As an Arsenal fan I’m used to the disappointment of coming on fourth place, I’m also used to hearing Tottenham fans telling me that ‘this is their year’ and how North London is going to be white etc etc. FIFA has held the top spot in terms of football titles for a good few years now and where PES have been a bit like Tottenham, lagging behind but telling fans that this was the year they were going to turn things around.
I’ve wanted PES to be brilliant this year, and after playing the demo I was leaning towards picking it up, I then played the FIFA demo and it still felt like PES was the better title, but now I’ve had a fair chunk of time playing FIFA 16 I’m about to tell you why it’s still the best football game around.
Every year when a new FIFA title is released EA Canada love to tell us about a blockbuster feature for the game, this year we were introduced to no-touch dribbling, the most skillful players in the game are now able to dazzle their opponents without having to touch the ball, creating themselves a yard of space before creating a chance for their teammates. Once you practice it works really well, but for me it’s all the little changes that make FIFA 16 great.
Last year we were overrun by the fastest players in-game and thankfully this year that has been scaled back, although there are times when you wonder why Ronaldo struggles to get past Per Mertesacker! If you are going to get on with FIFA this year then patience is key. Defenders are a lot smarter this year, those through balls that always came good last year will more than likely be cut out, and slide tackles will see defenders not only stop opponents in their tracks but actually regain possession if you get the timing right.
What I really like is that for the first time I can remember in a FIFA title is that I spend a lot of time passing the ball back to defence to restart an attack, it feels so much more realistic and tactical. Passing requires more care, although you can one touch pass around the opposition it won’t work every time. Shooting (if you take the assists off) is superb, the ball reacts as you would expect it too, off-balance shots will fly in all directions, but hit the sweet spot and you’ll burst the net. Here is one of my favourite efforts.
Not my greatest….
Thanks to rumble feedback of the Xbox One controllers players feel weightier, when you hit an opponent with a great slide tackle or as you jostle for possession you can feel the effort going into it. It’s not always perfect, I have had some rather odd penalty decisions go for and against me, Innocuous collisions seem to be enough to make the referee point to the spot more than is needed, but we all know how what referees can be like right? Goalkeepers seem to have improved too, and with all players getting new animations the game looks more realistic than ever.
FIFA 16 made history this year by adding Women’s football to the game, it’s a shame there are only a selection of International teams to play as, but it’s great to see how the game plays differently. It’s a lot less physical and much more tactical, and results in many different types of goals. You can only play in custom tournaments but fingers crossed FIFA 17 will expand on the Women’s game.
Elsewhere FIFA 16 is pretty much the same, with improvements to the different game modes available. Career mode has had new improvements to the scouting system, as well the introduction of pre-season friendly tournaments, which if you win can bolster your transfer kitty. Be a Pro makes a return as does Seasons mode and Pro Clubs.
It’s FIFA Ultimate Team that has had some big changes, the most advertised being FUT Draft. Using 15,000 coins or £2.39 you are given the chance to create a dream team of players, before entering a 4 game tournament. The better you perform the greater the reward, the prizes are basically gold packs and if you do well you could end up with some great players. The first draft is free so it’s well worth having a play. You can still play through online and offline seasons to earn coins and so far the online experience across the game had been good, so hopefully some work has been done on the EA servers.
As you would expect, presentation wise FIFA 16 ticks all the boxes, it may not have the finesse of PES 2016 in terms of player likeness but the stadiums, the lighting and the UI all look excellent. The commentary is generally good, there are plenty of new lines that have been added and I like how the commentators address individual players regarding their form in the game.
There are still the annoyances that FIFA 15 had, the player swap button not always changing to the player I want, and the fact you can cut into the box far too easily and score, but with practice you can stop it, just like when you could score from kick off to easily.
Despite the small problems, FIFA 16 has done enough to stay as top dog in the football world, the fact is though PES 2016 is catching up and EA Canada need to make sure they are on top off it all they will end up second best.
Thanks to Xbox for their support.
[rprogress value=88 text=”TiX Score 88%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi3″]