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FIFA 17 is football, polished and refined to its best in years

FIFA 17

FIFA 17

This year's FIFA and the forthcoming Battlefield 1 have something in common: Frostbite. The engine behind some of the publishing giant's biggest titles has come to FIFA for the first time for 2017, marking a significant step forward.

It might be the engine, it might be some graphical polish, some small changes in key areas or a combination of all of the above, but one thing is immediately clear: FIFA 17 is set to be the best FIFA in some years.

The razzle dazzle of the world's biggest leagues has never been something that eluded FIFA. EA has had official licensing for an incredible amount of time and how it looks hasn't ever been much of an issue. But even so, this year's is definitely the best looking ever. The faces of some of the players you'll be taking command of are scarily realistic.

It's almost like the Anthony Martial is staring back at you.

Animations feel smoother, both in general gameplay and in the replay scenes that celebrate your exquisite 25 yard finish or your wild and reckless booking. FIFA 17 feels polished and fluid beyond any that have gone before it.

It also feels, well, fun again. Picking up a new FIFA in the last few years in particular has felt a little grinding to me in the early stages. Not enough that's new and engaging to pull me straight in. But the fluidity extends to the gameplay, much of which is built on the tried and tested. Pulling off little moves, like a neat little backheel, seems so much easier to pull off to perfection.

Set pieces have been given a going over, too, for the better. For example, corners now give you absolute control over where the ball will land. You're still presented with set piece tactics as you have before, but a yellow cursor is now how you'll decide where your corner goes. No more changing the angle and hope you get it right.

Gamescom only allows for a small glimpse at what's to come, and we haven't been able to check out the new career mode, or online play. But what the paying public here will see is a good step forward. It's something for FIFA fans to get excited for.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

18 Comments
  • That's cool
  • It better be "fun" again, as I switched to PES for 2016, as FIFA 16 was so zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (too sim/sweaty)
  • Adds women in 2016 game for the first time ever. Removes women from 2017 game... Calls the 2017 game a significant step forward. Seriously, EA?
  • Where does it say the women teams were removed? Last I heard they were adding more women national teams to the game.
  • Oh, really? This is one of those times I'd be happy to be proven wrong. I know a lot of us were asking for NWSL to be added for local team gameplay, but all the cover art, demos, trailers, etc. from a couple of months back when they announced the game appear to only show men... I mean, not a glimpse of a woman anywhere, except for in the stands as spectators. For FIFA 2016, they even put a woman on the cover of a number of regional releases. So again, I do hope I'm proven wrong, but I also do hope that they improve their marketing and cover art before release date.
  • Because more women teams means somehow better gameplay and better graphics?
  • LOL, no... I was just saying it was ironic that they remove the women and then claim it's better than the previous year. But as it has been pointed out by kingv84 above, they might still be including women in the 2017 game, and may even be including NWSL club players. As a big NWSL fan, I really, really hope that happens... If you watch a lot of soccer (both men and women), you'd see the significant differences in gameplay, which they actually modeled reasonably well in the 2016 game, so after all that effort, I was surprised to not see any mention of the women players in the new game marketing material so far.
  • To be honest, even if they did remove them, it would probably be because not enough people played with them. It's expensive to develop all the women's teams, players, stats, etc. If not enough people play with them, they cant just keep them. Maybe they'll bring them back when there is more interest and women's soccer gets bigger. I would love if they still had the indoor soccer option they had 10 years ago, but they probably removed it for a reason too. Maybe not enough people played it. Now im not saying they removed it. I don't know. But just saying that if they did, there has to be a reason.
  • I agree with that completely. I think a big problem with FIFA 16 was that it was much harder than previous versions (almost impossible) for new players to start playing and enjoy the game. So all of the newer players who bought it as newcomers to the franchise, specifically to play the women's game, were probably discouraged by the difficulty of play, even on its easiest settings. Even simple things like passing and switching between players (even with all assists turned on) was hard... and shooting—even from point blank range from the 6 yard line with no opposition between player and goal, it would still go out for a corner half the time, or even a throw-in about a quarter of the time.
  • FIFA 16 was simply horrible in terms of gameplay even for veteran FIFA players
  • Agreed. Which is why I switched to PES for 2016. Curious to try FIFA again. I am glad ladies are joining the football revolution, but if you go on Twitch right now, ZERO FIFA streamers who are female. But if you look at Destiny, girls/ladies are immediately in the top 10 streamers. (I see girls in Destiny all the time, rarely see a girls name in a soccer game). But I do hope EA leave the womens side in. Sport and love should have no demographic demarcation. Sport and Love are two areas of human existence that break down barriers between sexes, races and religions. Which is healthy :)  
  • I've been playing FIFA since FIFA 94. I have seen them remove things that make me scratch my head and add things that I don't want. But I am guessing they always have a reason that they think makes sense.   As of right now while I agree that the material has not shown women at all I suspect they might still be in the game (for example in the materials they never show some latin american leagues that are in there). It would be a big mistake to go back to not having women. Or at least I consider it would be.   I hope they didn't remove women but if they did I don't think they removed them because they are women but because of lack of usage. As I said before I've been playing FIFA for a long time and I am decent. I know my way around the controls, tactics, and usually beat my friends. I played exactly one game with a women's team and I was bored. Maybe it was modeled realistically but I found the lack of speed and accuracy annoying (and I was playing with team USA which is the best one). I suspect you have to change your expectations when you play with a women's team but I could not.   All of this is of course a touchy subject because when you watch soccer you see the same differences I mention in the pitch: The men's teams in the game are faster and the accuracy is increased by a lot. So should they make FIFA a bit less realistic but more fun or would that be wrong? I think that requires an answer from someone that knows way more about gender issues than I do. Specifically as far as the game goes I can honestly say I gave it one shot and I was not happy. Maybe that says something about me and not about the game but I sure hope not. I enjoy the women's game and I watch it at the NCAA level (where I root for the Gators) and during the World Cup and the Olympics (can Hope Solo retire or get dismissed already?).
  • >So should they make FIFA a bit less realistic but more fun or would that be wrong? No, you are correct. FIFA went too far into being a "sim". PES is more fun. Unlreastic, but fun :) Perhaps they can both co-exist for different audiences, or EA can have a "mode switch" button :)
  • Exactly. At the end of the day, it's a game. People want realism, but more than anything, they want to have fun playing games.
  • What are you even saying. Everyone who plays FIFA and Pes will tell you pes's gameplay is far more realistic than FIFA. FIFA is not realistic if that's what you're saying. The pes gameplay shows what real soccer is. Check! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Femi-****?
  • I just want to to fix the f'n fouls already. I can go 7 matches without getting a foul called against the CPU and even more without so PK, but if I get in front of the someone on the ball I somehow fouled them!
  • Will FIFA 17 be available on windows 10 mobile??????