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Lace ’em up: ‘FIFA 17’ is free to play this Thanksgiving weekend on consoles

Electronic Arts is kicking off a free weekend for FIFA 17 on Thanksgiving Day, giving PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players an opportunity to experience the latest entry in its long-running soccer sim franchise free of charge.

The free weekend will grant unlimited access to all in-game modes and Ultimate Team features, in addition to a brief look at FIFA 17‘s  single-player story mode.

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Released in September, FIFA 17 continues to build on the dynamic gameplay featured throughout the FIFA series over the last two decades. This year’s edition features the J1 League and J.League Cup for the first time in series history, and player artificial intelligence has been given a boost for enhanced realism.

Also new to this year’s game is “The Journey,” a campaign mode that chronicles the rise of fictional footballer Alex Hunter. Players who take on The Journey will play across multiple clubs and make crucial decisions at branching storyline paths as they guide Hunter toward a career in a major division.

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While free weekend players won’t be able to experience The Journey in its entirety, EA notes that created players and progress will carry over to the full version of FIFA 17, along with all FIFA Points earned over the course of the game’s free trial period. FIFA Points can also be bought over the duration of the free weekend in order to upgrade players and teams, though EA warns that microtransaction purchases will be lost unless players upgrade to the paid edition.

In a bid to convert free trial users to paying customers, EA is offering a 40 percent discount on the digital version of FIFA 17 for the Xbox One through Monday. The PC edition will also see a 40 percent discount via EA’s Origin storefront from Thursday through Tuesday.

Players preparing for a weekend of free simulated soccer will want to register an EA Account in advance, as the FIFA 17 trial requires a login at bootup. The trial also requires a persistent internet connection, in addition to an active subscription to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer.

FIFA 17‘s free trial begins on Thursday at 10 a.m. (PT) and ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (PT).