The argument over the visual representation and fun aspects of the FIFA game can be finally put to rest. FIFA 17 is the best football game in terms of gameplay, audio and graphics. With new modes of play and features, it gives a better user experience. I myself have been playing the game since 1998 and therefore I have witnessed its gradual evolution to what it is today.
I’ve got to say, as a football fan, am really impressed with the progress they have made with gameplay. First off, the fantastic dugout scenarios provide a visual treat. The managers are given a small amount of screen time for every game. The gameplay shows how the managers react to goals, costly misses or red cards. One other thing i noticed is the changes made on the field, especially the referees. They carry the vanishing spray bottles that we see these days in a modern game to draw lines in front of the wall and also curves around the ball during a free kicks. There are a few celbrations added to the old list. One among them, is a celebration with the manager and the benched team mates. Ball play remains in the same state like the previous versions. Though the attacking play is easier, defending is quite hard. To contain and tackle a player in quick succession doesn’t always work. It is better to just contain a player than to attempt a tackle and commit a foul. The controls to perform a skills move remain complicated. It requires a combination of several buttons to perform one.
Though we have new options available for us like “Journey mode” or “Team of the week”, the graphic interface of the menus look almost the same as the previous version of FIFA. The home menu has a sub menu which has a video player embedded to it. This comprises of new options like “team of the week”, “Goal of the week”, “Moment of the match” and “Player of the month”. You can view a video on a particular important moment in the match which decides these titles. This is a nifty way of keeping yourself updated with current performances.
The new inclusion to the game is the story mode called “The journey”. You will fill the shoes of a 17-year old prospect Alex hunter and you will be seeing through the highs and lows he goes through in his career. Family, friends, team-mates and coaches play an important part as you need to make decisions which will define your future life. Individual choices matter the most as you will decide the fate of your career based on them. The j0urney mode comprises of a cinematic world, influenced by real players, personalities and locations. You will travel to different locations along with your team for the matches. This would also form a base for you to establish a good rapport with the team.
The presentations comprise of the introduction to the teams and the players. They have changed drastically in this version of FIFA, which makes you not to skip them during the game. There are also in-match performance analysis. This could be a player’s recent performances or a player’s current performance in the match. Much to my delight, the commentators will be analysing the players who perform well in the current match, every time there is a gap between plays. This is a new addition to the commentary and is refreshing to hear while playing a match. The analysis is done on an a deeper level which includes shots taken, shots on target and shots off target. It also includes commentary on the reason why the player has scored more goals, making it more realistic.
The rendering quality has been improvised from low/high to medium and ultra. This is exciting as FIFA 17 supports 4k resolution. But you can always go with low rendering if your system has frame-rate problems. Speaking of which, FIFA has made menus, replays and goal kicks, move at 60fps. With the use of Frostbite game engine and motion capture technology, the facial expressions and reactions are accurate. The dev team have captured the varied emotions for the managers really well. On top of that, they have managed to give them their real faces. For example check Mou out.
But the bad factor again that is happening in every FIFA game is, goal celebrations are still glitchy.
Audio and sound
The audio in the game is improved really well. At certain points in the game, the game plays the commentary in the background at a lower volume so as to experience the on-field audio. An example can be players shouting during a call for a pass or during a goal celebration. The crowd’s audio is also considerably good. If it’s a famous club and the crowd is huge in the stadium, the uproar after a goal or a boo after a miss is overwhelming. You can hear the crowd’s reaction over any other sound on the pitch, including the commentary. This has made the in-game experience much better.
Finally, we have the argument of “is it really worth it?”. Personally, i would say yes. The gameplay, the graphics and the sound sections will keep any fifa gamer interested in the game. You know it is a great game when you don’t skip the intros, outros and player analysis. With new modes to play, along with better tech specifications and gameplay, this game makes it all worthwhile for every minute you spend on it.