FIFA 17 News Post

EA has posted an interview with Sam Rivera, lead gameplay producer for FIFA 17, as he goes over the new physical play options available in the game this year. Make sure to check out the new trailer here, going over more details.

Talk to us about Physical Play Overhaul, what exactly is that?

It's another game changer for the franchise. There are different components, but the main function is the ability to shield the ball successfully under any type of situation - called “360° Shield Dribble”. In previous games this was a huge missing part, the ability to hold up play and to place your body between the ball and the defender to shield them away from the ball. This didn't work as we wanted in previous games but now we've put together a big team of people, along with some additional time in research and development to build the technology required to make sure shielding becomes a reliable feature for the user.

How is 360° Shield Dribble performed in-game?

To trigger 360° Shield Dribble press LT/L2 and you will see your player be aware of the closest opponent and they will dribble the ball with the foot that better protects the ball. They will also stretch out their arm to stop the defender from getting closer. When the defender gets close, you will see how the dribbler places their body in a way that shields the defender from reaching the ball. Even when engaged in shield battles, you can dribble in any direction you want. You can also dribble into the defender, but your player will back into the opposition and drag and roll the ball for greater protection. Holding LT/L2 emphasizes protecting the ball over trying to get to your target as fast as possible.

Were there any changes to air battles?

In previous games, one of the only things you could do at goal kicks or corners was for your player to jump and try heading the ball. You weren't really able to hold or protect your spot and chest the ball. But in FIFA 17, we have the mechanic when you press LT/L2, you will put yourself in a spot where you can control the ball and shield it from an opponent. This won't work in all situations, your player needs to be stronger than the opponent in order to push them and shield the spot.

You've mentioned LT/L2, can you elaborate on what that does in-game?

We're putting all the physical actions in the LT/L2 button. It doesn't matter if you're an attacker or a defender, we want you to rely on that button for physical actions. There are a lot of 50/50 situations, so players will shield their opponent to protect their space or lane to get the ball. Pressing LT/L2 when defending will trigger the physical actions, which includes the push-pulls, shoulder challenges and seal outs from FIFA 16.

Are there any other interesting changes worth noting?

Yes, contextually, players are better at shielding an oncoming ball when the opposition is approaching from behind. A classic case in FIFA 16 is when you take a short goal kick and your defender doesn't make a good effort in protecting the ball, this could lead to the opposition scoring an easy goal. In FIFA 17, defenders can maintain possession longer.

We also improved the way defenders perform tackles. One problem players met was when you would tackle in the same direction your opponent was going, it would only give the ball right back to the attacker. Now, defenders will try to tackle in the opposite direction to prevent the attacker from quickly recovering the ball and continuing towards goal.

Also, if there is a teammate close by, the tackle will attempt to push the ball towards their teammate and not just into open space which could be retrieved by anyone. Defenders will also try physical tackles (Across Body Tackles) in the attempt to keep possession or push the ball in the opposite direction.

Something we noticed last year was that zig-zag dribbling was difficult to stop because you needed to quickly react to match the dribbler. Now, your teammates (AI-controlled defenders) will better help in chasing situations and prevent players from running solo with the ball for long periods of time.

Game: FIFA 17Reader Score: Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes for game: 0 - View All
Member Comments
# 1 steelerfan @ 07/19/16 04:43 PM
I was just about to post this, Steve. Thank you, sir!
# 2 L4velle @ 07/19/16 04:52 PM
Roll on demo day to test out all these new mechanics out. Fifa 16 played a good game initially but got ruined by the patches increasing the speed and killing the build up play mechanics.

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# 3 ricardodc @ 07/19/16 05:39 PM
Something we noticed last year was that zig-zag dribbling was difficult to stop because you needed to quickly react to match the dribbler. Now, your teammates (AI-controlled defenders) will better help in chasing situations and prevent players from running solo with the ball for long periods of time.
EA trying to fix the "bursting" problem? I hope so.

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# 4 KTBFFH @ 07/19/16 07:29 PM
I'm really liking the tweaked player models. It's a wait and see for me as far as tackling goes. It's something I'd like to see much more intuitive control over. As well as organization to the defense. If this can at least help with a center back not getting turned constantly, it will be a huge improvement.
# 5 Matt10 @ 07/19/16 07:45 PM
I'm all for physical play, but my initial impression is that the animation looks like how the CPU goes into the corner and shields the ball from me. I hope there are much more animations, including foul animations, to be included with all this physicality. I don't want to see Eden Hazard holding the ball up perfectly against Kompany, please .
# 6 Joonlarjj @ 07/19/16 08:51 PM
One of FIFA's biggest fault is that defenders can overpower the ball carrier too easily. Hopefully this mechanic fixes this and gives some power back to the dribbler.

This will be a very important addition if it works correctly.
# 7 swiftkid @ 07/19/16 10:13 PM
ok.... so it's NBA2K's "Y/triangle" to post up??? LOL @ push back tech US patent pending.... I guess it's new for a soccer game
# 8 Rebsat @ 07/20/16 04:21 AM
Post has been deleted!
# 9 SVCbearcat10 @ 07/20/16 06:49 AM
My worries is that it will be over powered for the CPU on higher difficulties and under powered for users. I appreciate the effort, but in some ways, they need to simplify this game. There is a different button to do so many things that it detracts from the game after a while. It's great for those who have the time to put in the hours to be good, because then the game is enjoyable. For those who can only play a game or two a week (at most), it makes the game hard to enjoy.
# 10 DBMcGee3 @ 07/20/16 08:11 AM
Not L2, that's my strafe people! Easy enough to change I guess.
# 11 FelaKuti @ 07/20/16 11:57 AM
That looks really stupid, Hazard backs up against Blind and just... drifts past him? They really need to make defenders more physical in this game, they should be like brick walls.
# 12 Peter_OS @ 07/20/16 03:10 PM
Looks great but will the CPU AI use this when playing in single player mode and career?
# 13 millimac247 @ 07/23/16 02:37 AM
Interested in seeing how tackles play out. Sometimes they seemed overpowered then on some counters you almost wish you didn't tackle because now the attacker or his teammate got the ball back in a better position.
# 14 Honome @ 07/23/16 07:42 AM
I am just imagining this feature being used by the CPU world class and legendary once it turn the god-mode on and we can't take the ball away from them no matter what we do...

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