Every year at E3, Electronic Arts is known unveiling their latest line-up of sports games, and this year was no exception. As part of the EA Play, I spent roughly 30 minutes with two of their upcoming sports titles–FIFA 17 and NHL 17. Here are my impressions after playing.
EA’s perennial soccer franchise FIFA returns in 2017, and the big new mode this time around is called “The Journey.” This career-type mode places you into the role of Alex Hunter, an aspiring new soccer player that is looking to make a name for himself. This is a story-driven mode that began with me listening to a pep talk from our coach in the dressing room, and a few times I was able to choose from three different responses when talking to my teammate beside me.

Once the game began (match up was Liverpool vs. Manchester United), my player started off on the bench, and sat there most of the game. However, my time to shine came with 20 minutes left on the clock and the game tied 1-1; my coach requested a bench change sent me out to my grand debut. My task was three-fold: impress the boss, score a goal, and break the tie (technically I suppose two objectives, since 2 & 3 were one in the same.)

I ended up failing, as I didn’t score the winning goal, and the game ended with the 1-1 tie. Afterwards, I got interviewed by ESPN Sports about my performance on the pitch, and here again I was able to choose from a variety of responses ranging from showing frustration, to expressing optimism about the next game. Apparently your responses will determine how your player progresses and the opportunities you receive. As a fan of story modes, I had a lot of fun with The Journey and hope to have a chance to play more soon.

As far as the graphics and gameplay go, FIFA 17 is a significant improvement from previous years with the game name running on the powerful Frostbite graphics engine. Players control very well on the pitch, and the moves felt responsive and natural. FIFA fans have a lot to look forward to this year!


NHL 17

Later I had a chance to play a match of NHL 17 with my EA_Sports_3.jpgFrench blog counterpart, Melanie, and of course we chose the classic rivalry, Toronto Maple Leafs against the Montreal Canadiens. While Montreal held a 2-0 lead against Toronto late in the first period, the Leafs have closed the gap and finished the game victorious with 4-2. Like FIFA 17, the gameplay felt much smoother this year, and I noticed the goaltenders had a wider range of movements this year, including the ability to lift up their shoulders to deflect the puck. In previous years, goaltenders in NHL would always use their glove to catch high pucks, but now this year you can see more realistic movements.

We’re just a few short months from NHL’s September launch, so expect more details to come soon!
Are you an EA sports fan? Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on FIFA 17, NHL 17, and Madden NFL 17!


Check out Best Buy’s coverage of E3 2016 for more great articles, links to preorder games and more

Paul Hunter
Editor Video Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. See my latest gaming adventures on my Twitter channel.


  1. @PaulH Be honest, you ever feel like “do they need to release a new game every year just because it’s a new year?”

    Innovations is not cyclical.


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