This also affects the defending, with wingers and fullbacks failing to interchange when you need them to. The midfield simply don't track back enough so when you're being run at you're more likely to select a midfielder and rush him back than you are to take control of the defence themselves.
It's a side of football where FIFA
really does fall behind of the competition. If you haven't got trust in the players you're not controlling you'll spend most of your time trying to compensate. Switching between players to put them back into the position you want rather than the brain-dead position the game has told them to be in.
This problem is made even worse now that EA has made the bizarre decision to make the player indicator so small that you can barely see it. It's almost impossible to track which player you're controlling off the ball in co-op seasons and if there are planned patches, I hope this one is top of the list.
Along with the bigger changes are a few smaller ones that make the game just that little bit more enjoyable to play. Online games are less pad-flingy now that your opponent is limited to just one replay of their goal (thank you, EA... thank you). There are less cutscenes of players' faces and less time waiting for a throw-in to be taken, limiting the amount of time you hammer 'A' while shouting ?COME ON?.
This year's back of the box feature comes with the introduction of the women's game. I've read complaints that EA hasn't made as big a deal of this as they should but after playing a Women's World Cup competition, I'd say they've treated the sport with every bit of care and attention than they have the Premier League.
My biggest worry was that they were going to simply replace the player models and leave it at that. Having watched a lot of women's football, doing that would just look odd. The games play out completely different to what we're used to watching on Match of the Day
. It's a completely different style.
This is reflected well in FIFA 16
. The goalkeepers react as they should, shots aren't as powerful but have the same technical abilities, passes zip more and there is more space to play with. It represents the sport well instead of lazily sticking in women for some easy praise.
This is important. Stating that you're going to represent a side of a sport is one thing, but putting the effort in to respect it is another matter. What we have in FIFA 16
is a true representation of the women's game and it's a welcome introduction that I've happily put time into.
One area I've not touched on in this review are the various modes of play. That's mainly because if you've played a FIFA
game in recent years you'll know what to expect. FIFA 16
of course continues the tradition of a wealth of game modes from battling Mansfield up the football league and into the Premiership in solo-play to the juggernaut that is FIFA Ultimate Team.
It's a strong weapon in the FIFA
arsenal and shows that even if the on-pitch stuff is as good (if not better) elsewhere, that won't win your money if the modes you want to play aren't on offer.
So where does FIFA
go from here?
is the best in the series and is a huge improvement over last year's disappointment, but with reviews for PES 16
claiming that Konami has finally overtaken EA, FIFA
needs to focus in on a few areas in which it falls behind.
Tactics need improving so that you're not just focusing on an overall stat number when putting your team together. It needs to incorporate player rolls a lot better, allowing you to chose a midfield hound that will break up play when needed, even though his distribution and speed isn't great.
A 'Target Man' striker needs to feel like he's able to slow attack down and bring players into the game and there needs to be a clear difference between a defensive full-back and an attacking one. Not every player can be an all-rounder. They all must have flaws to make team selection an educated process rather than a hunt for the biggest number.
This is a difficult thing to do, especially with a game engine that has been built upon year after year. One change can completely crumble years of hard work, but with the technical side of modern day FIFA
being pushed to what feels like its absolute limit, maybe it's time for EA to invest into the next step forward for the series.
For now though you can be happy in the knowledge that FIFA 16
is an excellent football game and a vast improvement over last year. It'll be a while until we know if it will be able to withstand the pressure of a million idiots trying to find an exploit to take advantage of, but for now the game feels balanced and fun.
may well be incredible this year, but if you're still not convinced then you wont regret buying this.
+ Vastly improved play physics
+ Exploits from 15 have been removed
+ Vast wealth of game modes
+ Women's game well implemented
- Tactical side of the game is lacking
- Player AI
SPOnG Score: 8/10