Another year, another FIFA title, another chance to ask: “Is this the best FIFA football game yet?!” If you’re a fan of the series, chances are, you’ll buy FIFA 17 without flinching, it has a new, more powerful Frostbite Engine (it’s the brains behind epic titles like Battlefield), a solid soundtrack and more immersive game modes. So who needs a FIFA 17 review when the franchise has been so good to you for so long?
Well my friend, not everybody is so easily sold, and with Pro Evo gaining ground in recent years, there are a diveristy of opinions on which football title deserves your money and attention. For that reason we decided to speak to three mates and find out what THEY think about the latest FIFA, focusing on the key battle grounds, and how it stacks up against its nearest rival.
Charlie: I expected FIFA 17 to be slick, that’s what EA has always done well, they know how to put a good-looking game together and this one’s know different. Menus are clean, visuals are strong.
Ahmed: This is my first FIFA game after 4 or 5 years, so its all new and exciting for me. I loved the franchise growing up, with 1998, 2002 and 2008 being highlights for me. Since then, it’s been hit and miss for me but firing up FIFA 17, I must say, that boyhood excitement came flooding right back. It looks great.
John: One word – Awesome. The titles, the graphics, everything about it says champion.
Charlie: Same as last year. Just with Marcus Rashford’s story, the set pieces are good though.
Ahmed: No way, FIFA 17 has more depth than ever before, whether you’re a player or managing a team, almost everything is customisable, I like the Manager avatars, even though the default options could be a little more diverse.
John: I think they’ve kept things very similar to last year’s title, but I agree it is deeper. They’ve kept the things I loved, like the narrative elements that worked really well. I love how much you can tailor your experience too, such as the look of your character, every detail of the kits and the team badges can be tweaked and customised. In a lot of detail.
John: I’ve been really please with it. The movement feels more fluid than before and when players are off the ball, they seem to be making smart choices. It’s like they have geniune vision.
Charlie: I’m sorry, but I have to completely disagree. Pro trumps it at every turn for me. The AI is amazing, in the first half of a game on Pro, I scored a hatrick with Messi, in the second half, I could barely get the ball to him.
Ahmed: That’s really cool, shows some geniune tactical response to your ability. But I’ve seen similar things happen in FIFA 17. I really feel the individual skills and characteristics of familiar players coming through in FIFA 17, and that also seemed to have an impact on how teams played. If you favour intricate passing play you’ll noticably have more joy playing as Barca, than you will as West Brom. So it’s not exactly lacking when it comes to AI.
Charlie: Yeah, these are football simulations. And for me, Pro gives you the best ‘simulation’ possible. Every pass, shot and dummy run is realistic. FIFA has all of the licensing and the bells and whistles, but for me it’s edged by Pro this year. Instead of peppering the keeper constantly like I can in FIFA, there’s more of a challenge in Pro to even make a pass, let alone take a shot.
Ahmed: But that sounds, B O R I N G! If I wanted to play football against a team that could shut me down at everyturn I’d try out for my local conference team. If I’m playing a game, sure I want it to be competitive, but I want to score too. I love the fact that in FIFA, you can pull off wonder passes and screamers, with the right players, once you know what you’re doing. That’s gaming. It’s more about the thrill and the fun of football than just being a simulator.
John: FIFA 17 is the first time in ages I’ve seen a clear difference. I first get involved with FIFA 17 playing the early access and it’s a huge improvement on last year…Last year made me go back to Pro haha! But this year, I am firmly happy with it. FIFA 17 wins this year if we’re looking at them head-to-head.
Ahmed: Like John said, FIFA 17 has it for me this year. The gameplay thing will come down to preference, whether you want a pure simulator or an entertaining game. It also edges it purely because of licensing, game modes, and their great taste of soundtracks lol.
Charlie: As a Pro fan, the soundtrack we have is dog shit! But I’m not entirely convinced by this year’s FIFA. I think Pro took the title last year and with not much changed for me in FIFA 17, Pro still leads the way this year.
John: I like both, but with my money on the table and I’m buying FIFA 17. It feels the most complete. Pro takes a lot of tweaking and fiddling to make it have anywhere close to level of “officialness” that FIFA 17 delivers. FIFA 17 looks and feels legit. It has all of the players, all at the right teams and it all of the teams. Pro can’t touch it.
So there you have it folks, it looks like it comes down to what you want from your football-gaming experience. FIFA looks and feels better than ever and provides a thrilling and competitive experience, without being shackled by too much “realism”. If you want to play real football and bloddy your knees, get out to the park and play real football mate.
But if you want an experience that is fun for you and your mates, FIFA 17 has depth and game modes, including a much improved and immersive online and mobile experiences to keep you entertained for another season whether your at home or on-the-go.