The Journey - From Frustration to Glory: My Impressions, How to Win and What's next

No doubts The Journey is the great game mode in FIFA 17. I'm really impressed how EA made this possible. Like campaign games, we are guided through Alex Hunter life.

It starts with Alex playing a match while he is just a kid. His mom, dad and grandpa are watching the game. Alex Hunter is grandson of the english legend Jim Hunter!

Back to the match, Alex gets injured and his father gets pissed because Alex isn't good and strong enough. His father leaves the match and goes away. Alex couldn't imagine his father was leaving him and his mother. Match ends in a draw and it's time to penalties.

In this moment, a single but outstanding moment, we can shoot a penalty with kid Alex Hunter! At this moment, it doesn't matter if you score ou miss the shot, since Gareth Walker, Hunter's friend, can save the match.

Kid Alex Hunter takes a penalty

Years later, Alex and Gareth must pass through a trial to get a chance on Premier League. In this trial, you have to choose a position. I choosed Left Winger (I strongly advice you shouldn't pick this position if you mind to play as Left Midfielder or Center Midfielder). Thereafter, a agent, Michael, will offer Alex a contract. You can choose among the 20 teams of Premier League, but keep in mind you have to work harder to be among the first 11. This is a scripted scene, so Gareth will choose the same team you did.

Now, The Journey officially starts. In the first official game, Gareth starts the game and Alex is on the bench. Gareth scores the first goal and the the other team scores another one, equalizing the game. By the end of the match, Gareth is substituted by Alex and coach Butler set his (your) objetives in match, including score or assist a goal, win the match and get a high score.

First Match

As the season goes, no matter what you do, the goals you score, how well do you succeed on training, the manager will put Alex in loan to a second division team, while Gareth stays. Alex will find out that Dani Williams is playing in this team. Dani Williams is an old rival of Alex and Gareth. Here's my hint: Don't choose Aston Villa if you don't like 4-4-2 formation and you are a Left Winger. You will be put to play as Left Midfielder, which means you have to work more to get close to the goal.

Back to Alex and Gareth history, Gareth begins to act like a jerk, ignoring Alex texts and calls. Meanwhile, Alex gets closer to Dani Williams and they became friends. As you play the season, Alex's old team will call him back, since he became a sensation and the team needs to win more matches.

When Alex arrives, Gareth let the money overwhelm him and sign with the rival team. Gareth is totally changed and now he wants to compete with Alex. Gareth said he was friend of Alex only because his grandpa's contacts. Before every match and after the ones Alex lost, Gareth arouse Alex through social media.

Alex now has to assume Gareth's place and lead the team to win the FA Cup, the only tournament his grandpa didn't win. As Alex advance towards the finals, he will get an sponsorship offer from Adidas. More offers come later (still from Adidas), as you gain more followers. To get more followers, you have to select inflamed answers in the interviews. But choose wisely to not compromise your relation with the coach. My hint here is to use inflamed answers when the interviewer asks about Alex performance. When she asks about the team chemistry, use balanced answers. Finally, use cool answers when she asks about tactics.

FA Cup Pre-Match

If you won the FA Cup games, you will reach the finals. This game is special, since Alex can win to his grandpa and the game is against Gareth's team. Here's your chance to make a show and shut up Gareth. If you win the game, Gareth will be devastated and Alex will offer a hand to him. If you lose, the opposite happens. Anyway, it seems Alex and Hunter will be friends again.

By the end of the match, Alex father shows up and tries to apologize. He uses lame excuses for being away all this time and Alex lets him talking alone.

Back to his apartment, Alex is playing FIFA with Dani when his phone rings and Butler says to Alex turn on TV. Alex Hunter is called-up to England national team!

At this point the first chapter of The Journey ends and you win a ultimate team card of Alex Hunter. We don't know when the second chapter will be released, but FIFA 17 is using ~28GB of 50GB required to play.

My Impressions

While playing The Journey I had different kind of reactions, so I'll describe here:

Pros:

  • I really like the atmosphere and the authenticity while in-game;
  • EA did a great job with this new game mode and I just played it until this moment;
  • The match objectives are fair. Coach doesn't ask you too much, but sometimes the team simply can't play well and this includes you;
  • The attribute points are a good way to improve your skills. Use them wisely!;
  • Training sessions allow you to develop your potential. In free training sessions, choose activities that help you to improve the your desired skills. I suggest finalization and ball control skills to be improved;

Cons:

  • Most of the scenes are scripted and my impression is that some games are scripted too. Not in the literal, but some games seems to be made up to you win or lose;
  • Left Winger isn't a good position to play (Right Winger also fits here), specially if you will play in 4-4-2. Coach will put you to play as Left or Right Midfielder. Choose a centre position like centre-forward or attacking midfielder;
  • Your behaviour in interviews and teammates interaction (inflamed, balanced or cool) doesn't matter (much). This only interferes in your relation with manager and your fans, but you can achieve the objectives anyway;
  • Your teammates don't know how to play when you play only with Alex. I think this is an issue of the mode Be a Pro, since it also happens with this game mode. Sometimes you have to cross the field to get the ball, since your teammates carry on the ball or stop running and keep protecting the ball until you come close;
  • I miss some little things that could improve the game, like the possibility to ask or suggest the coach to put you in other position, to take free-kicks, to play or not to play in some matches, etc;
  • I didn't like to be forced to watch all the scripted scenes, since they can take a lot of time.

That is it guys! These were my impressions playing The Journey. The next review will be about the new FIFA 17 Career mode.

About the modding process of FIFA 17, the guys at soccergaming are able to extract the files, but there's no way to insert the modded files back in FIFA. This way I'm not able to create scoreboards or popups to FIFA 17. As soon they found out a way to import the files, I'll start to mod.

Stay tuned!