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FIFA 16

FIFA 16 aims to 'Play Beautiful', but does it do just that?

It is that time of year again, the football season has well and truly gotten underway, and EA and Konami have delivered their latest football simulations to the masses. There is no doubt that PES is well and truly back this year, but EA have certainly had it their way in recent times. EA have this year gone with the tagline ‘Play Beautiful’. Does it do that and further strengthen EA’s hold on the football game market?

There is no doubt whatsoever that, as an overall package, EA deliver year upon year and it is no different with FIFA 16. Ultimate Team, Pro Clubs and Career Mode, to name a few, are surefire modes guaranteed to keep you occupied for the cycle, until EA spring up on you again with FIFA 17. Gameplay-wise, a few, including myself, have sighed at the fact that EA are reluctant to make many changes each year, with the experience on-the-pitch feeling all too similar to previous years.

Unfortunately, it is the same with FIFA 16. In my opinion and of course, that is exactly what this is, an opinion, it feels too similar to FIFA 15. There are changes, granted; the pace has been drastically slowed down, meaning the likes of Bale and Ronaldo no longer carry that ‘invincible’ tag. EA promised more midfield battles with FIFA 16, and whilst that is true to an extent, it doesn’t flow as naturally as I would have hoped. Women’s teams are also included this year, and if I am truly honest, offers a better gameplay experience than the men’s game. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it just flows better I think.

I mentioned previously that Career Mode would be one of the modes that would keep you occupied for the longer term up until the release of the next iteration of FIFA. I still stand by that, I personally think millions will enjoy it. However, and this is a big one for me, Career Mode can only be as good as the AI on offer. I want to feel that challenge of taking the likes of Accrington Stanley to Old Trafford, seeing the world class players play as they would do in real life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in FIFA 16. The AI, especially on the harder difficulties, make it almost impossible to play an actual game of football. There is no space on the pitch at all, and not in a realistic kind of way.

Dribbling is another one that suffers when playing against the AI. Against friends, I really saw the potential of No Touch Dribbling, using it to brilliant effect, leaving my mate completely fooled. Not against the CPU – there is no chance of any of that – its just not fun, and for a football game, that for me is one of the key aspects I look for.

It may seem like I have completely ripped into FIFA this year, but overall, it is a decent football game. The dynamic crossing is absolutely fantastic. You can really whip balls in this year, giving you great satisfaction when you plant a ball on your striker’s head. There are good points to the gameplay, but I feel it is now time for a drastic change from EA. The Ignite Engine needs to go, replaced by one that can take FIFA further. With PES making huge strides this year, the likes of David Rutter and co really need to sit down together and come up with some kind of strategy, or else this generation will quickly fall into the hands of Konami.

7

FIFA offers a solid game of football, but a drastic change from EA is required going forward.