As we all known that football’s a funny old game. You oftentimes don’t reap what you sow. You can meticulously build towards the sort of all-inclusive team goal, the likes of which would make Ajax legend Rinus Michels blush with glee all to be undone by a moment of measured brilliance out of nowhere — à la Zinedine Zidane’s left-footed volley against Bayer Leverkusen to seal a Champions League triumph back in 2002. The new installment of the most popular sports game in the world is now on the shelves. FIFA 16 burst onto the scene with improvements all over the pitch. Putting the not so appetizing Fifa 15 behind them, EA’s best franchise enhanced the back line, midfield, and the always breath taking attack. Also, throwing in some new features, FIFA 16 looks primed to be an upgrade.
Another much welcomed improvement are the goalkeepers. FIFA 15’s goalkeepers were easily the most awful bunch of hopeless idiots in the entire series. Goalies were diving away from shots, letting balls easily roll through their legs, and even punching the ball into their own net! They were one of the biggest gripes many people had with FIFA 15. Thankfully, they have improved in FIFA 16. They are much more solid, trustworthy and reliable. When it comes to corner kicks, they are maybe a bit too reliable. They seem to always punch or catch every cross in sight. Don’t get me wrong, if you put a gun to my head and asked me to choose between hopeless or overpowered goalkeepers, it’s a no-brainer. This isn’t a huge issue but it is something that is noticeable during game play.
Earlier versions of FIFA offered extremely different experiences when playing online, as opposed to playing against AI in single-player, where the action was often predictable and possible to exploit. FIFA 16 offers a very different single-player experience this time around thanks to a greatly improved AI across the board. You’ll instantly notice how much sharper the computer is at knocking the ball around, with one-touch passes quickly cutting through your midfield. It’s as if you’re playing against a human player at times. The age-old trick of lobbed through-balls are also a lot less effective now, with intelligent defenders who are quick to intercept or trackback to stay goal-side with attackers. You can still use through balls effectively, but it has reduced the number of all-too-easy one-on-one’s with goalies.
Added to the roaster is the women’s sides, unfortunately only the national squads that featured in this year’s Women’s World Cup but nevertheless a step forward for the game! Next year it will interesting to see women’s league side, to give the player more options and maybe the ability to start a career with a female side. Added stadiums include: Borussia-Park (Borussia Monchengladbach, Bundesliga), Carrow Road (Norwich City, English Premier League), CenturyLink Field (Seattle Sounders, MLS), El Monumental (Club Atletico River Plate, Aregentine Primera Division), Fratton Park (Portsmouth FC, English League Two), King Abdullah Sports City (Al-Ittihad & Al-Ahli, Saudi Abdul Latif Jameel League), Stade Velodrome (Olympique da Marseille, Ligue 1), Vicarage Road (Watford, English Premier League) and Vitality Stadium (Bournemouth, English Premier League).
FIFA 16 feels different to play(such as need some cheap FIFA 16 coins), it has a more tactical feel about it this year. The addition of the FUT Draft has certainly revitalized my interest in Ultimate Team to some extent, because it’s different, and people like new things. Many fans might feel a bit let down with the way that EA Sports has neglected certain aspects of the game, more specifically the Player Career mode. It seems that EA are making many small changes to the game instead of making large developments, but FIFA 16 has been much more impressive than I had anticipated.