EA Sports Interview: FIFA 17 Adds “The Journey” Single-Player Campaign

As summer steadily rolls along, there’s no better time to catch the many futbol matches the season has and will have to offer. Two of the major tournaments currently going on, Copa America and UEFA Euro, respectively have already gifted fans some amazing action in the early going. For the clubs who shall be participating in the upcoming summer Olympic Games, there’s no doubt those particular clubs will be using this time to test players while tightening up their squads.

For the rest of us peasants who aren’t necessarily gifted at a professional level, catching these exciting moments on television will be as close as we get. Fortunately, EA Sports has got our backs! Still we’ll leave the cleats at home, for there won’t be any playing time for us on the actual field but with the release of the new FIFA 17 edition quickly approaching, we can get many of the sights and sounds of the game right at our fingertips.

Recently I had an opportunity to talk with Matt Prior, Creative Director, and Aaron Hardy, Gameplay Producer, about some of newest additions to this year’s game. As for the first time, FIFA will be adding a single-player campaign to the mix entitled “The Journey." In this story mode, you will play as Alex Hunter, a young footballer on his journey to stardom. In its current stages, it looks to be a fairly interactive mode that allows you to engage in activities both on and off the field.

Each new day brings a new challenge for young Alex; successfully completing objectives and playing well in games not only brings Alex closer and closer to his goals, but also continues the growing attention he’ll receive off the field. This is where his “personality” will take shape or, shall I say, how the user shapes it. When you answer interview questions in a certain way or choose in which way Alex will conduct himself, it will have different character-building effects, qualities that can also bleed over onto the field. Been answering question in a stern or harsh way? His attitude on the pitch may reflect a more aggressive side.

You can play as the whole team or player lock onto Hunter, gear your training sessions towards a more offensive style, or simply play through for fun. Regardless of the choices, the development team wanted to illustrate how it's all user-controlled; everyone will have an experience unique to them.

Those familiar with the Frostbite engine have seen its use on titles such as Battlefield, Need for Speed, and Star Wars: Battlefront. Hardy stated that they wanted the look and feel of mechanics to flow as naturally as possible and that Frostbite has been performing well which is why FIFA 17 uses it for the game's environments, atmosphere, and lighting.

There’s a whole slew of possibilities the engine will be focusing on—physics, accurately illustrated player collisions, push-back technology, and the list goes on. But with everything illustrated, they still want to keep the same core gameplay fundamentals. With all the new fancy technical capabilities, fans will still be able to pick up a copy and play along as usual but will see and feel all of the enhancements.

So far there’s little doubt that FIFA 17 will be one of the most in-depth releases to the series. But at this point, only time will tell what the future holds. It will release on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on September 27, 2016.