After the extremely successful release for the other Football game on the market (Pro Evo 2016), it’s now FIFA’s turn to give the Football crowd their version of what they think a Football simulator should be like. FIFA’s biggest addition this year, and most hyped up addition was the inclusion of women’s teams to the game which we will talk about in more detail later in the review. Firstly, there are a number of other new features in the game that we should cover.
Career mode has changed. They’re not sweeping changes to the whole game, but they are substantial enough to be talked about and looked forward to. Things like scout reports lasting a year, rather than 3 months in FIFA 15, free agent transfers from outside the window to bolster your squad when suffering from a lot of injuries, the ability to loan players for 2 years and more realistic transfers, prices and budgets mean that this game is going to be closer to what a real player and manager career would be like, and it’s a welcome change.
A new feature that has been announced is the new FUT draft. This feature is a new addition to the game, which allows you to play the usual FIFA Ultimate Team game mode, with a twist. This mode will test your team building skills as you pick the best players and make the best team from a selection of 5 players in each position. You then go on to match up chemistry and play like you would usually but with some of the better players available to you. You can still earn rewards for your Ultimate Team in this game mode and it’s nice to see EA adding some different modes instead of just repackaging older modes and selling them off as a new game. Another small change noticed was the markets are now separate to 360, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One rather than being grouped as Playstation markets and Xbox markets.
Now lets look at the biggest addition to the game which is the womens teams to the game in certain mode, and yes you read that right “certain modes” there is a massive limit on how women teams can be used in FIFA as they can only be played in Kick Off, Tournament Mode, and Friendlies. That means no Career Mode, FUT, or any other modes. For people who really wanted to use the womens teams in FIFA 16 you will end up being disappointed as they are really limited. This is a new feature though so limitations are expected at first, and hopefully in the future FIFA games, women teams will be usable in all modes.
What has changed though whilst playing as these womens teams? That I can tell, not a whole lot has changed to these aspects of the game. To a certain extent I feel like the animations have changed, but this is not really the huge change that EA have been selling us on. I’m not really sure how EA could have handled it better, but this isn’t enough of a feature to really get excited about if you’re into the Ultimate Team and career modes of the game.
As for gameplay changes, we have definitely seen a few improvements. Things like defenders actually being able to tackle and more importantly, recover from bad tackles is a welcome addition, defences actually maintain their shape rather than just allowing players to run through, avoiding unnecessary frustration and the fact that players actually can pass with a decent amount of power and accuracy now. But most of all, the one that FIFA thought they got right last year, just to have it backfire horribly, the goalkeepers aren’t complete idiots this year. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my keeper come off his line on his own, just for an opponent to shoot from the halfway line leaving him back-pedalling and completely missing the ball. The goalkeeping changes alone could be good enough to make players pick it back up so that’s a great change.
The thing about a lot of the gameplay changes is that you don’t necessarily notice them unless you’re really looking for them, or your a fanatic of the game. For example, EA mentioned their new and improved controlled dribbling features, yet a lot of news outlets talking about improvements to the game left this feature out entirely. It just goes to show you need to be careful that game companies don’t sell you down the river with some placebo changes.
It terms of changes to the physics and in game animations, there are barely any that I can think of. I usually pick up all of the FIFA’s and can usually only tell fractional differences in how the players react to different situations and I think this part of the games changes is marketed far too heavily. Along the lines of other miscellaneous changes, there are some slight changes the the user interface, but as far as I can tell it is the same one from FIFA 15 with a new lick of paint.
The Final Verdict
Overall impressions, not hugely impressed with FIFA 16. The gameplay is still fun. A lot of the physics seem like they were (surprise surprise) ripped out of previous FIFA’s and at this point, I have come to expect very little variations in this series as there are some fans who generally aren’t too bothered and will buy anything EA releases as “FIFA”. I can only hope that EA have something up their sleeve in the future for their FIFA titles because they have really hit a wall with FIFA 16, and the cracks are certainly starting to show in this once great franchise.
What do you guys think about FIFA? Same old game, repackaged? Or are the new features enough to keep you happy? Let us know in the comments below!