‘FIFA 17’ – gameplay overhauls

On September 27, EA Sports released arguably the most comprehensively overhauled title in the history of their popular FIFA franchise. Due in part to their use of the powerful Frostbite engine, EA Sports have been able to implement several significant evolutions in gameplay, which can be broken down into four main features:

Physical play overhaul:

A new emphasis on physical play allows gamers to utilise the body of the controlled player to shield the ball from defending opponents. This new system also introduces a reworking of such techniques as pushbacks and shield dribbling. To represent this overhaul of the physical play system, EA Sports have selected Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard:

Set piece rewrite:

Among the most notable overhauls in FIFA 17 are those pertaining to set piece situations (i.e. free kicks, corner kicks). The new system provides a marker indicating the trajectory of the ball. This allows a player to ‘lock in’ the power and direction of the kick, then switch to controlling the movement of players at the receiving end of the kick, before ultimately calling for the delivery. This allows for more creativity and control in set piece scenarios. This evolution in FIFA‘s set piece system is represented by James Rodriguez, whose brilliant 2014 World Cup campaign with Colombia earned him a place with Spanish titans Real Madrid:

New attacking techniques:

EA Sports have also undertaken a modification of the attacking and shooting system. When attacking on goal, powering up the shot, then tapping the shoot button again will cause the player to execute a low shot along the ground. This can be a useful technique for scoring against taller goalkeepers, who might face a challenge in reaching such a low ball in time. This new system also introduces improved penetrating through-balls for more clinical attacking moves. This new facet of the game is represented by Manchester United forward Anthony Martial:

Active intelligence:

The new active intelligence system improves the way AI-controlled players behave off the ball, with the AI constantly analysing space, allowing players to make more intelligent attacking runs, and execute more realistic attacking plays. This overhaul is represented by Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus (who was also crowned the game’s cover star ahead of relesase):

The Journey:

FIFA‘s first venture into the realms of a ‘story mode’, The Journey sees players take control of Alex Hunter, a young English prodigy trying to make it as a star in the Premier League. The trajectory of the dramatic story told in The Journey includes rivalries with teammates, and the possibility of going out on loan in the event of lacklustre performances. The Journey also implements dialogue options with consequences – now a common feature in other game genres. Watch the trailer for The Journey below:

Career mode updates:

FIFA 17 implements ‘total club management’ in manager career mode, whereby several objectives must be met, aside from simply match results. These include financial objectives, brand exposure, youth development and more, with each of these being assigned a level of priority ranging from ‘very low’ to ‘critical’. This new system has added a much-needed dimension of interest and challenge to manager career mode. Players can also now view detailed information regarding their club’s financial situation, subsequently allowing for greater control over financial objectives. Japan’s top-division, J1 League, and the Brazilian league have also been added to career mode.




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