FIFA 16 Review

It's a beautiful game...

The Verdict

Don't be fooled, the positives might have outweighed the negatives in terms of word-count on the previous page, but FIFA 16 still has room for improvement. 

The game has come a long way in terms of nullifying the previous overwhelming power of pace, and has done extremely well to encourage good passing play. There are a few issues with the passing but as time goes on I think gamers will become aware of what works and what doesn't, these problems will iron themselves out eventually. 

FIFA 16 feels different to play, 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. 

FIFA 16 was reviewed with an Xbox One copy.

The Positives: 

  • The biggest change in FIFA 16 is the addition of Ultimate Team Draft. This game mode allows players to enter a draft tournament for a price of 15,000 FUT coins, playing a maximum of four games. Each game that you win, you receive a larger amount of (or better quality) UT packs as a prize. So, instead of buying a single UT pack, players can use the coins they would have spent as a stake in their attempt to win much more. Impressive feature. 
  • Career mode has been improved in a few ways. Firstly, the transfer market and team budgets seem to be a lot more realistic this time around, allowing the smaller clubs to really invest and develop. Secondly, training features allow managers to feel more control surrounding the development of players, taking what they do in mid-week training and replicating it in-game is a pretty good feeling – especially with set pieces. And finally, pre-season tournaments are a new feature this year and could prove to be a real good testing grounds for a manager to grasp a formation/system that works well. 
  • The Create A Player feature that is used for both Pro Clubs and Player Career has had a slight face lift, literally. The standard player face (before you start editing the pro) has changed from last year, also the introduction of new beards and haircuts are welcome additions. 
  • Gameplay in FIFA 16 is very different to FIFA 15. In previous years it was pretty obvious that the game was made easier with faster teams, especially on Ultimate Team; however now pace doesn't seem to be an issue, more a tool. For example/ pace down the flanks will work effectively and realistically, however faster players do not always have an advantage over slower defenders. 
  • Defending is a lot more balanced in FIFA 16 with players having improved AI. Defenders more often than not stay as a unit, but that all depends on the type of players that you have in your team. 
  • Counter attacking has changed somewhat and that falls hand-in-hand with the way momentum can shift in games. Not only goals will affect the swing of momentum in games, simple things such as strong tackles or winning the ball back consistently can really contribute to the power of counter attack. Counter attacking football is not all about pace and this games really encourages the use of good passing exchanges, and slower build-up. There will definitely be games that maintain a slow tempo and it will probably feel like counter attacking is not an option, but games can change in an instant – which is pretty realistic. 
  • Player work rates last year were ruining the experience of playing with some good players on FIFA 16. You may have noticed that players with a high/high work rate might have struggled on the last game, whereas now it seems to give a player a certain edge, especially central midfielders. 
  • In terms of shooting, the game has been made much more realistic. It is a bit harder to score this year, in comparison to FIFA 15. This difficulty certainly separates the better players from the rest though, which is always better for Ultimate Team where you want to see bank for your buck, so to speak.
  • Interactions for celebrations are a new feature, for example/ players can now score goals and celebrate with the substitutes, or even better, right in front of the camera! 
  • Women's football has been introduced by EA Sports for the first time ever, just after an astonishing response for the women's World Cup. 
  • Oh also, the FIFA songs are fantastic!

FIFA 16 Review

The Negatives:

  • The passing in FIFA 16 has come under some scrutiny since its September release and I guess the critics have a point. Fluency is certainly something that takes a while to develop in FIFA 16, don't get me wrong it won't always be difficult to maneuver the ball across the pitch, but sometimes the passing and control of players is pretty bad. 
  • Passes that are played when the player is off-balance result in some embarrassing moments too, the ball flies up in the air in a random direction. This can get quite annoying at times but doesn't happen too often. 
  • Pro Clubs has looked and felt the same way for a long time now and has potential to be a really good game mode, but there just isn't enough development for me. Every year the maximum that gamers have come to expect is a few new haircuts which are often branded as "features". I can understand that the game mode doesn't make money like Ultimate Team but it has huge potential, potential that has not been capitalized upon as of yet. 
  • Player Career is another game mode that has huge potential, you only have to look at 2K Sports' NBA MyCAREER and how they've built that into a flagship game mode, which is a model that EA could and maybe should be working towards. This side of Career mode has been arguably neglected for some time and I just think that EA could work on storylines a bit more. 
  • Ultimate Team has a small issue too in terms of the searching options. The game offers International kits inside UT packs, however there is no option to search for them. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, the game still doesn't offer the option to search for stadiums either, new searching options would be helpful.
  • Manager Mode still doesn't offer online interaction, many gamers would like to see a version of "Connected Franchises" come into the world of FIFA, and that is still yet to be delivered. 

Football is a beautiful game played across the entire planet, even known to some as Soccer, but that's another story in itself. The sport's most recognized video game for a number of years has been FIFA, a game offering all sorts of different ways to play the sport, and without doubt my favourite console game of all time. 

EA Sports' newest title, FIFA 16, has been met with a pretty mixed response ever since the release of the demo. Some gamers would suggest that the game offers an alternative to the usual pace-orientated gameplay, I am one of those people. Although, it could also be argued that the game feels a bit scrappy and even disjointed to play at times, a fairly accurate criticism it must be said. 

This year's game has developed many of its previous game modes, building new features into career mode and the likes, but the introduction of FIFA Ultimate Team Draft is the REAL exciting feature this year. But aside from the draft many fans will have been expecting other specific changes, but did they get their wish? Let's find out…