Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC
Reviewed on: PS4
Distributor: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: 24 September 2015
It’s FIFA 16 time! We have spent loads of time with EA’s new release in order to share our views with you and are finally ready. Lace up your boots and let’s get going!
This years FIFA brings a whole lot of gameplay refinement as well as several great new additions to the game. For the first time ever in FIFA you can play as one of several international women’s teams which adds some great variation and finally provides a bit of exposure for some the worlds best female footballers.
The biggest talking point with FIFA 16 is the adjustments to gameplay. Last year FIFA 15 came under enormous pressure from ProEvolution 5 and has forced them to rethink their gameplay mechanics. EA have risen to the challenge and dramatically changed the way FIFA 16 plays, with far more technical play required. While it is still the same FIFA you have always known, FIFA 16 requires a lot more focus – no longer can you give away possession thoughtlessly and then get the ball back quickly. I often found myself struggling to get the ball back after losing possession and having to fight to break my opponents build up play.The midfield has become a battle ground requiring accurate passes, strong shape and pinpoint tackles in order to provide the momentum that you need to make an attack on your opposition’s box.
While the build up play is slower and more methodical, the passing is snappier with the introduction of a fast paced pass allowing you to quickly switch play from one side of the field to the other. Ball control has also been improved, the ball feels more alive than ever before and clashes with other players feel more realistic with the ball bouncing around very naturally. This extends to shooting delivering a much more varied attacking game with a wide range of goals to be scored. In fact pretty much every goal is unique in some way.
The menus and interface has been given a new lick of paint and look as sexy as ever while still keeping the core user flow from FIFA 15 making it very easy to use. To match the visuals EA have added another banging soundtrack to this years release with loads of pumping tracks.
This audio visual experience extends onto the pitch as well with the inclusion of match day presentations for all Bundesliga matches (previously it only featured the Barclays Premier League) with team lineups and form related commentary complementing the gameplay and graphics. I also really love the inclusion of things like the referees free kick spray.
Career mode has also seen a lot of refinements. The first thing you will notice when firing up a season is the brand new pre-season tournaments. These tournaments are becoming a fantastic spectacle in the modern game and have been faithfully recreated in FIFA 16. You get to choose your tournament and decide how much you want to push your players and stand a chance of getting some extra pocket money ahead of the new season.
The second is the introduction of player training. Managers will now be able to train their squad to increase player attributes and boost player development. Each week you can select up to five squad players to train from a number of training drills, each focused on developing specific attributes. This is a great addition as it allows you to growth your youth players without having to actually have them on the pitch (as in previous FIFA titles). It tracks player progression and even the change in value of your players – providing a lot of fun for managers who love to buy young players train them and sell for a profit.
There are a host of other changes to career mode that make it by far the most immersive experience yet:
- Sign free agents outside of the transfer window.
- Scout Reports – After scouting a player reports are available to you now for an entire calendar year before expiring vs three months in FIFA 15.
- Transfer Budget -Transfer budgets are now more realistically tailored to the club you’re using in Career Mode. Also, a percentage of the remaining budget from the previous season will carry over to the next. and will vary based on where your club finished in regards to season goals.
- Loans – Short loans have increased from three to six months and there is now an option to issue two-year loans.
- Friendly Subs – You will be able to issue an unlimited number of substitutions during friendly matches.
- More Realistic Transfers – While the transfer window is open, we have tuned the number of ‘high-profile’ moves by big players to better match the number of changes that typically happen in the real-world.
- Improved Player Transfer Values – We’ve addressed values of players to better match the real-world transfer market.
FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) continues to improve with the introduction of FUT Drafts – a new way to play FUT. Draft a squad and challenge opponents in a tournament to win coins, packs, and more. Here you will need to test your team building skills and pick the best player for each position from a five player draw. Make key choices based on player quality or team Chemistry and then put the team to the test for a four game run.
Overall FIFA 16 delivers a strong offering with much improved gameplay and presentation. While it is still plagued by some annoying issues such as being taken out by the knees by a defender with not so much as a raised eyebrow from the referee – overall there is a massive improvement. FIFA 16 is unparalleled in its extensive player and team roster and the enhanced game day presentation if you are a BPL or Bundesliga fan really take the game to a new level. The introduction of training really adds a lot of depth to career mode ensuring that you will sink countless hours into this game making it worth every cent.