In recent years FIFA 17 was something of a new beginning for the long-running football franchise. The move to the Frostbite engine – originally built for Dice’s Battlefield first-person shooter series – offered more visual flexibility along with new types of gameplay. The latter took the form of The journeya story-driven mode that tells the story of Alex Hunter, a kid who tries to become the first eleven of a Premier League outfit. FIFA 17 was surprisingly progressive game, but compared to Konami’s revamped Pro Evolution Football series, it came up short.
Still, if FIFA 17 was the new start, this year is the consolidation. FIFA 18 brings back The journey, and promises to fix numerous mechanical defects. But as FIFA developers EA Canada know all too well, it’s hard to please everyone when you’re dealing with an audience the size of FIFA‘s. Does EA take precedence? realismas PES 17 did, or will it continue on a path of flashy targets and cheap thrills?
“One of the challenges for us is that there is no stereotype” FIFA user,” FIFA 18 producer Matt Prior tells me. “There are people who just play FUT [FIFA Ultimate Team]people who only play multiplayer, people who only play in leagues etc. It is a challenge to balance the game for everyone.
“For example, the pace is often a big one. There will always be people who think the game is too slow and others who think it’s too fast. It’s a matter of balancing that and making sure we get feedback from players get board has been fully analyzed and that we are changing things for the good of the whole game rather than just for the vocal few who sit on Reddit and whine about it.”
For many, not for a few. the recording of The journey in FIFA 17 was in itself an attempt to please a greater number of people. The mix of written plot and football was seen by Prior and his team as a way to engage people with only a passing interest in the sport – the kind who like football enough to watch big games, but don’t have a strong enough connection to to follow day in, day out a team. Adding an emotional story to an otherwise abstract set of rules is, in theory at least, a good way to bring in players. After all, everyone loves a good story.
FIFA 18’and The journey fashion is a direct sequel to the story of Alex Hunter. Only this time, EA promises a more diverse mix of professional players and famous football locations. As proof, a colorful Brazilian street and Cristiano Ronaldo are both depicted in The journey‘s first batch of marketing materials.
“If you’re not a big football fan, then The journey is a mode that you can connect with, and by connecting to it, you can become a bigger fan of the sport itself and maybe even a specific club,” explains Prior.
“There’s something similar here with me and ice hockey. The old NHL games on the Mega Drive really got me into ice hockey after learning the rules through the game. I got connected to the sport and really started to appreciate it thanks to video games .”
Among the other benefits of including: The journey is that it provides a safe space for FIFA newbies to learn the basics. Through training sessions and a gentle introduction to full matches, players can understand how to pass, shoot and tinker with tactics without the pressure to perform at the kind of lofty level required, for example in online multiplayer.
Past promises that much more attention has been paid to targeting The journeytraining elements for different types of players. The tasks you have to complete simply change based on your experience and the chosen difficulty.
“It’s hard to get that balance right for all players and we’ve added new features this year to help with that in the form of variable training features that relate to your skill level. When you play on Legendary [difficulty]For example, then we can give you training structures that focus on something like the new volley system we have. In comparison, the beginners will not learn the core of the new features. Instead, they learn the fundamental lessons needed to actually play the game.”