Credit: Electronic Arts

Credit: Electronic Arts

I've been playing FIFA 17 for a little over a week now and I've got to say, it's the most addictive and compelling of the franchise entries to-date. It's fun when you're playing online one-on-one with friends, on your own in Ultimate Team or the new story mode, and with an all-new game engine, it's looking better than it ever has done before as well.

A change in game engine

EA decided that FIFA 17 would be built with the Frostbite game engine for the first time ever, at least for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions of the game. The result of this is the best looking FIFA game yet, with close-up graphics formed from real-life facial capture resulting in a near-perfect delivery of each and every professional player involved.

Having been used by EA in the past to power games such as Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge: Catalyst and the upcoming Battlefield 1, there were huge expectations for the visuals when FIFA 17 came to shelves, and it's fair to say that the game doesn't disappoint.

Story mode 'The Journey'

For the first time in the FIFA game franchise, there's a story mode for players to sink their teeth into. Powered by Frostbite, the story allows you to make your mark on and off the pitch in the role of the Premier League's next big star, Alex Hunter. Following his journey from his life as a talented kid, through to scouting opportunities, joining your favourite Premier League club and playing alongside some of the best real-life players the world has to offer, this is an experience unlike any other that FIFA has ever offered up in the past.

In the game you're encouraged to pave your own way and make your own story within the confines FIFA set out. For example, when engaged in conversations, there will always be three options for you to choose from when you're making a response. A fiery option will see your character become a cocky individual with a lot of fans but with tensions brewing with his manager. On the other hand, you can choose the cool option to remain in good stead with the man who decides your fate on your pitch, or you can have a mixture of both with a balance approach. This doesn't really play too much into the story but it's nice to feel like you have a hand in shaping the personality and character of Alex Hunter.

Though it's lacking with exciting moments at times, and you only play a single season in your journey, this is a beautiful, more than welcome addition to the series which even the most cautious and sceptical of super fans should give a chance. The mode is the hook for the franchise entry and has certainly proved it deserves to stay in future additions to the series.

Credit: Electronic Arts
Credit: Electronic Arts

New ways to attack

It now really feels like there's a solid fluidity to dribbling the ball when playing a match. This is just one of the many changes that have been made when it comes to controlling the players on the pitch. What started in FIFA 16 has been built around, meaning that the foundations of last year have now become a fully-fledged, integral part of gameplay.

An active intelligence system rehash

Now more than ever before, players won't feel they have to play as every single member of their team as the active intelligence system which powers your teammates has been improved, meaning AI is smarter than ever. Computer-controlled players will make longer runs, slip out of position if the time calls for it and in all just get busier to ensure your gameplay is more fluid than it's been in the past.

Everything else

We of course still have the modes we're now all used to - Ultimate Team, Career and Club modes - which all deliver the same stellar experience they've honed, crafted and at this point, mastered. The only slight problem with Ultimate Team is that it may be a little hard to grasp for players new to the series. It's one of those things that you have to play to really figure out, and once you've got the hang of it, you're away, but the tutorial could be polished a little more around the edges.

Overall, FIFA 17 is the best entry the franchise has ever seen, and should provide the perfect stepping stone for new additions in the years to come.

FIFA 17 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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