FIFA has long been one of the most recognizable video games out there. The popular franchise got its first edition all the way back in 1993 and we have seen a new FIFA game every year since, with modern day FIFA games simulating the game of football at levels unimaginable some years ago.
Many fans were hoping to see a FIFA 16 that will simply polish the fast paced and action packed gameplay engine of FIFA 15, but EA opted to step on the ball a bit, slow the action down and create a more balanced game more similar to FIFA 13 and 14.
FIFA 16 brought us female teams, more balanced midfield gameplay, less fast paced end to end play and the FUT Draft Mode, which now allows players to compete online and purchase players and player packs for real world money. So let us go a bit deeper into the game’s features and find out how it compares to its predecessors and other games in the genre.
The Changes to the AI
When it comes to football games, artificial intelligence truly plays a crucial part. In the past, we saw many football simulations where AI was easy to fool or simply run around and even some of the more recent FIFA and PES titles often had these issues.
In FIFA 16, the AI is better at intercepting passes and closing down players than it has ever been. In fact, it may just be a little too good. Compared to FIFA 15, the scorelines on FIFA 16 are significantly lower and scoring a cheap goal is practically out of the option.
While the fast paced players like Cristiano Ronaldo can still leave their markers in the dust at times, in most cases you will be easily handled by the back line if you try to simply take them all on. Instead, FIFA 16 is designed to emphasize midfield play and attack buildup, but scoring a goal this way is also difficult as the defenders are really good at intercepting passes.
Overall speaking, the AI changes introduced in FIFA 16 were successful at making the game a lot more realistic by slowing down the action and reducing scorelines. This is great for the hardcore football fans, but many players also dislike the fact that the game is so much slower than FIFA 15 or any of the PES games.
Graphics, Animations and Features
When it comes to graphics and animations, FIFA 16 did not improve too much on FIFA 15, but it didn’t need to either, as the game was already state of the art from a visual perspective. The game features easily recognizable players even when the camera is quite far from the pitch, high definition graphics and a ton of detailed animations that will absolutely immerse you in the gameplay.
When it comes to gameplay features, EA Sports focused heavily on the midfield and defense in FIFA 16, creating AI players capable of successfully marking opposition players, intercepting passes and getting back on their feet after failed tackles. All of these allow you to defend better against incoming attacks and force you to build your attacks more instead of just storming down the pitch with your fastest player.
Apart from a better defense, EA did also add features that will allow skilled players to attack with more power. For instance, the no touch dribbling is now possible to allow you to fool your opponents better and the crossing system has been improved to allow the skilled crosser to put the ball more in the path of the incoming striker in the box.
When it comes to gameplay modes, FIFA 16 allows you to play single player or multi player. Multi player matches can be played against an opponent on the same console or over the internet and multi-player tournaments are possible just like in the past. The only new gameplay mode is the FIFA Ultimate Team Draft, which is more similar to a trading card game such as Heartstone, where you can compete in global championships via the internet.
FIFA 16 Reception and Awards
FIFA 16 has now been on the market for some time, which has given the players and the critics a chance to rate and assess the game. As far as the public goes, the game was well received, and while some fans preferred the fast paced gameplay of FIFA 15, everyone pretty much agrees that FIFA 16 is simply more realistic and closer to the real football game that FIFA 15.
When it comes to the critics, the game received ratings between 7/10 and 9/10, with several of the largest review portals rating the game fairly highly. EA continues its fight against KONAMI when it comes to football titles, as many have claimed PES 2016 to be the first game PES game in quite a while to actually be better than the corresponding FIFA game.
At the 2015 E3, FIFA 16 received 10 Sports Game awards including the prestigious Game Critics Award which is awarded by the representatives of multiple international publications. Along with these, FIFA 16 has received a number of other awards during the year it has been around, with the world anxious to see what the new FIFA 17 has to bring us.
FIFA 16 Tournaments
While local FIFA tournaments have been thrown ever since the early editions of the game, it wasn’t until the eSport era began that FIFA became so popular that international competitions could be organized. Today, FIFA 16 tournaments such as the recent FIFA Interactive World Cup 2016 offer tens of thousands of dollars to the final winners and all the prestige that goes with the prize money.
Skilled FIFA players can now make a name for themselves along with some real world money by playing competitive FIFA tournaments at the global level and all it will take you to become one of them is lots of hours of practice and some natural acuity for the game of football.
FIFA 16 Competitions
FIFA 16 - Watch Live
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