by Dillon Meehan
Making video games is not easy. Most developers are given the luxury of having years to compete their projects.
However, with annualized titles, particularly sports titles, it is different. The start of a new season means there is another new game ready to be purchased.
Sports games are released every year with basically all of them arriving around the beginning of Autmn. After that, developers are tasked with creating next year’s game and trying to finish it by mid-June for E3, the world’s largest video game conference.
Following E3, they are generally given a few more weeks or months to fine-tune certain specs before the fall.
In layman terms, developers have nine months to figure out what people disliked in the game and attempt to fix it for the following year, while also trying to add new features to be able to improve gameplay.
It’s a constant risk and reward situation where games may have finally added a bunch of needed features, however the overall product is bogged down by the same glitch that has been causing controllers to be flung across the room since the Bush administration.
With all that being said, FIFA 16 is a masterpiece.
It is tough to make a sports game that can be played like how the sports is truly meant to be played. For years, FIFA has been plagued by an over-emphasis on pace.
“The faster, the better” was the unfortunate moniker. Opposing players simply launching the ball, crippled online play. There was little to no focus on possessing the ball and creating space. In FIFA 16, that all changes.
The game is slow. Everything is different. Midfield play has become much more difficult. Players are more likely to intercept poor passes and quickly counter, forcing you to make smarter decisions. Playmakers can be deadly when used correctly.
There have been plenty of matches where I have walked away with well over 60% possession, with some players completing over thirty, if not forty passes. That is new for FIFA, where the most you would generally see would usually be half of that.
Shooting also seems to be tweaked. In years past, long shots would often never be on target and usually flew over the net. This happens far less in FIFA 16. There is a need to put more power on strikes from outside the box, which is a nice change.
Career mode has also finally been updated. It is not a full rebuild, but there are new features that make it more enjoyable. For the first time ever you can actually develop young players in training. It sounds simple, but it is actually the first time in the game’s 22-year history where you can actually do it. Younger players can also be loaned out for more than a calendar year, if you can successfully loan them out; an issue that still seems to plague the series.
However, with all that being said there are some issues that can become rather problematic. As mentioned earlier, the game is slow; almost too slow. There are plenty of times where I would find myself with Messi or Ronaldo on the wing, but I just could not get by the much slower defender. It takes a lot of getting used to. The commentary, at times, is downright terrible. With the announcers simply saying the opposite of whatever is happening on the pitch. It isn’t constant but it appears to be more frequent than in years past, which is not ideal.
Overall the game is phenomenal. There are a few issues but that is expected. No game is perfect. There have been some changes made since the beta that launched in late August and it has resulted in the best FIFA game I have ever played.