It’s time for a fresh start with FIFA 17. Perhaps that’s why EA is moving FIFA across to DICE’s proprietary Frostbite engine, the very same Frostbite that powers Battlefield, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and others.

In FIFA 17, Frostbite has done wonders for the game’s visual fidelity. It looks great, giving PES 2017 with its Fox Engine rendering remarkably lifelike players and stadia a run for its money. In terms of graphical grunt, it’s never been such a close run thing, but on the pitch FIFA 17 feels comparatively woolly next to its past triumphs. Players seem over-animated, meaning the action isn’t perhaps as fluid as it could be, although the game’s new ‘Pushback Technology’ places a greater emphasis on physical play that’s more than welcome.

According to EA, the introduction of Pushback Technology alters the way in which players react to situations on the pitch, while adding a new ball shielding system that enables you to retain increased control when you’ve got the ball or when you’re fighting to win it while on defence. There’s also a new intelligence system that means players make better decisions off the ball, so getting a through ball forward on attack is easier, making for more fast-paced runs on-goal. It certainly sets things up for taking a few more cracks at the goalkeeper.

The addition of new attacking options are added to, and chances at finishing in style at goal are plentiful, with driven shots and downward headers available to put your own touch on a net-ripping screamer. FIFA 17 ticks all the right boxes in what it’s bringing to the table then, but playing it, there’s something imperceptibly not-quite-right about it. There’s simply a lack of crispness and immediacy to the gameplay, although it still provides a solid representation of the beautiful game that undoubtedly improves upon FIFA games in recent years.

With Ultimate Team back and hopefully better than ever, and The Journey promising a fleshed out career mode that takes in all facets of a fledgling footballer on the rise, FIFA 17 does represent a compelling prospect. It’s certainly the most enticed we’ve been by a FIFA title since 14, its first go with the Frostbite engine mixing things up a bit, preventing the footie franchise from getting into too comfortable a rut. Despite our misgivings having played the game, FIFA 17 is certainly an improvement.

Pro Clubs, the story-driven The Journey, a separate Career Mode with its own management features and more, the always addictive and involving FIFA Ultimate Team, all conspire to make for another typically hefty lump of FIFA footie. If the action can measure up on the pitch and Frostbite proves to be the right move for FIFA – we remain uncertain-then FIFA 17 could well be a return to form for the series.

FIFA 17 will be released on 27th September in North America and 29th September in Europe.

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It's time for a fresh start with FIFA 17. Perhaps that's why EA is moving FIFA across to DICE's proprietary Frostbite engine, the very same Frostbite that powers Battlefield, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and others. In FIFA 17, Frostbite has done wonders for the game's visual fidelity. It looks great,...