We recently speculated on what could be on the horizon for The Journey in FIFA 18 and beyond, and whilst we threw in some “out there” ideas, it turns out we weren’t a million miles away with some of them, as we saw at a recent FIFA 18 playtest, which you can read about here, when we got to see some of what is in store for Alex Hunter in The Journey: Hunter Returns. Now, EA were pretty cagey about sharing details outside of the specific titbits they’d brought with them to share, presumably a combination of avoiding spoilers and it still being pretty early in the press cycle, but here’s what we know.
One aspect we touched on that was missing was customisation and that’s been addressed for FIFA 18, including the ability to change Hunter’s hairstyle (including some more “out there” ones like Pogba’s Leopard number or Hunters name shaved into his head in a gaudy style), change his wardrobe, including shoes/boots, and even stick tattoos on him.
Sadly, whilst it’s good that customisation has been added, we don’t know much more than that, as in whether it’s something you set up at the start and are stuck with, or if it’s something that you can change as you go along, possibly as part of some sort of status upgrade. The final unknown on the customisation front is whether your cosmetic changes by way of tattoos and hairstyles will stay with Hunter he moves into FUT when you complete The Journey, if indeed that still happens.
EA have promised a bigger cast for The Journey: Hunter Returns and as covered in our gameplay preview, they flew to Madrid to mo-capture Cristiano Ronaldo. As such he’s set to play a part, along with a number of other footballers and EA also used the phrase “celebrity” more than once in their presentation, leaving us to speculate that there may well be famous faces not known for their skills on a football pitch.
Again light on details and currently only including local co-op in the build we saw, but EA confirmed that they were working to get more local multiplayer into The Journey to allow a friend to jump in and play as a single player on the other team as you progress. I don’t know about your friends, but I imagine mine would just use that to wind me up.
As seen in the trailer, the transfer market will clearly feature heavily for Hunter and as such EA have promised a bigger “world of football” to play in. The Journey in FIFA 17 offered only one league to start in but in FIFA 18 more locations will be available as EA have been on tour, scanning more managers (including La Liga for certain, Zidane and Simeone look great) which in turn opens up more locations across the globe for us to explore as Alex Hunter.
The Journey will have a new system for checking of your progress as Alex Hunter, including some smaller stuff to work on. The mode will now be broken down into 6 individual chapters and each one will have its own targets to tick off as you work through the story. Examples given were things like take 10 shots on target across a short time frame, or win a pre season tour. We don’t yet know how these objectives will feed into Hunter’s statistical progress but we’re hoping EA expand on that in the future.
Whilst EA naturally want to keep the core focus of the story under wraps, they did promise that we’d see more in the way of personalised decisions and key choices that will lead to bigger story branches. They also confirmed that there would be new playable characters, so whilst Alex Hunter will still be front and centre, he won’t be the only person we play as.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
- More customisation, including hairstyles, tattoos, and clothing
- A bigger cast including more footballers, managers and celebrities
- A bigger world of football to play in
- 6 chapters, each with it’s own individual set of goals to aim for
- Personalised decisions and more branching paths
- New playable characters
- Local Multiplayer
So as expected it’s a case of building on the foundation laid in FIFA 17 for The Journey: Hunter Returns with some important changes being made in the way of expanding the number of destinations we can take Alex Hunter to and increasing the number of twists and turns the story can take.