EA’s latest installment in its massively popular soccer series, “FIFA 16,” officially reached shelves Sept. 22, with a variety of new features and adjustments.
The series, which first began in 1994, has made huge leaps in its game mechanics, playability and degree of realism from last year’s iteration, “FIFA 15.”
FIFA has been the leading innovator in the market of soccer games, with “FIFA 16” being no exception, thanks in part to the most important addition of women’s soccer teams.
This is the first major soccer game to feature female representation, which is historical given that professional soccer is stereotypically male-dominated and tends to only focus on that demographic. This addition is a major leap forward in diversity for the franchise.
In terms of mechanics, “FIFA 16” has a slower pace of play than previous installments of the soccer series, because game creators, EA Canada created an emphasis on passing strategy and overall ball possession. The slower pace works to the game’s advantage, enticing fans to think more strategically during play.
In addition to the strategy, the game’s developers have also added “driven passing,” which will allow players to send increasingly more powerful ground passes as a counter to defensive interceptions.
EA Canada hopes to respond to the community better and make the gaming series more accessible to casual players who do not devote large amounts of time to the game, unlike players who invest a lot of time and compete at a high level of skill online.
This is most evident with the “FIFA Ultimate Team Draft,” an addition to the online platform which randomly grants FIFA players the gift of playing with Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, currently two of the best soccer players in the world, on their own custom team.
The artificial intelligence of the defense has also been increased due to complaints from last year about the defenders and goalies not doing their jobs, no matter how highly a player was ranked in the game. This feature is vastly improved in this new Fifa installment.
The game is also debuting a more fluid ball control mechanism called “no touch dribbling,” giving players the additional ability to juke defenders using body movement. The added movements adds versatility to the players.
Whether someone is a casual gamer looking to have fun or a die-hard FIFA fanatic, even with a slower pace for play, “FIFA 16” is sure to provide a good game of soccer to all who pick up a controller and play on the virtual pitch.