granted the players AI have seen huge improvements and the addition of a low shot makes it a lot more testing for the AI goalkeeper. But being truthful, the rest of EA’s changes have made the overall package much less enjoyable and, in some cases, the most difficult Fifa game to play in recent years.

There’s no flow to passing if you end up playing as a low-starred team. Simple short passes seems to go everywhere across the pitch apart from the place you actually want it to go. The through ball system no longer works and basically is no use to the player at all. Every attempt of a through ball just doesn’t work and I actually refuse to use them in a match now as it is just giving the ball away. Button memory still makes the game a hindrance and this is something that EA need to have a serious look at for the next game.

The refereeing system has been improved slightly, with not every slide tackle now a free kick and a yellow card. Some thought has actually gone into thinking about the refereeing decisions but some improvement still needs to be made. The advantage rule is now too strict either way. Either is blows up when you have an advantage, or doesn’t blow up when you don’t have an advantage. Minor changes need to be made to the refereeing

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The new corner system is highly unfair and makes every corner a good goal scoring opportunity. If you place the dot in the penalty spot and put it nearly up to full power, the ball will go in hard, making it easy for any tall defender to header the ball. \Meanwhile the Free Kick system, again makes it extremely difficult to score from a direct free kick. Any slight spin movement on the ball makes the ball fly over the bar or very far wide. Again something Fifa 16 did very well and EA has decided to change it for the worse.

Be A Pro’s also undergone This with additions of the new AI being able to defend on this game and not being able to run straight through the team, means that it makes it a more difficult game to play which is good. The addition of a live form feed to put your stats up and down instead of objectives makes an interesting and very appealing change to the game mode. Gone of the days where you would just play teams who want to get all of their objectives up. Which is good as it means that every game has to be a good game of you could end up playing with a drought and eventually slip back to the player you started with. Very good addition to the game mode and BAP actually being one of the shining modes in the Fifa 17 game.

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I have decided to put these two together as not a lot has changed in either of the game modes. Ultimate team now has a FUT Champions game mode which is a good game mode if you are very good at Fifa games, as there are some very good rewards if you are good enough. If, like me, you’re not the best at Fifa games, this destroys you W-D-L ration completely. My 8-4-31 record does not make pleasant reading but majority of this is because of the FUT Champions mode. One addition I would make to the Ultimate Team is to have a bit more variety in the tournaments it offers. Apart from that if it is not broke then don’t fix it, and that is what EA have done.

Career mode has a minor change made to the game mode. This takes the commercial aspect of players into account and makes an objective based on that. Apart from that it is pretty much that same, which is a shame. I was hoping this year, that like the Madden franchise, they would make it where you could be a chairman of a club and make decisions about the stadium and advertising aspect of the game.

 


Conclusion: EA’s Fifa 17 is an OK addition the Fifa franchise, but it needs a dramatic improvement in training to make it a first team player. With the old rival PES starting to have a resurgence in popularity, EA need to make sure that the next fifa has many different features otherwise it will be left behind. Not as good as Fifa 16, but not the worst Fifa game of the series. Cast your minds back to Fifa 06 Road to World cup and that’s how bad it can be.

Pro Clubs mode is a highlight and some changes have made a good improvement to the game, but more negatives than positives. The Journey and overall gameplay need a serious look at to make it a top contender for the next game in the series. Good game to play with friends but don’t go rushing out to buy it if you have last years copy.



This article was contributed by guest contributor Mark:

Xbox Live Gamertag: Mark2007
PSN: Godzilla2k10
Twitter: @therealbert

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