Recently thanks to a close friend I have been able to spend some time on an early version of Fifa 16
The first Fifa game I owned was Fifa 95 on the Sega Mega Drive 20 years ago. Since then I have bought the game every year.
You will quickly notice that the main menus look very similar to Fifa 15 the colours have changed but it’s still the same tile block style that we all know. To be honest every menu is the same as last year the only new thing I noticed is that the background changes depending on which team you support, a nice little touch.
As you continue on into the match screen it’s the usual affair, with you running around in the pre match arena taking shots on a goalkeeper or doing some of the skill challenges available.
Graphically I would say that it looks marginally worse than last year, but I’m hoping it will get sharpened up in time for full retail release. It’s not impressing me like it first did when fifa moved onto the PS4, maybe they have reached this engines full capabilities we will have to wait and see.
So the game kicks off and as you would expect it’s fast, passes are whipped into feet and moved around the pitch with ease. If you hold down the R1 button and press X you can pull off a more powerful ground pass. Get it right and you can take 3-4 players out of the equation and create a goal scoring opportunity. But get it wrong and it flies miles away from your target leaving you embarrassed at being unable to pull off a simple pass. This new addition will take practice. There is a right time for these types of passes.
Last year’s edition was built on pace, with a fast player and a well timed pass you were through on goal 99% of the time. Now this year pace hasn’t changed players are still fast it’s just that defenders are better positioned. Lofted through balls wont work as the Center backs now man mark your strikers, meaning open space is very very limited.
All this means is that midfield play is extremely important to build attacks and grind teams down. I have noticed that the AI will intercept any mistimed or lazy pass instantly, it feels slightly overpowered to me.
The best way to attack is to get the ball wide and swing crosses into the box, crosses have been revamped and they whip into the box with force. I can see wide players being very popular this year, pulling off a peach of a cross to watch your striker rise like a salmon and score is a great feeling and it’s well replicated on Fifa 16.
Overall it seems more balanced, relying on pace will not get you very far this year. You will need to think 2-3 passes ahead to get chances on goal, which is good as I felt Fifa 15 was a little to easy. For an early code it feels like a solid game, and the wealth of playable options both online and offline makes fifa a must buy for any football fan.
Fifa 16 is Released on 22nd of September in North America and 25th of September For everybody else on all major platforms.