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As the football season kicks into high gear another entry into the world's biggest footy videogame lands on our screens, complete with a host of improvements and updates.
One significant change is to dribbling. There's a whole load of technology and jargon you might hear about, but what it boils down to is this - improvements brought about using the Frostbite Engine and what EA's calling 'Real Player Motion Technology' mean that dribbling is more fluid than ever. Players naturally twist, tap and squirm as your thumb does the same on the analog stick, far more quickly than in previous games.
The Journey makes a comeback, with this outing getting the dramatic moniker 'Hunter's Return'. It continues the career mode from the last game, with save data transfers meaning you can pick up right where you left off as you guide Hunter through his next season with your chosen club. This time out, however, Hunter's no longer a green newcomer and will have to contend with a host of new challenges. The inclusion of Cristiano Ronaldo as a voiced character is rather tantalising, too...
Live Substitutions don't sound like they ought to be a big change, but for fans of playing online they'll represent a big shift. Because no-one likes to be the one to press pause when they're playing against their friends, subs tend to be foregone and over the course of the game the game slows as players get sluggish. With the unobtrusive pop-up of a small graphic, however, you'll now be offered the opportunity to swap out a flagging player for an AI-chosed alternative or a pre-set choice you made before kick-off.
A couple of big changes have been made to the look of the game that are sure to make an impact to the overall feel, too. While in the past attention has been made to getting the look of different stadia right, this time EA has paid a lot of attention to the feel of them. The light changes as you move from, say, an English ground to a South American one, while the crowds will react differently too. Another big push on the visual front comes in the form of faces, with EA aiming to deepen the authenticity with more realistic modelling than ever.
2017/18 is promising to be a big season for FIFA.