FIFA 17 - Review

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2020-07-30 23:22:07
Disposed with difficulty and the right dose of resoluteness the crisis in which it had fallen in the 80s, also and above all the victim of the phenomenon of hooligans, the top English football league has been able to find enamel. From the second half of the 90s and especially at the turn of the century, what has been known as the Premier League for more than twenty years has returned to occupy a leadership role in continental football. And not only in that. A value, that of the British Serie A, which eclipses in terms of requests for television rights and turnover of the leading clubs, our top league. FIFA 17 is the digital mirror of the current situation.

Electronic Arts is a partner of the Premier League, with a lot of logos in plain sight in the official graphics used by the live (and not only) and, with this new version of the longest-running football game on the market, the marriage of interest between the two. The big news, as well as the only one that really stands out, of FIFA 17 is in fact a love letter to English football: The Journey. A real Story mode that wants to add something to the classic "Career" or to the already seen attempts to make the player live the climb to success, better if in the role of a single footballer. This is not a surprise in the absolute sense: for years sports video games, by force of things devoted primarily to multiplayer experiences, have been trying to investigate the matter with "stories".

Travel is not the only proof of the ideal contract between Electronic Arts and English football. The choice is very logical and understandable, in light of the potential catchment area, considering the charm of the overseas championship. Of course, for those who are still used to living in a country that breathes and lives by football like Italy, the feeling of being treated as Serie B customers (to stay on topic) is undeniable, but that's all. Also because the passion and dedication placed by the development team in an attempt to recreate the Premier League in the best way does not stop at the Journey, also touching the technical quality that accompanies the matches in the English stadiums. They are all present, and not from today, unlike what happens with "our". Less predictable is the fact that, with the arrival of the new Frostbite graphics engine (used for the first time by FIFA), the general graphic rendering also seems more sparkling when playing on the grass of Goodison Park or on nights full of stars. 'Old Trafford. It could be only a half illusion, but the feeling is that the care for the management of the lights, both day and night, in those cases reaches unprecedented levels compared to when you kick at the Juventus Stadium or, to say, some leaves for Portugal.

The arrival of the DICE engine, however, has allowed FIFA 17 to take a significant step forward, unquestionably, at least in one field: that of the faces of the players. For some years the Electronic Arts game had suffered more than ever from the confrontation, at times merciless, with that of Konami. FIFA 17 brings things to a standstill: the somatic traits of most athletes are more convincing and precise than ever. For the rest, however, the situation is roughly that already seen in recent years.

But let's go back to the Journey, one of the most curious resources available to FIFA 17. In the role of Alex Hunter, a young promise from the London suburbs, it is possible to experience the rise to Olympus of the Premier League. The difference from similar modes seen in the past is all in the outline. The obligation to have only one player, Hunter, is linked to the presence of various non-interactive sequences in which one experiences Alex's adventure grappling with friends and family, thanks to the use of the now canonical performance capture technologies. Real actors to give more "body" to polygonal models that, however, do not always move and breathe better. Despite this, playing the Journey really means getting caught up in the thrill of an audition. Of the first arrival in the changing rooms of a professional team. Of the debut with ten minutes cut out at the end of a game. And, hopefully, of the first presence among the owners.

Taking advantage of the "Professional" view, which generally places the camera behind Hunter (but you can choose the one you prefer), it is difficult not to hear the heart beat accelerate when you have the ball between your feet and tens of thousands of eyes pointed on. It doesn't change much compared to the past, it's true, but it works the same. Because you are aware of what has been spent and gone to get to that point. I honestly did not believe that such an idea could drag me in this way and with this force into the "usual" (however excellent) football game, yet it happened. Congratulations to Electronic Arts then.