FIFA 17 doesn’t need much of an introduction as everybody knows all about the FIFA franchise. It is a game endorsed by one of the biggest organisations in the world, after all.
I have played the last few FIFA games, and each time I thought they were average, even though I had spent an awful long time playing Ultimate team, and spent far too many pennies. So, when I switched this game on I was greeted with the an ever familiar sign and taken straight to the FA Cup final where I was Chelsea. I played the game, I won 4-2 and I thought to myself, meh that was okay.
Note that I reviewed Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 a few weeks back and gave it a 7.5, with its only real faults being enjoyment and sound. I actually loved the game, but as I slightly alluded to, I haven’t played it since and can’t see myself putting it on anytime soon.
I will compare this to Pro Evo quite a bit, because a lot of you will, no doubt, be debating which one to get.
Just like a FIFA should be, the menu screens’ graphics look sharp and are effective. I love that you can choose your favourite team and have a dashboard, detailing their latest results. In addition, the pictures of players (always Dortmund players because, of course, Dortmund are one of the teams you can’t be on Pro Evo) give you a general classy feel. I imagine it is a little bit like what the insides of a nice Jaguar would be like – not that I’ve owned one.
The general lead-in to an actual match also looks very sharp; the stadiums are on-point and having been to a fair number of them, not only did I recognise their insides, but also their exteriors. This obviously isn’t something that was good at all in Pro Evo and it was good being able to play games in stadiums which weren’t called the Konami ground… As you were in the tunnel, you saw the players’ features. Was I impressed? Well, yes… they looked okay. Then I moved onto the actual in-game graphics things haven’t changed since FIFA 16, Which is a real shame because I was expecting more from this Frostbite engine.
I am not in the slightest saying the graphics are bad, because I don’t think they are, but they’re just no better than last year’s, and I think with sporting franchises, you always expect an improvement. Pro Evo probably just pips it when it comes to player graphics, with both games being better in different areas. FIFA have got clearer accuracy in more players but when it comes to accuracy I would say Pro Evo looks better. The stadiums look a lot better in FIFA (being real helps). One thing I did notice was that FIFA suffers from a fair few graphic glitches and I had moments where players were running around with one leg or showing smiles wider than disabled toilets. It was funny really because I wasn’t shocked by said glitches and I realised this is just something you become used to if you play FIFA games. That slightly annoyed me because I hate it when I realise I settle for things which aren’t always right. So overall I would give the graphics a 7 – at times they made you feel classy and other times they made you feel like one of Tyson Fury’s girlfriends before he was famous
Gameplay is the big one for me – this is the one Pro Evo got so right, while FIFA 17 has got so wrong. Just after one game, I could feel something wasn’t quite right. The player’s responses seem slow, their choice of runs are awful and the controller response seems particularly laggy. I also tried this at my friend’s house on their Xbox One using an Elite controller, and it still made absolutely no difference. I would also like to share my general complaints with FIFA games every year. Firstly – it’s too easy to do skill moves (I spend a lot of time teaching kids that skills with a football aren’t quite as easy as they seem to be on FIFA), the referees seem to always be in the wrong place and they make horrendous decisions (okay this might just be my bias but something I notice), and lastly, unless you are in control of your keeper, he will often make absolutely loony decisions and this will drive either you, your mate, or your online enemy mad. Hence, Pro Evo wins hands down in this area, and feels like the most technical and tactical football game I’ve ever played, while FIFA 17 feels like you’re in the arcade and not sitting on one of those well-made Neo Geo games, but a poorly produced title. Saying that, I found myself playing this one a fair bit and that is why I thought a generous 5 would be the right score.
Sound is an area where I felt Pro Evo was seriously lacking, while FIFA 17 has got it spot on. The soundtrack is solid, which we all knew that would be the case, as FIFA don’t often have to pay much for these tracks because a lot of bands want their music to be heard by the millions who play the game. What I really like about the FIFA music is the great range – not only do you get your UK artists but you also get a range from around the world. There’s a total of 50 songs from 15 different countries and I have to say that I was impressed. Then there’s the commentary: this is what Pro Evo really got wrong, while FIFA has really got right. John Motson is a great commentator and this year he’s decided he will commentate on exactly what goes on. This hasn’t always been the case, but even when the game has a quick change around, the commentator seems to be able to keep up with it and doesn’t randomly surprise you with rubbish. I also liked it when the stadium announcer asked if the person who owned a certain car could come and move it. Brilliant! Overall I would give the sound a 9. This has the best commentary to a football game that I have ever played so far.
When it comes to enjoyment, you’ll see there has been a number of things that I have liked and disliked so far. For the former, bing able to get back and play Ultimate team was a great experience and one that of which I know my wife will not be a fan. Overall, the online play is strong and the servers, even though they suffer an occasional problem, are decent. You also get a good selection of different game modes with the Journey mode offering you a new experience. I also love the general look of the game, as previousy stated.
The key thing I didn’t like in this is that you can’t retrain your players to learn different positions. I know that is something simple but I like that you can do that in Pro Evo. However, even though it is hard to put in a category, I must say that FIFA has some kind of magical pull for people. I think this is due to the licensing and how it is nice to play with teams with their real names and in the real stadiums. This is something that, no matter how good Pro Evo’s gameplay is, this is the decider for some people. Overall, I would give enjoyment a 7 – even with all the great things I can’t forget how forgettable the gameplay is.
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Players: single player, multiplayer
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1