How FIFA 17 story mode could be a game-changer

If there’s one thing the football world has seen this year, it’s surprises. Leicester City winning the English Premier League was a monumental achievement, and one nobody could have predicted, so don’t listen to your loudmouth pal that says he called it.
It seems fitting then, that the video-game world of football has a huge surprise too – in the form of the freshly unveiled story mode that will be in EA’s FIFA 17 due for release later this year. Alex Hunter may not be a name you’re instantly familiar with, but he’s the star of The Journey and, with luck, this could be a mode that delivers for years to come. fifa 17 coins

All we know for sure right now is that there will be dialogue options, and that the story itself is largely predetermined. But we also know that we’ll have some input into things, we just don’t know how much. But for the reasons outlined below, we’re very excited about the possibilities.

Outside pursuits. In 2013, a developer called Geniaware released a game called Lords of Football. It was awful, but it let us delve into the life of a footballer away from the pitch. Could we see something similar happen here? Can we take Alex clubbing for the evening instead of training? What if he can have hobbies and interests that we decide? Sure, it sounds as though the structure of The Journey will be set in stone, but hopefully there are internal boundaries we can move within that aren’t too rigid. When, through no fault of our own, a terrible referee sends us off because we slid in two-footed on Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and we’re suspended for a week or two, we want to take our would-be hero away for the weekend to try and get through the tough mudder.

Okay, we probably can’t do that, but here’s hoping there’s some lifestyle elements in there. The trailers have shown cutscenes and definite story progression suggesting drama that looks like it’s straight from a soap opera. So, while hoping for a night on the town might be a bit much, we think there’s the chance for some laughs there.

From zero to hero. Those of you old enough to remember a time before games were at the pinnacle of technology they are now might remember a time when you’d act out being your favourite footballer in real life. Much the same as people would stand in front of a mirror with a tennis racquet pretending to be Bruce Springsteen. No kid outside of the local area dreams of playing for Italian Serie B team Pescara, or in the Spanish Segunda Division for Osasuna, but let’s be honest, not every hot prospect signing for Manchester United ends up being the next Ronaldo, either.

Managerial mistakes can mean that sometimes clubs miss out on incredible players they already had (Gerard Piqué ending up at Barcelona from Man Utd springs to mind), but one good season can make or break you in the modern game.
So what we’re intrigued about is which teams we can play for. If we can deliberately put in a bad shift because we want to in order to get loaned out to a lower-league side like Lens or N?mes in the French second division (and still be the best player in their team, comfortably), that would be ace. Reportedly, the way we perform as Alex dicates the story and what happens to us. There’s some potential for genuinely amazing moments if the hero can pull his career out of the garbage and end up lifting a trophy as fifa 17 coins

That lad must have been born offside
EA has revealed that there will be dialogue options in The Journey, which on its own is really exciting. More interesting is that the Premier League managers (and only the Premier League ones have been announced so far) have been properly rendered for the first time. Does that mean that José Mourinho may have recorded some dialogue? The Special One’s appearance on stage during EA’s yearly press conference (where they unveil their greatest and newest games), as well as his voiceover for the trailers certainly suggests EA and he are working together. What if José can appear next to us, or give motivational quotes after matches?
Or, dear reader, what if he appears in a pre-match conference and pulls one of his world-class quotes out of the bag? Something akin to Eric Cantona’s seagull speech? The possibilities are endless, exciting, and could be amazing.

Winning at all costs, despite friendships
Rivalries in football are a massive part of the game. What would the derbies between Arsenal and Spurs be if they lacked that crucial hatred of one another, despite the fact that huge rivals like the two Manchester clubs will often have players that join forces for international football. In The Journey, we will be taking Alex onto the field with rivals. He will be up against the brightest and best in the league (and further afield) in the form of Harry Kane, James Rodríguez, Marco Reus, Anthony Martial, Eden Hazard, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, and Reece Oxford.
How Rodríguez and Reus come into it (being players from outside the English league) will be interesting, though we’d presume it’ll be Champions League-related. What if we get to play Hunter as a defender, and shut out a rampant Spurs with Kane and Alli trying their hardest to win? What a feeling it’ll be to be the best striker on the field despite sharing it with Reus. How great would it be to get the nod for Manchester United ahead of Rashford or Martial? There’s a real chance that FIFA’s story mode could make us feel like the King, no matter what Mr Kane thinks about it. Wayne Rooney in FIFA 17 story mode Standing on the shoulders of giants, and Rooney ? EA Sports

Can it feel real?
In a regular Career mode, bringing everything together is vital, and usually in FIFA if you are playing match after match on the trot you’ll find a player will become fatigued, eventually forcing a substitution, or worse, meaning that they can’t play a match for a week. The Journey looks like it will bring together elements from Be a Pro as well as Career Mode, and we can’t wait to see if EA can deliver on that prospect. Fitness is vital, of course, but if we’re able to have control over Alex’s destiny, we need to be asked to manage his fitness via training.

Over the years EA have taken strides to improve training aspects of FIFA, and 16 saw training taken to a whole new level. We want to take our version of Alex and train him into the best free kick taker in the world, take him to a Champion’s League final, and show up Real Madrid’s Ronaldo with our technique and fitness. If you’re going to immerse yourself into The Journey, then you have to go all the way and become the ultimate footballer.

The Journey adds yet more longevity to FIFA, and instead of people being either UT or Career Mode players, now there’s a new, interesting distraction. Whether or not you are gagging to play Hunter’s tale, you can’t deny that EA are trying to add more to an already fit to burst package.