FIFA 16 Review

October 2, 2015

This review was submitted by freelance writer Scott Davidson.

It’s hard to pick one feature from FIFA 16’s gameplay that stands out from its predecessor. But if I could highlight one aspect from this game, it would have to be the tactical fluidity within the gameplay, particularly at both ends of the ground. In previous editions, after a few hours of gameplay, every through ball, touch-pass and isolated defending had suddenly become predictable. But now, no longer can you pre-emptively give up on a scoring opportunity because every play is mastered differently. The passing improvements are a bit challenging to get your head around but it’s a respectable inclusion this year and one that with more time, hopefully I can master. Frustrating as the game of FIFA is, it’s hard not to love it and this year’s edition is, as expected, their best yet.


Although the objective of the game is to score goals to win (c’mon, this isn’t rocket science here), I have a fascination with focusing on preventing goals. Preferably the opposition’s goals but sometimes that’s out of my control. That’s why I love this game because it’s suddenly a lot easier to defend in the backline. Tackling in particular is no longer hit nor miss. You’re able to alter the opposition’s attack with the faintest touch and pressure and while you’d much rather take the ball back the other way, the game allows for the realistic likelihood that you can’t win every sliding tackle you throw at them.

The inclusion of FIFA Women’s International teams to the gameplay is an honestly respectful move by EA Sports. Unfortunately for the game, it’s upsetting that it has taken us until 2015 to see women being included in the sport. On top of that, the gameplay for the women’s game is smooth and exciting with a slightly less defensive and structurally sound set-up on the field. A credit to EA Sports for this initiative however some big improvements can be made for future editions starting with the inclusion of domestic Women’s leagues and teams.


Above all, my favourite aspect of FIFA of all time is certainly their career mode and in particular, Manager Mode. There aren’t many things as satisfying in a sports game than taking a team from the second division, revamping their list, improving team morale and increasing funds all the while by spending them all and tasting success as each season goes by. Coming from the days of my favourite video game ever, FIFA 06, I’m still amazed at just how much enjoyment can be derived from simply looking at a menu and re-ordering names around on a list in the optimistic search for success.

The introduction of an opening pre-season tournament adds the ability to feel for your team and players prior to competing for anything that severely matters. One game into the campaign and I was already looking for a fast midfielder who could get to the wing a lot faster and deliver the ball into my mediocre starting strikers. Unfortunately, the price set for a relatively average midfielder was a tad above my available budget. Thankfully, after requesting additional funds from the fictitious board of faceless men running my suddenly reality-turned-fantasy football club.

Tailored pre-match training has catered for the ability to develop specific players into becoming stars. Finally, we are able to fill the missing holes internally within the squad and develop specific players’ traits and capabilities to help boost the team as the season goes on. The best feature of this addition to FIFA 16 is most certainly how specific this training is. While generally improving player’s ability is the overall aim of this exercise, it delves much deeper than just selecting the players and hitting an upgrade button. Selecting specific training drills such as 1-on-1 defending, long-mid range shooting and the cardinally important dribbling course all account for a hands-on approach at player progression.


And then on the unusual side of things, one quirky feature I just absolutely love is the referee’s vanishing spray. Sometimes it is just those little things that make the big differences and while it’s something very miniscule in terms of the greater picture of the game overall and the sport as an entity, it’s just one of many one-percenters that make this game just that more respectable.

It’s a credit to EA Sports for listening to the fans for yet another year in a row; actively pursuing improvements to the most revered feature in the game, improving general gameplay all the while still adding brand new features such as FIFA 16 Ultimate Team mode and a never before seen Women’s Football inclusion into the game. This year’s edition has allowed for a new landscape to be delivered and it’ll be mystifying yet rousing to see what next step is taken towards FIFA 17.


Better defensive abilities | Personal touch added to manager mode | Inclusion of Women's league


Only 12 teams in Women's League

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