Gamers rejoice! It’s that time of the year again where we can dust off our boots, tie them up nice and tight and sit in front of the telly while drinking beer, eating rubbish and screaming profanities at all times of the day and night. FIFA 16 is upon us and that means hours upon hours of banter and that competitive streak you can only get when destroying your mate’s soul in a virtual game of football (yes, it is football and I’ll fight anyone who claims differently).
We love it, we love it, we love it!
As with most new iterations of our beloved FIFA, the core game remains the same (and really, how could it change?) but a few new features are introduced to either cheers or boos. This year, EA have introduced some really great features which I will touch on soon, but unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, the biggest change this year are the passing mechanics. EA have attempted to create a more realistic game by providing less assistance in a pass. Whilst realism is a much loved feature in any game, the extent to which they have gone is somewhat drastic, requiring gamers to put in some real effort to master the art of passing. Over the many hours I have put into 16, there isn’t a minute that goes by without an interception. The onus is now more on the person controlling the player than the game’s assistance. Direction and strength must be almost perfect to pull of those harder passes and you will be punished with an interception if you’re not on point. I did find that holding R1 when passing completes a driven pass (which is really handy) instead of that useless finesse pass of previous years.
I’ve also found that there has been an overall increase in the number of tackles performed each game. So far, my record over 12 minutes is 38 tackles which is to say, defending is very easy this year. What the new defensive system has done is create a situation where most of the play is going through the midfield (pretty realistic huh?). Players that take their time passing around the midfield and planning the perfect attack will be rewarded handsomely for their efforts. No longer can you bomb a long pass out wide and have Theo Walcott run in and score an easy goal.
Now, although the principles are the same from year to year EA have really taken it a step further this year with the new play features available. Firstly, they have the new FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) draft mode where you get a choice of five players per position to build a squad and then go head-to-head with other teams. A great new feature with this is the buy-in fee of 15000 coins which you get rewarded back in prizes. The better you perform, the better reward you shall reap.
Truly a ridiculous number of tackles over 12 minutes.
Sweet sweet graphics
Whilst realism is a much loved feature in any game, the extent to which they have gone is somewhat drastic, requiring gamers to put in some real effort to master the art of passing.
The newest feature that FUT fanboys are fapping over
It’s just great to see an Australian team that’s actually good
In what is probably the biggest addition to a FIFA game since its inception, you can now play as one of 12 national female teams. This is a massive step in the right direction for the game as women’s football is picking up some steam IRL. Player ratings have been adjusted to match the men’s ratings which does seem rather unrealistic. I’ve watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup and whilst the quality is improving year by year, they still don’t match it with the best teams in Europe.
EA have improved the overall quality of the goalkeeping but I think they’ve potentially gone overboard with it as most GKs are like ninjas with their saving. Perhaps I’ve just become really shit but I just can’t seem to get a goal without being in the perfect position with the perfect shot; that is, of course, unless you finesse the shot. Against the AI it seems almost impossible to not score if you hold R1 and finesse it past them. This does only appear to be against the AI however, so don’t try and pull this one online.
Referees in this game decided they’ve had enough and will pull up basic tackles, sometimes ones that are fair and issue free kicks, penalties and even cards for no reason at all so be careful when sliding or tackling in the box.
The gameplay graphics this year are superb, EA have done a fantastic job with facial scans and player emotions. There are a number of new badass celebrations and the crowds can be heard chanting popular chants from around the world. I found myself joining in with the crowds as they chanted songs I’ve myself chanted at the local Perth Glory games.
Players that take the time to build an attack from the midfield will feel as though they have really achieved greatness and will no doubt revel in their prowess in face of their friends.
The sweet new Player Career section
Overall, this year’s FIFA is bound to divide fans, with some loving the new passing mechanics and some that are no doubt going to despise it. Probably the biggest change in mechanics since the tactical defending system, it will take some getting used to but will ensure you will have greater control over the actions on the field. Players that take the time to build an attack from the midfield will feel as though they have really achieved greatness and will no doubt revel in their prowess in face of their friends. FIFA 16 is sure to once again provide a challenge to players instead of the unrealistic quick play of years gone by.
Reviewed on PS4