Since EA Sports releases a version of FIFA each year, veteran players have little trouble adapting to the handful of new features and essentially picking up right where they left off. Such is not the case with FIFA 16. The plethora of enhancements make it difficult to seamlessly transition from FIFA 15, as EA retouched so many aspects of the gameplay. If you’re a longtime FIFA player looking to take advantage of everything this title has to offer, we have the biggest gameplay tweaks you’ll see on the pitch.
First up is No Touch Dribbling System, which allows you to manipulate a player’s body separate from the ball. This lets you fake defenders without making contact with the ball.
FIFA 16 comes with two types of fakes, or feints. The first is the small feint, executed by holding L1 or LB depending on the platform. Do this correctly and the player will make quick movements so it seems like he or she dances around the ball while defenders miss. We suggest using small feints in traffic, ideally when you don’t want to move too far away from the ball.
Then we have big feints, pulled off by holding L1 or LB and then sprinting at the same time. This produces a more dramatic fake and leaves the virtual door open for big time scoring opportunities. Such risk comes with high reward, however, since big feints are tougher to control and you may turn over the ball if done incorrectly.
Next up, Passing with Purpose. This feature helps you unleash precise and high speed passes through tight defense. Hit the defense with this type of pass and you may receive a great chance to score or counter attack. Hold R1 or RB and then pass to a streaking teammate. If you receive one of these passes, press L2 or LT to gain control. Keep in mind this takes some practice, so expect to see the defense intercept some passes before you get it right.
Once you perfect the art of passing, it’s time to score! New this year is a 3D Foot Mechanic where the angle you approach a shot from affects the spin and direction of the ball. In most cases you want to square up to the net by titling the thumb stick to send shots to the desired area. The proper alignment usually results in a ball with tight spin traveling away from the keeper. You’ll also notice improvement with one-timers, with the ball moving realistically at every angle.
With so much emphasis on the offensive game, EA Sports knew the defense required tweaking. Swing Steps let players quickly close open gaps on the pitch; the idea is to clog up the passing lanes and intercept the ball. In fact, FIFA players can’t rely on the fastest superstars to dominate. Even someone like Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale won’t be able to run wherever he wants. The defensive AI will sense when an offensive player breaks free and cut him or her off.
Additionally, the defense can take advantage of Escapable Slide Tackles. In previous FIFA games, committing to a slide tackle and missing usually resulted in a botched attempt on the ball and perhaps a costly goal. With FIFA 16, once you go into a slide tackle and you realize it won’t work, you’re able to press the button again and the player will respond by putting a foot on the pitch and then canceling the slide. This is by far one of the most useful changes to FIFA, since every second counts.
All of this makes FIFA 16 the cleanest, most exciting soccer game we’ve played. Although we still expect longtime players to crush newcomers, EA Sports’ commitment to improving the series makes for a more even playing field.
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