FIFA 17 critique - Some operate to become performed around the pitch, but this really is a feast of football using a delightful story mode

If practically nothing else, this really is surely one of the most fascinating FIFA in years.

Far from the usual annual tweaks and updates to its footballing formula, FIFA 17 arrives with two marquee upgrades: the switch to a brand new game engine and the addition of the Journey, a cinematic single-player mode following a prodigious young player as he vies to create his name within the Premier League.

It truly is an addition that took numerous by surprise. A story within a football game? Pah. But The Journey is actually a surprising delight; flawed and cliched, but built using a sense of pride and warmth that is certainly so generally missing in such clinical sports sims. And, in this hyper-corporate vision of football we have in recent times, even the sport itself. And no, the irony of a video game that packs countless branded boots and tends to make a fortune selling player packs highlighting this isn't lost on me.

You play as Alex Hunter, a 17-year-old starlet just setting out on his football career, taking him from academy exit trial survivor to his 1st Premier League contract (at a club of the picking out). It is actually the consummate rags-to-riches story; Alex coming from a broken property, overcoming adversity and setbacks with raw talent and difficult function. Whilst The Journey is cautious to not stray also far from U-rated wish fulfilment (no shisha pipes or under-the-table offers here), you'll find some gentle messages about loved ones, friendship along with the pressures of fame that make it additional than just football matches with cutscenes slapped on major.

When Alex gets the chance for his debut from the bench in a hostile away game, he warms up along the sideline with the crowd roaring "Who are ya? Who are ya?", while a much less than perfect performance brings doubt and criticism on social media you'll discover challenging not to take personally.

Seamless on the net matches round out a veritable feast of football that should maintain its players busy for the following 12 months. It really is a shame that FIFA 17, for all of its definite gains, nonetheless has familiar complications around the pitch. There, PES remains champion, but off it, FIFA is unrivalled. And it definitely plays effectively sufficient that the one of a kind pleasures of your Journey as well as the rest of its footballing suite remain a treat.

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