After what has felt like an exceptionally long wait, the FIFA 17 demo has arrived and is ready to play on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The countdown to play the small segment of the next instalment in EA’s football franchise has felt so drawn-out that some wondered if the actual game would arrive before the demo.
Obviously it hasn’t turned out that way and we’ll have to wait until September 27 to experience the game in its entirety, but the demo gives us enough to immerse ourselves in until then.
Teams on offer include Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and more.
Much has been said (from EA themselves, mostly) in the run up to release, on the game’s use of the Frostbite engine which has been used in the Battlefield series for some time now.
Watch: Manchester United v Manchester City on FIFA 17
The engine has been advertised as delivering authentic, true-to- life action that will be showcased in the new The Journey mode for the most part. That’s a great new feature but it’s little more than an afterthought.
Most importantly, does FIFA 17 still play like FIFA?
Those who have played FIFA every year since what feels like the start of recorded time will immediately feel at home - albeit it some of the furniture has been replaced.
The free kick system has had a complete upheaval and you can expect to shank a good number of balls into row Z before you get to grips with it. Similarly, penalties now involve picking a starting position and angling your run up.
Cut it too fine and you won’t leave enough room to generate power but equally, if you take huge strides you risk sending your spot kick into orbit.
How you deliver and receive corners is now much more precise as you can choose where you specifically want the ball to land. Whether you can actually put the ball into the desired area is another matter entirely.
Tackling remains largely the same and is once again all about your timing and repeatedly mashing the standing tackle button in the hope of desperately getting a leg in is unlikely to earn you anything except a probable yellow card.
As for Frostbite itself, it’s quite difficult to tell any considerable amount of difference. If anything, players perhaps look more wooden and a little forced in motion as they run around the pitch.
When used in The Journey it certainly looks more cinematic, but do FIFA players really want to spend large portions of time watching cut scenes in between what is basically the familiar Be A Pro mode?
Only time will tell.
While the finer details may take some getting used to and some of the sizing looks a little off, (big heads) which is probably down to the Frostbite engine this is still unmistakably a FIFA game.
Whether it’s the best FIFA game - it’s too early to say - but it’s undoubtedly worth your time.