It began with Champion Mode in Fight Night Champion and returned with The Journey in FIFA 17. Creative minds at EA Sports have consistently produced the best single-player, cinematic experiences in sports games.
Champion Mode was raw and unapologetic. It delivered an entertaining spin on the world of boxing and I haven’t seen anything quite like it since.
The Journey was far more tame, but it felt like a football and human story rolled into one.
In 2017, both Madden 18 (Longshot) and FIFA 18 (The Journey II) appear ready to continue the legacy. Longshot is an unpredictable American football story with multiple endings and outstanding voice acting. Considering the confines I’m sure the NFL placed on the creators, EA’s development and creative team did an excellent job creating a believable and watchable story. It also carefully blended in gameplay sequences too.
This has been a common theme in all of their sports story modes, which is the reason they work so well.
EA recently released the trailer for The Journey II. Alex Hunter returns as the primary character and it appears the cutscenes and voice acting will again be superb.
Choosing your path in the Journey II will be centered aroud the transfer market. Hunter will be switching teams and it appears there will be unique challenges and events that arise at each location. EA has done a great job incorporating cameo appearances from a variety of stars, including cover athlete and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, and NBA Live 18 cover star James Harden.
Some hardcore sports gamers don’t bother with the story modes in sports games, but I’ve found it to be a welcomed diversion from the traditional franchise mode and online grind. I still enjoy those modes primarily, but I also appreciate a guided story–especially the tales that are woven as well as Longshot and Journey I.
We can only hope The Journey II lives up to the pace set by its predecessor and EA Sports’ other cinematic work. FIFA 18 releases on September 29 in North America, and the Journey II is one of the first modes I’ll plauy during my review process.
Be on the lookout for that and other pre-release details.