Thursday, 15 October 2015


It’s one of the few games that everyone seems to buy every year and to keep those people coming back, things change. Sometimes it’s drastic like the Impact Engine from a few years ago but for the most part, its smaller improvements that try to keep things feeling fresh. It was hard to figure what were this year’s enhancements and apart from visual improvements, it was hard to pinpoint anything. It took a few games but then I realised that I could no longer utilise my through balls the way I once broke the defence doing so. The pace is quite different in FIFA 16.

Out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, FIFA 16 is possibly the most realistic football game to date, but it’s hard to say if it’s the most fun. If you played a lot of FIFA 15, you’d know that through passes, both on the ground and in the air could dismantle a defence instantly as your striker outpaced them on the run. That just does not happen nearly as often this time around. Even if pace stats are drastically different, you’re just not going to open them up like that in FIFA 16.
It all feels more realistic. Games can be very sloppy and getting decent chances can be few and far between, very much like when watching some league matches. Spending most of my time reviewing FIFA 16 as Liverpool, it was just as frustrating to play as it normally is to watch as getting into space and creating chances were hard. Everything needed a lot of effort and breaking down the defence was a test of endurance and creativity. It wasn’t, fun but when I finally got a chance and scored, no matter how unimpressive it looked, it felt really satisfying. 

This style of gameplay is more a matter of taste than saying if it’s bad or good. I’m still not sure whether I like it or not. It’s different and it’s meant that I’ve had to change my tactics. That alone means things feel new which is what you want a game to feel when you spend a fair amount of money on it.

One of the other differences I noticed when playing the game is that AI players on your team will now act on their own volition. Most of the time though it just makes defenders more aggressive, and they now actually come out and tackle the player on the ball. It now means though that players with less skill now get some help and it narrows the gap between skill levels, even if it can seem insignificant. Presentation is unrivalled with FIFA series. It is easily the best sports game for its presentation. Everything from its menus to trying to be authentic in representing the different leagues and tournaments is crafted excellently. It’s a breeze to move around different modes and menus and although it may seem like a small thing, it will keep you in the game longer.

Ultimate Team returns with a new “draft” sub-mode. In this mode, you are given a few players to choose between for each position to very quickly play as your dream team. You don’t get to keep anything as it changes from game to game, but it gives you the perfect opportunity to see if your most-wanted players would fit into your team’s chemistry. It’s satisfaction without the grind.

The biggest addition is women’s international teams. It isn’t significant, but with just over a dozen teams but it’s substantial. The play is more focused on technique rather than being a physical game and is a welcomed inclusion after all these years. There are a ton of modes to enjoy in FIFA 16, and honestly you could spend the next 12 months with just one or two of them. Everything feels deep and substantial. The modes range from easy to jump into to the life-investment it feels it needs. There’s something to satisfy everyone. It’s still the great FIFA you expect but more rewarding and slower.

FIFA 16 is a consistent league-winning showing with 4/5 stars.


Jason Redmond

FIFA 16 at CeX

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