Sports titles have taken a few stabs over the years at implementing a narrative-focused campaign with middling success. Sometimes the idea clicks like Fight Night Champion's Champion Mode, other times it's an ill-advised debacle like NBA 2K16's bizarre "Livin' Da Dream" plotline. FIFA 17 looks to try its hand at telling a compelling sports drama with The Journey.
The Journey centers around the fictional player Alex Hunter, a rookie prospect hailing from a lineage of football greatness. Players witness his rise to the premier league through cinematic storytelling and steer Alex's career by making decisions both on and off the field (such as selecting his team). EA promises the story will include "new characters full of depth...navigate emotional highs and lows of their unique story arc through decisions off the pitch, their performance on it, and character interactions throughout the 2016/17 season while playing for any of the 20 Premier League clubs."
While Frostbite 3 powers the graphical and gameplay elements of The Journey, the narrative aspects and authenticity are influenced by the inputs of actual premier players. We'll see how Alex's story shapes up when FIFA 17 launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC September 27 in North America, followed by a worldwide release on September 29.