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Review: FIFA 17

Every year in late September a religious fanaticism seems to form around the new FIFA game. Both casual football fans, who may have only heard the name “Leonardo Messi” (or something like that) once, and hardcore football fans come together to play. Recently the game has become very stale, but is that the case this year? Don’t worry, your favourite film critic has decided to review a video game in order to answer this burning question.

“Does the Berkeley Squares film correspondent know anything about football?”

A little bit. I know that Leicester won the Premier League against all odds and that Bristol City are the best team in the world. I think that’s enough.

fifa17_xb1_ps4_eaplay_martial_hazard_lineup_wm_21“Oh alright then, how’s the gameplay?”

FIFA 17 offers some of the greatest gameplay changes in recent memory. Both passing and shooting feel stronger and the change of engine from Ignite to Frostbite 3 seems to have allowed for better attacking and more physicality than ever before. Online seasons are still solid, these being online games without any gimmicks in the way.

“Tell me about the Journey, does it offer anything new?”
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Alex Hunter and Marco Reus

The Journey is a new gameplay mode which allows players to take control of rising football star Alex Hunter as he climbs to fame in the Premier League. Throughout the story you are given dialogue choices for Alex, with options to be calm or violent. The narrative is uninspiring compared to other story-based games, although it is a very bold move for the sports genre.

The gameplay involves controlling either Alex or the entire team, I chose to play as just Alex. However, depending on AI is frustrating at times, as they lose the ball easily and sometimes play selfishly.

“If you’re whining about playing with the AI, why don’t you play Pro Clubs instead?”
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I fully understand why the developers chose a character in Alex Hunter as opposed to allowing the player to create their own characters, if Pro Clubs is anything to go by.

Pro Clubs is a game mode where you play as a single player on the pitch, however you can play with friends controlling other individuals in the match. The main difference is that you can change the look and name of your player on Pro Clubs, meaning you can usually tell which characters on a team are user-made because they are generally both black and ginger. The amount of times I saw the name “Black Messi”, or similar, made me question the racial sensitivity of those who I was playing with.

Pro Clubs can be great immature fun as you are given the chance to see various funny looking men hit the dab after they score, however the AI are comparatively charitable compared to playing with most players online.

“Is Ultimate Team still a scam?”

Yes.

“You feel like elaborating?”

Sorry, I thought it was obvious. Ultimate Team is a game mode where you can supposedly “build your dream team”. However there are a few obstacles which limit the ability to do this. To get players, you must buy packs with virtual currencies. One of these currencies can be bought using real money. You earn a small amount of this for each game you play, so if you want any chance of getting the best players you will either need divine luck or your Dad’s credit card number.

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Good luck getting him in a pack

Even if you have your favourite players, if they are in separate leagues and nations then they will not play well together due to the utterly unnecessary “chemistry” system. They also need contracts and fitness in order to keep them playing and performing well, but these run out regularly. There are new features in this year’s Ultimate Team, but they don’t change anything when it comes to people being scammed.

Considering at launch the game costs £40, having these “optional” payments in my opinion is very unfair, exploiting those too young to know any better. Putting money into it is useless as the game will be made redundant once FIFA 18 comes out.

“Has Career Mode changed at all?”

No; although it disguises itself with a new finance system. The profits that the team makes are now noted, however you increase the value of the club by winning games. You do not have to worry about the newly introduced features as, like before, you only need to win games to upkeep new variables.

“This all sounds fairly negative James, what is your overall opinion of the game?”

The game is very fun to play despite my misgivings and it brings me great pleasure to see Bristol City win the Champions League in Career Mode. It is a game elevated by its solid core gameplay and atmosphere. FIFA 17 is the best in the series since FIFA 14.

★★★★☆