Wednesday 13 December 2017

EA still improving FIFA but only incrementally

Chris Hayes - Game Review

The most obvious new feature of FIFA 16 is the long-overdue addition of women's teams
The most obvious new feature of FIFA 16 is the long-overdue addition of women's teams

The incrementally-improving nature of the FIFA series makes it a perpetually hard beast to review and FIFA 16 is no exception to the rule. The latest addition to the long line of football-simulation behemoths is, predictably, an absolute joy to play.

Fifa 16 (XboxOne/PS4) 8/10

EA has clearly left no stone unturned in the pursuit for exquisitely crafted controls and the nuanced technical triumph that is the gameplay, although the kicker lies in the fact that this could be said of pretty much every title in recent years. Can a couple of tiny tweaks and additions justify a price tag totalling a cool €75 of your hard-earned money?

The most obvious new feature is the long-overdue addition of women's teams. FIFA 16 features 12 national women's squads, complete with full faces-scanning and licenses. They play differently, yet wonderfully, lending towards a faster more passing inclined play style. Unfortunately, EA Sports rather arbitrarily left out the ability to play as the women in career mode or Ultimate Team but its OK, because for a decent chunk of a week's worth of wages we'll probably be able to pay to have those features included next year.

Elsewhere, the developers have included a new feature in the form of FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) Draft. The Draft mode lets you play a fantasy football-esque variation on the typical mechanics of the FIFA Ultimate Team experience, whereby you are given a random draw of five far better than average players per position and a choice of five formations.

Win streaks recorded in this mode reward you with packs of players for your regular team. Losing will see your team disbanded, meaning you start all over again.

The catch? It costs 15,000 in-game coins (not a small amount) or 300 FIFA points (about €3). The popular and addictive regular FUT mode sees players dropping insane amounts of real money to secure their favourite players, so seeing another moneymaker shoehorned into an already outlandishly-priced game feels like a slap in the face to the millions of loyal fans that the FIFA franchise has garnered. Perhaps it is reflective of the increasingly commercialised nature of the modern footballing world, and in that sense it is a worry.

It can't be denied that FIFA 16 is a terrific game. It will still be just as much fun to play your friends at FIFA on the couch or online, if not more so. Whether it is worth your money is your choice to make.

Wexford People

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