During its EA Play event this week, EA has unveiled FIFA 17, the newest instalment of the hugely popular football simulator. As well as including a host of new features and enhancements, the announcement stood out for the reveal of a brand new game mode known as The Journey. This addition will see players take on the role of a player on and off the pitch, making important choices during dialogue sections that will help shape their career.
The new release will also see the franchise use the Frostbite engine for the first time. The last few iterations of FIFA on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have all used the Ignite engine, which was developed specifically for sports games for next generation consoles. EA has been pushing its developers to use Frostbite across all of their games since it was first introduced in its latest iteration in 2015. It is the engine that powers titles such as Battlefield 4, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst and Star Wars Battlefront.
“We’ve been working on this transition for over two years – it was a massive undertaking,” said the producer, Aaron McHardy, at a demo of the game this week. “It allows authentic, true-to-life action; we’re one step closer to making the game look real. Frostbite comes with a brand new rendering engine and a new toolset, allowing us to really bring the visuals to life.”
Like previous entries in the series, FIFA 17 also comes with several smaller additions that EA hope will improve the gameplay experience. A new active intelligence system means that AI controlled player will make more incisive runs and mark opposition players in a more effective manner, while an overhaul of the physics means that players will interact on the pitch in a realistic way.
The developer has also included a host of new attacking options that help to ensure a more accurate football simulation. These include the ability to use low and powerful shots as well as expanding the passing options available to all players. Finally, set-pieces have been reworked so that the free-kick taker can use a greater variety of attacks when standing behind the ball.
FIFA 17 is due to launch on September 29, 2016 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.