With this FIFA 17 Preview we are going through the news that was show by EA at the press event in Paris. The game is due to arrive in September 2016 and we had the chance to have a first sneak peek. Read the  FIFA 17 preview below.

FIFA 17 Preview:

If you like the “American ”games like Madden and NBA 2K series next to soccer games than you probably already know that the soccer games are lacking behind on their presentation. Both Madden and NBA 2K score a lot better when it comes to ambiance, experience and the whole setup surrounding the sport or what is happening off the pitch.

EA knows this as well and has improved the game on this terrain in the last couple years but with FIFA 17 they want to reach the same level like the mentioned games.

In the new season a new play mode is added where you can take part in “The Journey,” an interactive narrative in which you play as the young footballer Alex Hunter who is trying to earn his first Premier League contract. Through dialogue decisions, on-pitch performances, and lavishly created cut scenes this story is told, influenced by your choices.

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To be honest first look at this part of the game was not convincing at all but is again an addition to the game for the players who like the story element. Will this interest the diehard FUT players to try the carrier mode I don’t think so but it does add to the gameplay.

By the way the old carrier mode will be still part of the game so the story mode is not an replacement but an addition. One thing I like to note about the journey is the cut scenes which look really well due to use of the new frostbite-engine.

Proudly announce by EA are the PBL managers who will now also be available in the game.

Now to the part which I think will interest all the FIFA fans: Improved control of the ball.

This is where the new frostbite-engine starts to shine as the engine has  allowed EA to introduce a number of new gameplay features. Starting with the new pushback technology, which allows the players to react in a more human way to how they receive balls and be more physical in their approach.

You will now be able to jostle other players and fight to get in a better receiving position. Added shielding will give you more opportunities to protect your ball possession.

Nice addition and good for the game speed is the 360-degree shield dribble for which is no longer required to stop to shield the ball. This option can be execute by holding down RB button and will allow you to have much more control of the ball.

Another great new feature which should have been added long ago is the in-air shielding. When you send a cross from the side, the receiver used to only be able to head or volley the ball in the air. In FIFA 17, you can now take control of the ball and bring it down to your feet by pulling LT and simply shoot or dribble further. Again more control of what you like to do in the game.

One more useful future from the frostbite-engine which on the first sight might look irrelevant but adds a lot to the game are the new first touch control animations. If you watch the feet of your FIFA 17 players, their footwork looks a lot more natural and is making a lot more sense. No longer do you have to travel around the ball to change direction after receiving, instead your player will actually work with the outside of his feet and sidestep the ball without an elaborate movement. Like Johan Cruijff use to do it.

Tackles received their upgrades as well and are now a lot more dynamic, with across-body tackles carried out with a quick pull of LT, which is also used to jockey other players. Tackles are better animated which will make the game a lot more charged on the mid-field.

Cherry on the cake is the possibility to collide with the goalkeeper, charging him with Y. If you hit him hard enough he may even drop the ball, allowing you another chance at goal. Note that the referee will be able to see if you foul him, so remember it’s not rugby J.

The list of gameplay updates keeps growing. Every dead ball situations has changed as well.

That means that how you take corners, throw-ins, free-kicks and penalties has changed. For corners, you can now choose where to aim your kick using a reticule that you can make invisible so your mate sitting next to you on the sofa won’t see where you’re aiming. Before you kick though, you can also switch to the receiver to make sure he’s ready to get on the end of that ball you’re putting in the box.

There is an option to have the camera angle stay behind you for either penalties, free kicks or corners, in that way you can see the trajectory of your ball.

Throw-ins have been slightly revamped too, players are now offered the option to move along the sideline or even do a cheeky fake throw-in to put off the other team.

Final part on the gameplay update is the improved AI.

All your teammates will be supporting you now a lot better and from what we have seen it’s a huge leap forward when it comes to the positioning.  They have now a lot better broader understanding and analysis of the space on the pitch. They will understand how the spaces are occupied and by whom, then moving to a position that exploits that space.

That means that your AI players will move into the more strategic positions. No longer will the run strait towards the box in to offside. Now if there is more space on the wing they will use that open space or if there is space in the middle they will use that space and so on…

You players will move around the defense with diagonal runs and move forward leaving the space for your dribble or trough passes. They’ll spot the moves that you’re trying to make, automatically adjusting their pace and positioning to better receive the ball.

Overall result is that the defense will be a lot easier to brake once you figure out the new controls and the game will feel faster (more like PES).  The game will look more like you are watching Barcelona play.

All this additions are nice but do raise the question regarding the balance of the game. With all the button combinations the gap between the hardcore and occasional player may grow bigger so will it still be fun for everyone to play FIFA ?

Than a small critical note as even with the new frostbite-engine the fact remains that the teams still lack any kind of identity something that is acutely been greatly improved in PES 2017 the big competitor of FIFA. It too bad that EA did not spend time on improving this part of the game. Still this a FIFA 17 preview so EA has some time and might iprove this ellement as well.

And then there is FUT but unfortunately EA did not reveal a single update there, it does not mean it’s not coming as when we look at all the other changes we expect a great deal there as well.

EA will be releasing more detail slowly in the coming weeks all the way to the release date of FIFA 17  so stay tuned for all the updates an don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

This concludes my FIFA 17 Preview.

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