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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that FIFA 17 is a soccer simulation.There’s no inappropriate content in this game, although there are lots of ads for companies such as Nike, Adidas, and others, and these ads are constantly updating with new content. Parents also should be aware that unmoderated online play could expose players to inappropriate commentary from opponents.
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What's it about?
FIFA 17 is a simulation that virtually recreates the world's most popular sport. As you might expect from such an offering, gamers can select their favorite team, take control over all the players and vie for supremacy on the pitch. This year's game offers multiple solo and multiplayer modes (both online and in front of the same TV), visual improvements, enhancements to artificial intelligence (AI), ball control, and a dramatic boost to the emotion shown in the game. FIFA 17 houses hundreds of officially licensed clubs and many thousands of authentic players who look and act like their real-life counterparts.
Is it any good?
Most annual sports games don't often impress because of the short nine-month (or so) development cycle. But while there's still some room for improvement, FIFA 17 is extraordinarily fun. With the gorgeous graphics, tweaked controls, new attack options, and, especially, the new story mode, this is the best soccer game on the planet. Just as NBA 2K's MyCareer has been the gold standard for a story mode within a sports game, FIFA 17’s the Journey adds some purpose and emotion to this soccer sim. For the first time ever in this franchise, you play as Alex Hunter, a young and promising prospect who made it to the English Premier League. You can choose to play on any club in the league, alongside some of the best players, and make decisions on and off the pitch that change the story, including sacrifices you might need to make. There's a role-playing game (RPG)-like element, too, as you increase your skills over time.
All across the game, player and ball movements have been improved, along with artificial intelligence (AI), new attacking techniques, and more. FUT, or FIFA Ultimate Team, is back and better than ever. The mode tests your team-building skills as you choose the best fit for each position and then compete with them. While the character models and animation look great, some player's faces -- when trying to convey emotion in the Journey mode -- don't look so good. Plus, while the voice talent is great, some key characters have dialogue, while others don't. FIFA 17 also doesn't allow for a lot of player customization. But feature for feature, and factoring in the new story mode and higher production values, FIFA 17 is most definitely worth the cash among football fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism in FIFA 17, which is full of branding, including logos, clothing labels, billboards, and broadcast graphics. It's just like the real sport (or any sport, for that matter), and EA Sports also has the opportunity to sell in-game advertising. Is it OK that the publisher makes money from gamers and advertisers, too? Is product placement harmful?
Is it worth it to buy an annual sports game? If the developers release a free downloadable update to account for changing team rosters, do you really need to buy one every year? Can you skip a year or two, or do the new features and better graphics justify the purchase?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.