We need to talk about FIFA 17 and Alex Hunter

First things first, here is the real, Alex Hunter; the man behind the look, the voice and the story. The chap living out every football fans’ dream. Pretty cool that our latest fictional ‘hero’ is, in part, kind of real.

https://twitter.com/TeamFoot_/status/778308800361164802

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FIFA got a lot wrong, this time around. Of course, they ‘always do’, as a generation we are particularly demanding/never happy. But they’ve messed around with the set-pieces – penalties in particularly – and totally cocked it up.

No need, chaps; no need.

But what EA Sports seem great in doing, with each passing FIFA, is to bring in a new game mode, a fresh outlook on the game, to reinvigorate the users’ enjoyment.

From the early days when we had indoor football, to lounge mode, to FIFA Ultimate Team – all modes that we wish were still available (FUT is, but, again, there has been too much tinkering). And the latest addition is ‘The Journey’.

The beautiful fairy tale of every young boy or girl, who wants to grow up and become a professional footballer.

And it captures that perfectly. But not on the screen. Sure, it’s impressive, and a lot of attention to detail has gone in, from the Under-11 Cup Final to the talking to the press. However, it’s how it makes you ‘feel’ during your playing experience, where EA have nailed it.

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Playing the game, you have that excited nervousness, the one before your Sunday League game gets under way. You’re in your head ‘playing out scenarios of you scoring the winning goal or saving a last-minute penalty’.

When you’re sent out on loan, you feel, how you’d imagine you’d feel, if this were real; gutted, devastated but also that will to fight back and win.

Maybe I’m being too dramatic, and reading too much into it. But last night I went to bed dreaming, like 10-year-old me used to, of becoming a professional footballer and what it would be like.

And for that, EA Sports and FIFA 17, I thank you.