Whenever I get a new FIFA game, one of the first things I’ll be sure to take note of is the soundtrack. As I admire the perfect facial hair of Marco Reus, who stares back at me like he knows my most intimate secrets, this year’s playlist seems particularly difficult to ignore.
The first track moans “And you feel like it all starts falling. And you feel like your luck needs changing”. The lyrics perfectly summarise my FIFA 16 experience. I can’t help but feel like they’re an omen.
I click on Alex Hunter’s reptilian face and begin The Journey – the hotly anticipated new game mode that allows you to walk your player through an infinite number of training drills, honing your skills until you become the true, undisputed, king of training drills.
The Journey opens with a domestic on Clapham Common between what I assume to be Alex Hunter’s parents. As the reality that I can’t skip through these cut-scenes sinks in, I find myself warming to the father’s bad cop style, and feel upset to see him leave. Ultimately he was right: young Alex Hunter did go down too easily. I muse that the father must be a playable character later on.
After watching what is probably the most woeful penalty shootout since the conception of football, it is my turn to step up. I’m fairly certain that wherever I put this ball, it will end up in the back of the net. The keeper is about 2 foot 5, and hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory so far. Taking an absurdly strange run up, I slot it a few inches to the keeper’s left and my mum and an old bloke who I can only assume is her illicit lover celebrate together on the touchline. EA is doing a great job of ticking all of the diversity boxes with this one.
Later on, me and my best mate, Gareth, head back to my bedroom, probably to discuss Tony Blair’s foreign policy and other current affairs. It sounds like Alex’s parents are having a particularly heated discussion downstairs: a neat acknowledgement by EA of the polarising effects that invading Iraq had in the UK.
As we transition into the present day, and Alex has fully morphed into the Lizard Man we know and love, I decide to end my session. Welcome, Alex, to 2016. We’ve left Europe, your university fees have skyrocketed, and everything is generally a lot shitter. Let’s hope we make it through those Exit Trials.
If you would like to keep following my Journey, you can so on my website where I will be posting daily: http://www.tongueinloftuscheek.com
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