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FIFA 16 also introduces temporary loans

"I get knocked down, but I get up again…" without fail, whenever I think of the FIFA soccer series, that song always pops in my head thanks to it being the theme song many years ago. For soccer fans this song still rings true and this past spring/summer was never more evident then when I watched more soccer than I have in years thanks to the World Cup. To be honest, I’m a VERY casual fan and will watch on occasion, but it takes a big time event such as the World Cup to spike my interest, even though I live near Columbus and the Columbus Crew. That doesn’t mean I’m ignorant to the sport or don’t get fired up when it is on, but let’s say it is a sport that is a distant 4th behind Baseball, NHL, and the NFL for me.
 
The new features and improvements are too numerous to describe comprehensively. But the overwhelming impression is of the enormous amount of care taken by a team that has a fan's appreciation of the game. While this may be authenticity only in the sense that it replicates the matchday experience as invented by Sky in 1992, the fluent televisual dialogue of replays, pop-backed montages and quick cuts add a real sense of drama. Slot in a few games of FIFA 16 between Super Sunday matches and the transition is seamless. That being said, I still find myself psyched year in and year out for every iteration of the EA Sports FIFA soccer series, as while my real life love for the sport may be limited, my virtual gaming love is still top notch…as is EA’s replication of the sport.
 
The presentation's been completely revamped, affecting everything from fully remodeled players, to authentic camera angles, to bouncy hair physics and turf degradation. The best stuff is reserved for the English proportion of the game because, well, we kinda invented football. For the first time, all 20 Barclay's Premier League stadia are faithfully represented, from West Ham's Boleyn Ground to Leicester City's King Power Stadium. Preceding clashes you'll see a birdseye view, before the camera dips down for some stadium-specific shots. In Liverpool's ground, for instance, the camera cuts to the iconic Anfield sign in the tunnel.

 
If all this adds character to proceedings, it's the goalkeepers who provide the muscle. EA's calling them 'next-gen keepers', which doesn't really mean anything, but they're noticeably better than they ever have been, That doesn't just mean they're harder to beat either - they also make more believable mistakes. It's infinitely more gratifying to score five on-on-ones that see the goalkeeper react in different ways than it is to score the exact same goal five times, even if the end result is the same.
 
FIFA 16 also introduces temporary loans, allowing you to bring in one or more great players for a string of matches early in the campaign. This lessens the time you spend mustering a bunch of lesser players, and in our case led to a storming eight-nil victory against Bolton Wanderers that pulled us in without delay. With FIFA 16, Ultimate Team isn't just for the more hardcore players; it's welcoming more casual players in. In that scene are the key ingredients of the FIFA 16 experience: the new television presentation, the emphasis on player reactions and emotions, a lucky bounce or two from the new momentum-based physics added to the ball, a goalie caught flat-footed, and a big goal. Absolutely the big goal.
 
I certainly feel that I am in my rights to expect more from a series which offers much more elsewhere. The game has evolved so much over the last few years, meaning that the gameplay offered here is certainly somewhat stale in comparison. That’s not to say it’s a bad game, but it is very much lagging behind what the series as a whole offers. Throw into the mix the lack of multiplayer and you have an even bigger issue, as the online component is a massive part of FIFA 16 and by removing it you remove the largest part of the appeal.
 
The change also bleeds into the evergreen FIFA 16 Ultimate Team mode, where scraping a squad together is an accessible process. The component itself is still as addictive as ever, but the aforementioned gameplay alterations do mean that you'll encounter countless teams that are built to abuse fast, direct centre forwards and strikers. That said, we suppose having to deal with the ups and downs of online play is an expected aspect of FIFA 16 these days, particularly when it comes to the still rampant overuse of aerial through balls, although thankfully, the improved 'keepers are a lot more comfortable with dashing off their line and closing down attackers this time around.