Past masters yes, but now brave EA are finally the pass masters.
Reviewing FIFA games is usually something of a thankless task but this year it has been a lot easier.
After all how can you possibly review a game that you don’t truly know you like, love or hate until you have played it for at least a couple of months?
Last year’s FIFA was a ‘like’ on my scale. A quality iteration of the world’s biggest sports game no doubt, but it didn’t do enough to keep me playing all the way through the year like previous FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer games have.
Let’s be clear from the off FIFA 16 is not a huge step forward for the franchise.
But it didn’t need to be. All the refinements this year – bar the rather piecemeal inclusion of women for the first time – are big improvements.
They are noticeable improvements if sometimes maddening improvements like defending being easier and harder in different respects but it is all for the better.
Most importantly, though, all of the tweaks are based on real feedback from the people who matter most... the gamers.
Last year’s game was all about speed and you could button bash your way from back to front in a few seconds.
EA have finally been brave enough to tackle their passing mechanics and like it or not make them more challenging.
Now this won’t please everyone, but it will the purists and is sure to increase longevity.
Your passes will go awry and short sharp passing becomes the name of the game until a gap opens up out wide or through the middle. New driven passes are a joy and my favourite new feature.
The improved passing system makes the game so much more organic and ultimately satisfying as you have to really work for your goals.
As a result I was impressed with the overall flow of a match and it continues to get closer to feeling like the real thing, which was a must with its biggest rival Pro Evo matching its dynamism and beating it for fluidity and responsiveness.
I am not an Ultimate Team player but from what I can gather in my brief time playing FIFA Ultimate Team Draft it seems a strong addition which should hold gamers’ attention the year round.
All in all EA has pinpointed the problems which annoyed players in last year’s game and fixed them. What’s not to love about that?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF FIFA 16? Have your say below