Fifa 16 Preview

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3
Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: EA
Rating: TBC

Since the first FIFA game was released back in 1993, the series has become one of the biggest and most beloved football simulators among casual gamers and sport-fans alike. Selling more than 100 million copies around the world, each new annual addition to the FIFA series has plenty to live up: EA Sports continues to add new features and improvements, with varying degrees of success.

FIFA 15 received a warm response from players and critics, but this year’s instalment will be expected to top it. What can we expect from the developers, and how are they seeking to broaden the game’s appeal to new fans?

New Features

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One of the biggest features EA Sports has added to FIFA 16 is the ability to finally play as women’s teams. With twelve squads on the roster (including Australia, Canada, China PR, and USA), players can now enjoy a wider diversity – this has been met with a mixed response, but it will only help to introduce an added level of freedom and boost the number of available teams.

There are also rumours that the new FIFA game will include a ‘story mode’, which provides a narrative to the player’s progression – would this be similar to the MyPlayer mode seen in NA 2K15? While EA has neither confirmed nor denied whether this is actually likely to happen, it would certainly be a big step for the series, and give players a fresh reason to play through again and again. With story continuing to be highly important to many gamers, there’s plenty of potential in this idea.

More Emotions, More Intelligence

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While FIFA 15 added more emotional realism and AI to the series, FIFA 16 is set to take this to a brand new level, with players demonstrating stronger reactions to in-match events. All of this should help to make this an even truer football simulation than fans have experienced before, capturing all the fun and excitement of actually being there in the stands.

New player celebrations are also being talked about, suggesting goals will give way to impressive dances and wild reactions, and ambulances are believed to make an appearance alongside medical staff whenever needed. While such emergency assistance is sure to be rare, seeing these tiny additions will only add to the realism.

The Latest Line-Ups

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As well as greater emotional reactions and the ability to play as women’s teams, FIFA 16 will also feature the latest team line-ups, kits, coaches, and stadiums, with players’ faces and bodies recreated with stunning new graphics. The Ultimate Team feature is expected to return, too, allowing users to create their dream squads and loan players for a limited period for specific matches; the same management options will also apply, so players can buy/trade players as they wish during seasons.

Rumours also suggest that South American leagues will feature in the game, with Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia strongly touted to appear. There is also speculation that certain ‘elite’ players can be tried out before a purchase is confirmed – saving time and money later if gamers find the star they paid for isn’t quite what they expected; while this is only a small touch, these managerial aspects are key to many FIFA fans.

While there are still many questions surrounding FIFA 16, at least fans don’t have to wait long get