FIFA 17 uses the Frostbite Engine which is best known for use in the Battlefield games. I didn’t notice a huge difference in general gameplay, with FIFA looking just about as good as it possibly can be, but obviously the engine significantly benefits FIFA’s new story mode ‘The Journey’. The cut scenes and environments as well as the new stadium intros look absolutely fantastic. These elements don’t add a whole lot to the core gameplay, but it just adds another notch to the already incredible presentation of FIFA.
FIFA 17’s The Journey is arguably the biggest addition to the game and it’s really good. Leading up to the launch, I was incredibly sceptical, failing to understand how a story mode could feel natural to a FIFA game, but boy was I wrong.Without spoiling too much, The Journey has you starting out as a young Alex Hunter, who is playing an under 11’s match in front of your father and grandfather, both who are professional soccer players in their own right. You’re then tasked with working your way through a number of skill sessions as well as a practise match in order to get the notice of a number of key managers and soccer scouts.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that there was a story here that I actually cared about. I felt like I was in the shoes of Alex Hunter and actually cared whether results went his way or not. I not only wanted him to succeed, but I genuinely believe that I became a better FIFA player, due to the fact that I wanted to do well for him and didn’t just constantly rush forward in order to score the fanciest goal. You’re also to able to dictate both where Alex plays as well as what personality he takes on both on and off the field.You’re able to choose your own responses to a number of interactions based on a Fiery, Cool or Balanced response, which affects your journey in the form of fans and manager offers. This is honestly the one area where the mode let me down. The emotional experiences on-field were enough for me to get invested in the character, while the terrible acting and over-the-top, almost unbelievable story arcs took me out of the experience. I’m sure that this could improve next year.