Friday, 14 October 2016

FIFA 17: PS4 Review

FIFA 17: PS4 Review

Platform: PS4
Released by EA Sports

The Beautiful Game's back - and this time around, it's all about The Journey.

Using the same kind of ethos that's worked for the NBA2K titles, and throwing in a degree of the Telltale Games' strategy of reacting with choices, The Journey focuses on Alex Hunter and his career ascent (or descent if you don't play well enough).

With some cliched sporting dialogue and some fairly stockstandard characters, you could easily dismiss The Journey as being a bit of a waste, but it's actually proving to be a welcome new element to the franchise.

In the first case, it's actually a smart way to get people across the basics and show some training, by setting it in the context of try-outs. Keep Alex in the top 10 and he scores a contract; it's a clever touch that keeps you invested right off rather than getting trophies for hitting a certain number of points in a certain skill-set.

And it's devastating when you don't make the grade in training, and fail to make a starting line up. Not only does it cost you career money, but it also costs you your place in the club. I am particularly gutted that Alex has been put out on loan to get more time on the pitch with other clubs - that's how immersed into this story I am.

It's not worth spoiling the rest of The Journey as the fun is in the playing, but suffice to say it, this FIFA Story Mode may be something to consider a return to next year.

Elsewhere the game is much the same as ever - but with Frostbite providing the graphics' engine, the game actually looks like a beautiful game in many ways. With rendered edges and great lighting the replays sparkle and give you the thrills and chills you need.

But as for the gameplay itself, there are few changes, because the previous iterations have been already so playable and easy to get on with. AI has stepped up a notch and it's noticeably harder to harness a victory on the field in FIFA; Player and Manager Career Modes are back - and to be honest, they're fine; the single player is the reason to take on FIFA and it's welcome.

For many the footballing sim world is already chock-a-block, but this latest makes the time and investment worth it as you follow Alex Hunter - you'll be surprised how much you want to keep playing on.

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