Yesterday, EA showed off the latest iteration of EA Canada’s immensely popular football sim – FIFA 16. As I did a fairly thorough dissection of Pro Evolution Soccer 2016’s gameplay trailer, it only makes sense to have a look at what fans of FIFA can expect to see in this year’s iteration.
0:02 – It’s All About The Beauty of Football
Right from the get-go, it’s obvious that the team at EA Canada are showing off the pretty side of football this year. Pele, a football icon known across the world as a defining figure in sport, addresses all things football in the trailer – and there’s no one else I’d rather have do such a thing.
0:08 to 0:21 – In-Game Stadium Shots
Some stadium shots here of Barcelona’s Camp Nou, Marseille’s Stade Vèlodrome, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Borussia-Park and Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, as well as some shots of both Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and Manchester United’s Old Trafford. Nothing looks too different here, however.
0:36 – New Defensive Intelligence
In this small snippet, there’s a showing of the new defending intelligence that FIFA 16 is placing a fundamental pillar over. It’s all about defence and being intelligent on the ball, and it’s good to see that this side of the field is getting the attention it deserves.
0:42 – Attacking Play
Likewise, attacking play is an important part of FIFA and it’s showcased here. Nothing too special, but it’s always nice to see some beautiful play.
0:53 – Off The Ball Play
One of the new features, and in fact one of the biggest features of FIFA 16 is no touch dribbling – which is showcased here. No touch dribbling will give you the ability to really take to defenders and send them the wrong way by working your players feet around the ball without having to touch it. It’s a major facet in the game today and it’s finally coming to the virtual space.
1:04 to 1:20 – Montage of Features Both New And Old
A wonderful montage to showcase some of the new features FIFA 16 will have this year as well as returning features that show off how robust of a football sim FIFA has become.
1:28 – New Celebrations?
I personally haven’t seen these celebrations before in previous FIFA games, so perhaps there’s a selection of new ones coming in? The women’s celebrations will be new as they were all captured for the realism of women’s football in FIFA, but we’ll have to see what else is coming through by the way of celebrating a moment of magic.
Now that was all that was really shown in the trailer at this year’s E3, but I don’t really think it showed enough of the new features to really get dive into. After the trailer was shown off, there was mention of a handful of the new features coming to FIFA 16, so I thought I’d make another list and look into those, just so there’s more FIFA to talk about.
Confidence in Defending
One of the most important facets of any good defender is being confident while on and off the ball. It’s a vital skill to have and only the very best on the field can rightfully call themselves a brick wall of a defender. Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry, Pique and so on all are known for being the very best defenders because they are confident on the ball. FIFA 16 will be implementing a new, more robust defensive line that will see defenders track runs and defend as a unit instead of fall to pieces like in previous iterations.
25 ‘innovative’ features change the way you play as a defender, as mobile defenders can now close down space and change direction quickly using ‘swing-step’ behavior to stay with their opponent.
Defending as A Unit
Defending, as I mentioned above, is enormously important in the real game and there’s a huge focus on defending as a team in this year’s iteration. New defensive AI gives players better awareness of dangerous space on the pitch relative to the ball and their opponent. Players will now backtrack to cut off attacking runs and close down angles of attack.
New Tackling Fundamentals
New tackling mechanics and animations have been added, making going in for slide, standing or fake tackles that much more intense and responsive.
Control in Midfield
Midfielders will now keep possession with patient build-up play over the tried-and-true lob pass method that plagued the previous iterations.
Another major improvement is that players will now be more responsive to where the ball is going and as such will work hard to intercept a pass and start an attack of their own. This has been sorely lacking in previous FIFA’s and I’m excited to see how it goes this year.
Passing with Purpose
Sharp, incisive passes are now the name of the game when it comes to creating space and opening up play for a deadly attack. Ground passes will now be more responsive and played faster to keep the momentum going.
No Touch Dribbling
One of the biggest new additions to the game, you can now free yourself from controlling the ball and use step overs and fakes to push an opponent away in the opposite direction and create space to continue play. This will be really interesting to see in the online side of things.
Crosses with greater accuracy are coming in FIFA 16, but here’s hoping they aren’t like the overpowered crosses we saw only a couple of iterations ago. They nearly ruined the entire experience, especially online.
Players now have better placement of their feet and ankles and as such will strike the ball with a greater variety of outcomes. We’ll have to see how this pans out, as it could provide some unpredictability that might be deterring for some.
For those new to the FIFA series, FIFA Trainer will guide you through the process of how to play the game – when to pass, when to shoot and so on. This’ll definitely help out the new players and caress them into the wilderness of FIFA rather than throw them right into the deep end. It took me years to get used to the game, and I’m glad that EA Vancouver has incorporated this feature to help new players enjoy and understand the beautiful game.
Not much was really shown at this E3 on FIFA 16, but I made do with what I could and I look forward to seeing more of FIFA 16 at Gamescom in just over six weeks time.
FIFA 16 launches on the 25th of September this year on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.