Fifa 17 – The Journey

For the first time ever Fifa will include a storymode within the game! 

During EA’s conference at E3 it was announced that Fifa 17 would include a new mode: ‘The Journey’. Perhaps the most exciting new addition to the Fifa series since Ultimate Team, EA aims to pump new blood into what has become an incredibly dull Seasons mode.

fifa-17-alex-hunter-gareth-walkerWe’re introduced to Alex Hunter: the 17 year old player we’ll be following. Described as being from “humble roots”, Alex Hunter grew up in Clapham, London. Hunter apparently has made a huge impact on the youth scouts and is being highly touted. Football is in Hunter’s blood; his grandfather was the highest scorer in the 1966-67 season (so we can assume Hunter was a World Cup winning hero).

According to EA we’ll have complete say over who Alex Hunter signs for. Footage from E3 portrayed Hunter playing for Man U (probably because they’re still the most well known team, in international perception) and even showed new manager Jose Mourinho on the side lines showing his anger at a missed attempt. If there is the opportunity to play for any team then certainly we all hope that we get the same engagement with any side.

It does state that we control Alex Hunter for the 16/17 season, which does imply that it’s only a season-long storymode. This is a fifa-16-oscarpretty similar style to what we have seen in recent UFC games from EA; there comes a point where your career has to come to an end. However the amount of fights an MMA fighter can have obviously dwindles in comparison to a football player’s career. I guess it’s too much to ask that we could follow Alex Hunter through his whole career with such in-depth story-telling, but let’s all hope that we can still carry on playing the game, Seasons style, once the stories have completed.

Choice is said to be a huge part of this mode. In addition to being able to choose your team, you can also have say over many aspects of Hunter’s career. Details on this are pretty sparse at the minute, but Fifa have released an example where you choose what to say in your post-match press conference. We can assume that your answers will direct the way the story flows, much like how your actions have consequences in Life is Strange. The trailer portrays Hunter reacting negatively to a phone call, which suggests that it’ll be an interesting plot with many highs and lows.

The trailer excellently captures the essence of success and failure. It seems Fifa really wants to tell the rags to riches narrative. Perhaps this is nothing new in a sports game, but Fifa have the chance to tell a completely new tale in how it relates to football. We’ve all followed young players in our clubs and seen them make good and bad decisions: something that the UK press certainly like to report. Capturing the true essence of what it means to be a footballer has to include every aspect of a player’s life; not just their performance on the pitch.

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Screen-Shot-2016-06-12-at-23.26.35The aforementioned Jose Mourinho has played part in developing this game. Arguably the greatest modern manager has added his influence in designing The Journey mode (which is why he made an appearance at EA’s E3 press conference). Moreover EA has consulted some of the biggest names in world football to help create the most authentic footballing experience. These names include: Harry Kane, Deli Ali, James Rodriguez, Marco Reus, Anthony Martial, Eden Hazard, Marcus Rashford, and Reece Oxford. Furthermore Tom Watt, the man who helped David Beckham write his autobiography: My Side, has added a lot to the creative process. With all these names Fifa really seems to be trying to create the most authentic football experience of all time.

Every single one of us has dreamt of what it’d be like to be a Premier League star. Most of us never lose this dream, but sadly Fifa is the closest we could get to that. Now it seems that we may not have to be so sad about that! Fifa is offering its players the chance to experience every single aspect of a player’s life: a true rags to riches story that’s in our hands. Football will always be known as the beautiful game, hopefully Fifa 17 will be remembered as the medium to bring the beautiful game to its players like never before.

What are your views on this new mode from Fifa? Are you excited to play as Alex Hunter? Do you think this style of game will work for Fifa? Will there be an option to set fireworks off from your hotel room? Comment below and have your say!

Written by Stan Cohen

Soon to be signed to Leicester City, as Alex Hunter will never go to Pompey…

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