FIFA 17 Preview: What's New?

It was a thrilling atmosphere when Electronic Arts announced the upcoming new FIFA 17, which will be released officially on 27 September 2016 in North America, while the rest of the world gets the product on 29 September 2016. The awaiting FIFA has picked up some new features, gameplay, and cover which seem to be missing in the previous FIFA series. These new features are what I’m going to share in this write-up.

In June 2016, FIFA 17 producer Aaron McHardy told the world that the new game will be “the biggest FIFA EA Sports has ever made” in an interview with Daily Star Online. These impressive words are what fans will have in mind as we meet FIFA 17. Aaron also went ahead to acknowledge that it took them years to showcase some of the new features that are going to be found in the new series. But the question is, what’s new in FIFA 17?

Faces of the four ambassadors of FIFA
Faces of the four ambassadors of FIFA
Marco Reus
Marco Reus | Source

A New Game Engine

Back in June , Aaron McHardy announced the implementation of a new game powered graphics engine called Frostbite. The use of frostbite in FIFA was considered two years ago, according to McHardy. But FIFA 17 has managed to take up the first pace with frostbite, making it the first FIFA to house such engine.

Frostbite is a game engine developed by EA Digital Illusion CE (DICE). The engine has been used in the previous and current Battlefield series. The purpose of the engine in FIFA 17 is to improve the game’s graphics, providing more realistic displays. Also, the engine will allow the game to view manager’s office, airplane interior design, dressing rooms, homes, and training grounds.

FIFA 17 stadiums, spectators, corner flags, weather effects, and player’s footwork will be well defined graphically – thanks to frostbite. I think EA’s decision to try out this engine may become a huge success in FIFA.

A New Face Cover

Since 2012, the Argentine and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been the cover athlete of the FIFA series. This is because of the 4-year-contract he signed with EA Sports back in 2012. But the contract expired in 2016. So EA began to look for a new face to franchise after Messi was unable to sign a new deal. They decided to pick four possible players: James Rodriquez, Eden Hazard, Marco Reus, and Anthony Martial to become the face successor.

After series of voting on EA official site, between the four players to become the FIFA 17 Cover Athlete, the German and Borussia Dortmund star emerged the winner. Marco Reus officially became the new Face Cover.

FIFA 17: PC version

A New Story: The Journey

The game will also have a new story mode called The Journey, featuring an English 17-year-old Alex Hunter with big dreams. He wants to start his career as a footballer in the EPL. However, the game expects you to help the young player make his dreams possible and guide him to glory; make Alex one of the greatest English players.

Note: All country versions of FIFA 17 will carry the same name “Alex Hunter” in the story mode.

New League Features

In June 2016, at E3 2016 (Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016), EA Sports announced the inclusion of the Japanese J1 League and J League Cup for the first tme in FIFA. In addition, EA added that the upcoming FIFA 17 will have all 20 Premier League managers’ likenesses.

Grab the PlayStation 3 version of FIFA 17

New Outstanding Gameplay

In terms of gameplay, EA announced the inclusion of four new features to enable you play and score better in FIFA 17. These features include:

  • Active Intelligence System – influenced by Marco Reus
  • Set Piece Rewrite – influenced James Rodriquez
  • Physical Player Overhaul – influenced by Eden Hazard
  • New Attacking Techniques – influenced by Anthony Martial

The addition of these new features will enhance in four different ways:

Team Dynamics and Flexibility

With the Active Intelligence System, players can now be smart enough to know when to run, fake-run, and move into channels to create spaces for deadly passes. This is a plus when it comes to counter attacks, allowing your initial set formation to reshape itself to improve the team's dynamics. As it is, there will no more be a case when you expect your player to make a run and he doesn’t. Instead, he stands or keeps walking, which can be so annoying especially when your losing the game.

When I saw the official trailer of the FIFA AI system, I was really amazed. I think lovers of the Tiki-taka style can easily practice it because of the flexibility the system offers.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A view of the FIFA 17 Physical Player Overhaul performed by Eden Hazard (in blue jessy)
A view of the FIFA 17 Physical Player Overhaul performed by Eden Hazard (in blue jessy)
A view of the FIFA 17 Physical Player Overhaul performed by Eden Hazard (in blue jessy)

More Chances of Scoring Through Set Piece

FIFA 17 also offers a different kind of set piece in order to match real life football. For shot free-kicks and penalties, you can now take full control over the player’s approach towards the ball, the hit power, and the curl direction. Then for corners and long free-kicks, you now have the ability to pick a spot where you want the ball to travel and also choose the best header you wish to drive the ball home. You can make this decisions while the opponent next to you is kept in the dark.

Maintaining Possession

EA introduced the Physical Player Overhaul, having a PushBack Technology, in FIFA 17 to enable a player to shield an opponent behind before receiving the ball or protect the ball from the opponent before making a pass. Instead of heading the ball coming through the air, the player now has the capability to guide the ball to his foot while shielding his challenger. Obviously, this technology is big step for FIFA.

Learn more about the New Gameplay Features in this Video

I can remember vividly how it was in the prior FIFA series. Sometimes when I try to make a pass to my next player, the opponent from behind will just effortlessly collect the ball. It’s really frustrating. But with this addition, your player can hold the ball for a while for you to decide what to do next. Thus the possession can as well be maintained. Having a player with good body balance will now be really effective.

Giving More Attacking Options

The New Attacking Techniques gives you different options of driving the ball at the back of the net. You can choose to roof the ball, take a low-driven shot, or make a curled-through ball into the net. Headers can now head the ball low, pushing the goalkeeper to work harder to make a save. These are now the new ways to score in FIFA since its history.

In conclusion, EA promises more captivating additions once the game is released. McHardy claimed that they still have a lot more packages to introduce. But I think the ones they have showed us so far in FIFA 17 are quite fascinating. And for more packages to come, we’ll see how that goes as we get the new creation.

FIFA 17: PS4 version

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