I think I’m pretty handy at FIFA so I’m disappointed to announce that I didn’t make the Goals of 2015 list, but there are some pretty sweet strikes to check out in the video from EA Sports.
The year is coming to a close and so it’s time once again to take a look back at all the great games that have been released in 2015.
Every day up until the end of the year we’ll be revealing our top three games from a number of different categories, all the way up until the coveted Game of the Year reveal.
Next up is Sports Game of the Year.
Third Place – Blood Bowl 2
Visceral violence, compelling competition, gruesome gore and fantastic fantasy all come together to bring the Blood Bowl board game to life in a digital form.
Greg Giddens (me) described it in his review as:
Blood Bowl 2 is a brilliant sports title, one that brings together cerebral strategy with mindless violence in a beautiful Warhammer themed package.
and indeed it’s this combination of fantasy violence, tactical scope and all round highly enjoyable play, that earns this title a place amongst the very best sports titles of the year.
Check out the review here.
Second Place – NHL 16
NHL 16’s enhanced movement and puck control, along with its new tutorial system, makes the sport more accessible than it has been for years, and this dedication from EA Canada to create the ultimate ice hockey title has paid off spectacularly.
Dave Moran described NHL 16 in his review as:
NHL 16 has certainly returned to form with this excellent title, players new or old will instantly feel comfortable with how the game plays and with a good selection of teams and modes to play through you’ll be well entertained this year.
Indeed NHL 16 has received precisely the kind of enhancements that it needed to once again become an ice hockey fan’s ideal digital facsimile of the real thing, allowing it to glide into second place in our Sports Game of the Year awards.
Check out the review here.
Sports Game of the Year – FIFA 16
for me it’s all the little changes that make FIFA 16 great.
Says Dave Moran in his review of FIFA 16, and it is indeed these small enhancements that EA Canada continue to make each year to FIFA that keeps it on top.
Finally women’s teams have made an appearance, passing is more crucial than ever, the physicality and animations are smooth and accurate, and the whole experience feels that much more realistic and tactical, as Dave goes on to say:
I spend a lot of time passing the ball back to defence to restart an attack, it feels so much more realistic and tactical.
And because of the continued efforts to make the FIFA titles more realistic, and representative of the beautiful game, it’s no surprise that it take this year’s first place ribbon as TiX Sports Game of the Year.
Check out the review here.
Be sure to check out the site again tomorrow to see the next category and its winner.
Honourable mentions go to Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour, PES 2015, Madden 16 and IDARB, all of which were nominated by the TiX team but didn’t quite make the cut.
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.
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EA Sports has announced it is removing 13 players from the female roster in FIFA 16 due to the inclusion risking their eligibility for collegiate athletics.
Due to the fact that the players
are “currently attending or are likely to attend NCAA-sanctioned schools” in the US, NCAA informed EA these 13 student-athletes would be “risking their eligibility” by being included in FIFA 16.
EA aren’t happy:
“All rights were secured following standard protocol with national governing bodies and federations, and none of these NCAA student-athletes or potential student athletes were to be individually compensated by EA SPORTS for their inclusion in the game. We believe this decision denies these 13 athletes the opportunity to represent their countries in the game, but we have removed them from FIFA 16 to ensure there is no risk to their eligibility.
The players affected are:
- Kadeisha Buchanan, Canada
- Jessie Fleming, Canada
- Ashley Lawrence, Canada
- Janine Beckie, Canada
- Rebecca Quinn, Canada
- Sura Yekka, Canada
- Celia Jiménez, Spain
- Tanya Samarzich, Mexico
- Greta Espinoza, Mexico
- Christina Murillo, Mexico
- Amanda Perez, Mexico
- Emily Alvarado, Mexico
- Maria Sanchez, Mexico
FIFA 16 is due out in North America on 22 September and 24 September in Europe.
EA wants us to play beautiful football, and the advert below shows why.
FIFA 16 releases in just two weeks time, will it be able to hold on to its football crown or will PES 2016 be stealing the show this year? Only time will tell…
EA have just released the Xbox One version of the FIFA 16 demo, which you can get here.
You’ll be able to play as a whole host of teams including Barcelona, Seattle Sounders, Manchester City and two international women’s teams, USA and Germany.
You’ll also get to experience FUT’s new mode, FUT Draft.
Let us know what you think of the demo below.
In FIFA Ultimate Team Draft, fans can compete in single player or online in a single knockout string of four games to achieve rewards – the more games win, the better the reward to utilise in your FUT Club.
Once fans enter a Draft using virtual coins, FIFA Points, or a Draft Token, they will choose from one of five formations, then a captain, and then go on to fill out the rest of their 23-man squad by selecting a player from a choice of five in each position. Fans will be tested as they choose between picking the best players and creating a team with the right chemistry before they enter their games.
See FUT Draft in action as football pundits, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville play the all new mode.
A brand new set of Legends were announced for FIFA 16 Ultimate Team today at gamescom.
- Vitor Baia (FC Porto, FC Barcelona)
- George Best (Manchester United, Fulham, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Los Angeles Aztecs, San Jose Earthquakes)
- Deco (FC Porto, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Fluminense)
- Gennaro Gattuso (Perugia, Rangers, Salernitana, AC Milan, FC Sion)
- Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
- Jari Litmanen (Reipas, HJK, MyPa, Ajax, FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, Malmö FF, Hansa Rostock)
- Alessandro Nesta (Lazio, AC Milan, Montreal Impact)
- Javier Zanetti (Talleres, Banfield, Inter Milan)
Also two new console bundles were revealed. The first costs €369 and comes with a copy of FIFA 16, a 500 GB Xbox One console, 1 month of EA Access and 3 Loan Legends, while the second costs €399 / $399 but instead includes a 1 TB console and 12 months of EA Access.
Xbox Users will also get their hands on the demo first, probably through EA Access.
EA Sports have released a brand new trailer showing off Leo Messi in a mo-cap suit and showing fans the new no touch dribbling feature, giving attackers a new way of exploiting defences in FIFA 16.
Messi even managed to show off a real life version of no touch dribbling against Paraguay as he managed to make two defenders tackle each other, nutmegging one all without touching the ball, majestic stuff!
Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think.
Bethesda kicked it off, Microsoft then wowed us, but it’s now time for veterans EA to show us what they have in store for us this year and next.
First off is a new teaser for Mass Effect 4, showing off a new lead character suited up in N7 armour, all in-engine footage – representative of gameplay but not actually gameplay footage of course – and then the reveal of a title change to Mass Effect Andromeda. Indeed then this latest entry in the series is set in a new galaxy and fills us with excitement and intrigue as questions such as: how they got to the Andromeda galaxy, if the Mass Effect drives from the Milky Way were repaired, and whether the Reapers will show up in Andromeda? We can’t wait to carry on the story, but we’ll have to wait until Holiday season 2016 to get our hands on it.
Next up was Need for Speed. After a short introduction, visual performance and quality that would blend seamlessly with live action footage was proclaimed, then came the footage that proved their claims correct. Firstly live action actors in a garage set the scene for customising your car, then the camera moved to your car and broke down the areas you can modify, revealing that the garage and car were CG. Expansive customisation options were promised as well as five over lapping stories and a release date of November 3rd this year. Then gameplay footage was shown off, looking as realistic and awe-inspiring as they claimed, with spectacular detail and lighting, certainly approaching photo realistic. Additionally a wonderfully intense chase camera was shown off that tilts as you speed round corners. It was a highly impressive showcase.
Next came an announcement of continued support and content creation for Bioware’s Star Wars free to play PC MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic, along with a full expansion, free to subscribers, called Knights of the Fallen Empire, which promises the kind of story experience Bioware prides themselves on. A lengthy, and stunningly beautiful, CG trailer showed off the new expansion’s story threads and indeed looked intriguing. It will be available 27th of October this year.
Something a little unexpected was revealed next, a charming and cute physics puzzle adventure called Unravel, where you control an adorable character made of yarn through the perilous world as he unravels and uses his yarn to manipulate the environment, swing around obstacles, and solve puzzles. No release date yet, unfortunately, but it sure does look good.
Next was some more information about Plant vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, which was previously revealed in the Microsoft conference. Gameplay footage was shown this time, showing the same crisp, cartoon graphics as the original as well as the same wonderful sense of humour. The new zombie characters shown off were crazy and thrilling to witness, fighting equally crazy plant enemies. The new four player Grave Yard Ops was shown off as a squad of four zombies completed an objective whilst fighting off the plants before exfiltration. It was also revealed that there would be a singleplayer experience against the AI which can be played cooperatively split screen, and you can transfers unlocked characters from the first game. Finally a promise of support and free content updates was proposed.
The EA Sports titles were shown off next. Largely it’s the expected annual iterations, but tweaks and new features make them fresh each and every year and this year seems no exception.
NHL 16, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour 15, FIFA 16, Madden 16, and NBA Live 16 were all shown off, each featuring enhanced visuals and animations, women’s teams in FIFA, and precisely the kind of refinements you’d expect to improve each games realism and sense of control.
A new feature being rolled out to all titles is a new tutorial training system that hints which buttons to press and when during play to help you better understand the control system and the advanced moves and tactics available to you. Additionally a new Game Face app will be launched alongside NBA Live so you can create a character that looks just like you in-game. Its accuracy appears to be pretty good, but time will tell.
NBA Live will also feature a new physics based live motion system, which, through dynamic animation, achieves smoother, more responsive, and realistic movement and control of players. Ball handling has also been tweaked so you can release the ball when taking a shot when you want. Certainly these refinements and new features are the kind of things EA need to bring to the series to compete against NBA2K, and it’s looking like they have a winner on their hands.
Several CCGs (collectable card games) have appeared this E3, and EA has a new Star Wars one, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, hitting portable systems soon. Additionally Minions Paradise takes the adorable and hilarious Minions from the Despicable Me films and builds a management game around them getting stranded on an island. The humour appears spot on but it’s another from a long list of tapping management games on mobile.
Mirrors Edge Catalyst was shown off next, with a mix of pre-rendered and gameplay footage showing faith kicking butt and free running smoothly and impressively through the minimalistic, glass filled open city. There are no levels, no loading, it’s a free roaming experience, and it’s coming February 23rd 2016.
The final game in this conference is Star Wars Battlefront, and the highly anticipated gameplay reveal. The previous in-engine trailer whetted our appetite but we needed to see it in action to better judge the visuals and experience, and this gameplay footage did not disappoint. The visuals are absolutely stunning, achieving a close to photo realistic look, with all the authenticity of accurately modelled assets based from props, and all the superb sound effects from the films. The battle for Hoth was the setting for this gameplay reveal, showing off the ground combat between the rebels and the Empire, combat against AT-STs and AT-AT Walkers, as well as air combat with X-Wings and TIE fighters. It all looks superb, sounded astonishing, and seemingly played beautifully. We can’t wait to try it out for ourselves, and we won’t have to wait long: the release date is November the 17th this year.
EA pulled off a very impressive conference, showing us precisely what they needed to get us excited for releases later this year and in 2016. Ubisoft is next, let’s see what they can wow us with.