"An epic ode to the joy of football, but with room remaining for improvement," is how Lee Hall summed up FIFA 17 in his review last year. With main rival Pro Evolution finally breathing down its neck after years of disappointing annual updates, EA's decision to introduce The Journey to its flagship football/soccer series was a good one—a game mode which sees you guide a fictional player from a promising youth career to professional stardom. During an investor's call held yesterday, the publisher confirmed The Journey will return in FIFA 18 with "new characters and new storylines".
Returning to Lee's thoughts on FIFA 17, here's what our reviewer made of The Journey's inaugural appearance:
"The big news for FIFA solo players this year is the inclusion of a story mode, which I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical about. But, to my surprise, The Journey—which immediately brings to mind a tragic X-Factor contestant montage underscored by Coldplay—is good. You guide plucky young phenom Alex Hunter from his under-11 cup final to the highs of a career in the Premier League.
"Through dialogue choices you forge his personality, negotiating personal difficulties, footballing trials, loan spells and other career-defining moments. It’s a very welcome additional way to play."
As compiled by Seeking Alpha, EA's CEO Andrew Wilson and its CFO Blake Jorgensen praised FIFA 17's success since launch in late September last year during the call—stating it was the top-selling console game of last year, and that as such was on course to become the publisher's best-selling FIFA game of all time.
Speaking to The Journey's return, Wilson said: "FIFA 18 will build on the foundation we created with story mode this year, bringing players back to The Journey with Season 2, featuring new characters and new storylines. Our development team in Vancouver is delivering deeply innovative new experiences across this year's game, including an Ultimate Team, and creating the most emotionally immersive and connected FIFA we have ever produced."