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FIFA 17, You Have My Attention

Well, here’s a first. The trailer for a sports game was the best thing I saw during a major E3 press conference.

Below, if you haven’t seen it, is FIFA 17's debut trailer. It is very interesting if you’re at all into football, sports games or even just experiments in what we expect from well-worn AAA video game series.

There are two reasons why.

First, a new engine! This will be the first time in almost a decade that EA’s flagship sports series will get an all-new engine. Say goodbye to ice-skating running animation, giant shoulders and balloon-face player models, the shift to Frostbite (the same engine that powers Battlefield) is clearly producing much more life-like players. It should also introduce better ball handling, but we’ll wait and see on that. Rival PES’ move to the Fox Engine was a miracle for that ailing series, so I hope shifting to Frostbite can help fix a lot of the issues I’ve had with FIFA over the last few years.

And secondly, a story mode! Not the empty and lifeless “be a pro” mode from years gone past, an honest to goodness singleplayer campaign, complete with cutscenes and story.

I don’t care how bad it is. One thing the NBA 2K series has done very well over the last few years is the addition of a proper scripted story mode, one that even at its worst is still a fun thing to mess around with in a sports game. I usually end up role-playing a created character in FIFA anyway, so the chance to do that with all the regular trappings of a game’s singleplayer campaign means this is something I’m very much looking forward to.

Only bummer (though understandable, given the amount of variables in this game) is that you can only play through it at a Premier League club, so anyone dreaming of making it big at Bolton or Bayern Munich might have to wait for an expansion to the concept in future years.

FIFA 17 is out on September 29.

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