FIFA 16 is another installment in a bestselling soccer simulation game series, whose consecutive editions have been released annually for over two decades, developed by Canadian branch of Electronic Arts company. For years, this series is the key franchise in the company’s publishing catalogue, which also includes many other sport simulation game series, devoted to such sports as hockey, basketball, American football, golf, and lately also MMA.
Accordingly with the tradition of the series, FIFA 16 was released to its mother platform – PC – as well as the most popular consoles of both last and current generation, including Xbox One. This year’s edition makes up the third installment in the series that came out on popular Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, and as compared with these previous installments, this one brings about the biggest portion of innovations and changes. Interestingly, for the first time in years, the game was not released on Nintendo platforms. Instead, a brand new FIFA Mobile appeared, created specially for mobile platforms.
Regardless of the platform, FIFA 16 offers almost identical content, all differences coming down to graphics. Starting with the first Xbox One release in 2013, FIFA has been using a next-gen Ignite engine, so it looks almost as good as PC version and much better than Xbox 360 version, which runs on an old generation engine.
It is noteworthy that just as in the case of FIFA 15, thanks to an agreement between EA and Microsoft, Xbox One users got exclusive access to Legends cards for Ultimate Team mode. These include the greatest soccer legends from the past few decades. New legends joining the crew in FIFA 16 are e.g. Vitor Baia, George Best, Deco, Gennaro Gattuso, Ryan Gigs, Jari Litmanen, Alessandro Nesta, and Javier Zanetti.
FIFA 16 was released simultaneously on all platforms on September 22, 2015 in USA, and September 25 in Europe.
As compared with previous editions, FIFA 16 offers relatively large bunch of innovations and improvements. One of the most significant ones is women’s national teams. The game features 12 such teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Spain, and USA. However, women’s teams are only available in friendly matches (solo and online) and single player tournaments. Moreover, you cannot play women vs. men matches.
Another bunch of changes hit the popular FIFA Ultimate Team mode, now renamed to Ultimate Team Draft. Most of the alterations were made to the team creation process, which is now much simpler than in the previous installments. Before you start playing, you get to select one of the available formations, team captain, and assign players to particular positions (select from 5 random players for each position). Thus formed team can be used in a tournament played against AI or other players. Winning a competition is awarded with an appropriate reward, however, taking part requires paying initiation fee (in the form of coins, FIFA points, or Draft Tokens).
Innovations also touched FIFA 16 career mode. Developers from EA Sports introduced pre-season tournaments, which let you work on the perfect tactics and decide on the line-up. Besides, you can take part in training sessions to improve not only abilities of your players, but your own too. In this next FIFA game the creators gave much attention to polishing gameplay and enhancing artificial intelligence of both individual players and entire teams. The developers enhanced control of the players from the back of the field, so you can now use them more effectively to prepare attacks or quickly push them back to defense.
Players got 25 new movement options, the most significant ones being the ability to control the length of the slide, and to stop mid-tackle. Computer AI reacts better to your actions, letting you construct more effective actions. The game features new passing system, letting you make quick, short passes through narrow spaces. Changes were also made to dribbling, so that now you can not only decide how, but also when to touch the ball. Interestingly, the system was created together with famous player Lionel Messi.
As always, FIFA 16 offers wide range of single and multiplayer game modes, starting with friendly matches and training sessions, various tournaments (played in league mode or cup mode) through to expansive career. You can either play online or together with a friend on one console.
English version of FIFA 16 traditionally features commentary by Martin Tyler and Alan Smith.
In contrast to last generation consoles, Xbox One version of FIFA 16, just like PlayStation 4 and PC editions, runs on next-gen Ignite engine. This time, however, instead of sheer graphics, the developers focused mostly on enhancing gameplay, thus, visually FIFA 16 differs little from the last year’s edition. There are a couple of novelties and modifications, though, some of which are better animations of players, new stadium models, and new crowd chants – which now amount to 900.
Lionel Messi comes back as the star of FIFA 16 box cover, accompanied by local football stars, depending on the region. For the first time in history of the series American, Canadian, and Australian editions feature women players (respectively (Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, and Steph Catley).