The ugly side of beautiful game: football(FIFA 16)
The ugly side of beautiful game: football(FIFA 16)
EA really wants your money. That’s the overwhelming feeling you get playing FIFA 16. If that seems harsh, let me clarify: the latest annual iteration of the best-selling football sim is, without doubt, its best ever. It is a polished, thrilling and yes, beautiful game. But still, it’s hard not to come away without feeling like you’re being fleeced.
No new iteration of FIFA is really “new”, each game being more a bundle of tiny tweaks and additions rather than a wholesale overhaul. FIFA 16 is another step in this slow evolution. The two major additions this year are the addition of women’s national teams, and a new mode, FIFA Ultimate Team Draft (on which more later).
Clearly, the most important aspect of any football game is how it plays — and FIFA 16 is a joy. EA has clearly paid attention to the flaws of last year’s game, which over-valued pace and lofted through balls. FIFA 16 is a slower, more skillful and tactical game. In particular, play is transformed by the addition of driven passes: hold a shoulder button to ping a ground ball at full power across the turf. The new option makes possession play much more satisfying — you’ll soon be spreading play across your back line like Barcelona — while being counterbalanced by the risk of the receiving player miscontrolling the ball and losing possession. Crossing too is improved, as are defensive interceptions. The result is immediate: world-class passers like Andres Iniesta or David Silva finally feel menacing for their vision and touch, while League 2 teams require a less refined approach.
This is complimented by ‘no touch control’, the ability to dodge and body feint with the left bumper, which when combined with existing dribbling mechanics allows great players to dance and weave through crowds of defenders more realistically than ever. If a crude way to gauge the success of any football game is how superior Leo Messi feels compared to a regular player, then FIFA 16 is the best Messi simulator yet.
FIFA 16 FIFA 16EA Sports/FIFA 16
Off the pitch, the most high profile new feature of FIFA 16 is the addition of women’s teams. FIFA 16 features 12 national women’s squads, with full face-scanning and licenses. They play differently, too, lending towards a faster, more skillful game — intricate passing and curled shots — which makes their unfortunately limited implementation (they’re only available in Kick Off or tournaments, not career or Ultimate Team) one of the game’s best new features.
This brings us to FUT Draft.
I’ve been playing FIFA (and its rival, Pro Evolution Soccer) since FIFA 2003. Since then, when friends come over we have a tradition called the draft: pick a random squad with decent kits (the Mexican Liga MX is great), assign an ability points ‘budget’, and sign a squad of your favourite players – like a simple Fantasy Football. You should try it. It’s fun.
At first, FUT Draft sounds similar: rather than Ultimate Team, in which you collect players like Panini stickers and slowly build a squad, you are given a random draw of five players per position, a choice of five formations, and encouraged to cobble together an unlikely squad of superstars. Win streaks are rewarded with packs of players for your regular team; when you lose, the squad is disbanded, and you start again.
There’s only one problem, which is if you want to play it, you have to pay: 15,000 in-game coins, which are earned by playing games in regular Ultimate Team, or 300 FIFA points (around £2.50) for a ‘draft token’.
This, supposedly, is compensated for by the increased weighting of world-class players in Draft — so you’ll get to play with Messi, Ronaldo, or Robben, sometimes on the same team. In regular Ultimate Team, such players have in the past cost hundreds of thousands to millions of coins; so, unless you have limitless time, or money, to spare, chances are you’ll never afford them.
FIFA 16EA Sports/FIFA 16
The economic problems with Ultimate Team were laid bare in FIFA 15: everybody wants to be Messi, so the game was plagued by ‘coin buyers’ spending real money online and driving absurd price inflation (up to 3-4 million coins for some players). EA retaliated by introducing price ceilings and floors, and banning fraudulent accounts to bring the economy under control. Nonetheless, in FIFA 16 top players are still way overpriced (Kevin De Bruyne for 140,000 coins — perhaps 200 hours of gameplay by my crude maths, City fans?) which is why Youtube is full of videos of players dropping hundreds of pounds on FIFA Points. Don’t want to put in the (impossible) hours to earn them the hard way? You can pay £2.50 a pop for FUT Draft and skip the queue.
This is obviously a slight simplification; microtransactions in gaming are a fact of modern life, and understandable in free-to-play titles and for small developers. But the approach FIFA 16 takes seems particularly egregious after you’ve dropped £40+. It’s also in how it’s dealt with: the home screen quite literally plays video adverts for Ultimate Team. A separate banner advertises the ‘Team Of The Week’. Meanwhile, every year the other features of the game — in particular Career mode, which has some wildly overdue and lackluster changes (a slight repackaging of existing skill games called ‘training’; pre-season tournaments) — are increasingly slighted.
Ditto, frustratingly basic flaws remain year on year: poor AI which, on low difficulty settings, dribbles off the pitch. Strikers who inexplicably stand still outside the box on corners. A broken collision system which, combined with an increased physicality in defending, leads to an absurd number of soft penalty calls (seriously: in one early game I conceded 3 and earned 2). All of which is a concern, particularly when Konami’s PES franchise has returned to its finest form in a decade.
That isn’t to say that FIFA 16 is not a great game. When it shines — Douglas Costa bursting past a player, feinting inside a wing-back and planting a driven cross into the feet of a goal-mouth Robert Lewandowski — it’s superb.
But at a time when Premier League fans increasingly feel cut adrift by inflated ticket prices, outlandish wages, and executive bribery scandals, perhaps there are some aspects of modern football not worth emulating.http://www.gofrnzy.com/index.php/2015/11/05/the-ugly-side-of-beautiful-game-footballfifa-16/http://www.gofrnzy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/maxresdefault-1024x576.jpghttp://www.gofrnzy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/maxresdefault-150x150.jpgFootballFIFA 16 football,Football,The ugly side of beautiful game: football,The ugly side of beautiful game: football(FIFA 16)