This is it, FIFA 16 has arrived and we have got our hands on a copy of the game in order to see if it lived up to the expectations or not. Below, you will be able to find out our thoughts on the game, so keep on reading for more.
After the success that was FIFA 15, it was pretty clear that, in order to top that off, EA Sports would have to bring something innovative, something new, something that would make players move from the previous game to this one. Last year, the main innovation for the game was emotions, the developers went ahead and gave players emotions that would be game-changers during any given match. This year? Well, they added women national teams.
This is a refreshing addition to the game, given how it is the very first time in which we get to play as any of these women, and they do play and feel different than men teams during any match. The first time I got to play a match between two women national teams, the first thing I noticed was that the stadium felt bigger. For some odd reason it does feel bigger, like if there was more space to play, and it just feels like a great addition to the game.
Besides this addition, referees now use the spray used in real life to mark where the barrier should be at when there is a free-kick, as well as where the ball must be, not to mention the fact that there are now pre-season tournaments and player-specific training during any season, either you play as a manager or any player.
These are good additions to the game, because these details make the experience feel more “complete” and more realistic. At the beginning of any given season, you may get invited to a pre-season tournament, which involves money for the winner, of course, plus, it allows you -when playing as a manager- to try your players and see what sort of player you may be needing in order to complete your “dream-team” for the upcoming season. When you get invited, you are given 3 choices, and you can select which one you want to attend, or not to attend at all.
Throughout the season, every 7 days, you are also able to train five different players of your team, either from your main team or your youth team. This is something I really love in the game because for the first time you actually get to see and feel how your players get better and improve their stats, something that I always felt was missing.
When it comes to the gameplay itself, it feels more fluid. It is really tough to explain, but when you are playing the game, building up your attack -if you are skilled enough- feels more natural; however, when it comes to defending is a whole different story. When you are defending, it seems really tough to steal the ball away from the attackers, it may just be me, though, but the few friends I have been playing the game with/against agree on this. While AI seems to be doing an excellent job at defending, when you are the one defending it is quite a tough job to do, even though slide-tackles are really better, as they are easier to control in order to not make a foul.
Free-kicks, though, are way easier to handle now, and is really easy to score a goal from a direct free-kick, which is great. Another change that was introduced is that we no longer have the stylish passes when pressing RB + [pass] because if you do that now, you make a powerful pass to your teammates; now you have to do LB + [pass] to do so.
As the developer says, FIFA 16 is all about “style” and EA Sports certainly hit the nail this time as you do have the opportunity of playing “beautifully” during the game, if you are skilled enough, of course. When running with the ball, it is certainly easier to go around dribbling and leaving behind your opponents, until you have to face the goalkeeper, that is.
Something that surprised me when I first got to play FIFA 16 was how well animated and how realistic goalkeepers are. It isn’t as easy to score goals now because these goalkeepers are well aware of what they have to do, their reflexes and agility are certainly something to keep in mind, because it can become a challenge to beat some of these goalkeepers. De Gea, for me, has been one of the toughest ones, for example. While Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas does show some amazing reflexes when it comes to making spectacular saves.
Besides this, what we can say is that every game mode is really the same as it was for previous installments, so this one is more about small details to perfect the formula that is FIFA, and you don’t really need to go through a huge learning curve because it is all pretty much the same, but enhanced.