The Leading FIFA 15 Coins Seller -!

FIFA 13 really hit its heights and reached it’s known peak, with FIFA 12 and 13 being absolutely fantastic football games at the time, you wondered if they could keep pulling it off yearly. Unfortunately that dried up and they changed FIFA 14 into being more physical and sluggish, in their view more realistic

FIFA 16 Review

FIFA has been a game series that really hit it’s heights last gen. Built from the ground up from FIFA 08, FIFA each year kept improving leaps and bounds from its predecessor. FIFA 13 really hit its heights and reached it’s known peak, with FIFA 12 and 13 being absolutely fantastic football games at the time, you wondered if they could keep pulling it off yearly. Unfortunately that dried up and they changed FIFA 14 into being more physical and sluggish, in their view more realistic. 15 achieved everything in presentation for the next gen consoles (or current gen now). With the official premier league licenced HUD, and all 20 premier league stadiums which was a dream come true, it was shaping up to be a perfect game… Until you actually had to play the game… the gameplay was that boring and sluggish and merely a refined FIFA 14, a refinement on a flawed FIFA in my opinion. FIFA 15 was a boring game in my opinion and it hit that point where FIFA really needed a big change, a huge innovation in the modes and gameplay.

FIFA 16 has arrived, with the general message being, “balance” The developers pledge that there has been refinements in all areas of the pitch making a much better football game, and new features to the large amount of modes that FIFA has. Is this enough? Or has FIFA just become stale milk?

Firstly lets talk about the most important part.

The gameplay – Balanced is the key word they are throwing out here, dull, boring and unintuitive but solid is the keys words I am throwing out here.

At times the game can shine, some of the goals you can score can be very satisfying. Shots feel more varied and refined than last year and I like that. Passing is slightly more responsive now and the moves you can make is better than last year. Crossing is more effective, most notably the double tap cross button. Heading seems to be a good balance of not being too easy or difficult to win headers. Physical play feels very prevalent in this years FIFA, it seems to be a bigger factor than pace and pace feels less important than it ever has on fifa which is a good thing, it adds a different dynamic to the players now, the game is not just all about pace.

The improvements are neat improvements but really nothing to shout and scream about, although you won’t really want to go back to fifa 15 after playing 16, it’s not a game that feels hugely different and if anything feels even more dull at times than the last years dull FIFA 15.

Defending has been improved, and slide tackles have been improved. You can sometimes effectively win the ball back with a slide tackle now, but they do still feel underwhelming however. Slide tackles should be a risk reward factor, it should be a case of having to time it perfectly or receive a booking but if you time it perfectly, you win the ball back in a fast effective satisfying manner and can save you at the last ditch. Slide tackles should have that element of aggressiveness or desperation to win the ball back, imagine the risk of someone being through on goal unless you make that slide tackle knowing if you miss time it you’ll be sent off? You don’t get that at all from FIFA, where as you do with PES this year. FIFA’s siding is so poor in fact that it’s actually hard to deliberately take someone out with a slide, it’s that poor at times. Winning the ball back in a great manner from a slide tackle is immediately tarnished when the ball ricochets back into the attacker or your player fails to take control of the ball after he has just won the ball and loses it. This isn’t in a realistic manner, this is in more of the game being stupid and unresponsive.

Unresponsive, sluggish and clunky is the general feel of fifa 16’s gameplay. Shots still take far too long to release where sometimes the player will actually take several touches taking over 3 seconds to shoot which is an extremely long time when you have a defender on your case. Passing is more responsive but it still takes too long to release, certain balls you play also just slowly trickle to the player and the player makes little attempt to chase it, in result making it easy for the defender to intercept it. The game just doesn’t feel fluid or smooth. Then we go onto the dribbling and movement, something that has been an issue in my opinion since fifa 14. With pace being less important, dribbling and sharp turns feels more important, and yet the game struggles to give you that fluidity in movement. Players are really slow at turning and it often gets you tackled. You can still struggle to turn a few players and burst on with the likes of Messi. Messi is known to be able to glide past players and dance around players so fast that no one can deal with him. You do not feel like that at all. Although dribbling with top players do feel more fluid, it still isn’t effective enough, Messi has drastically improved from previous fifas where he is no longer useless and can be effecitve, but he still doesn’t feel like him.

The cover star does not feel like you are playing as the cover star, and that is also the general feel of the whole game and has done for years. The players are dolled up, with licenced kits, cinematic camera angles and real player faces very accurately rendered thanks to the high production investment from EA where they have actually scanned players faces in the studio. The players look like them, but they don’t feel like them, they don’t play like them. Yes players differ and slightly play like the real life counterparts, but overall everyone kind of feels the same, and it is so noticeable now with PES absolutely nailing player likeness on the head. What was noticeable to me with the past few fifa’s has now become dam well obvious. The players don’t have any real character to them. If you took away the player face, licenced shirt, commentary name and all HUD would you still recognise the player you are using? I don’t think so personally. I think the animations are decent, but not so distinguishable where you would instantly know who it is on the ball, but not just that it’s the way they act in gameplay when you’re controlling them and not controlling them, they just don’t feel like the player. Teams don’t feel drastically different to me, it’s almost like sculptured models that are all the same and generic, and then all given a huge coat of different paint and decorated differently, but they’re still the same sculptures behind the decoration. Now I am exaggerating, teams and players do feel slightly different but, really not that different and once you start playing the same game every year which FIFA is starting to feel like the same game every year, and then play PES this year which blows fifa out of the water in terms of gameplay and player likeness, you really start to look at fifa in a different light.

Now this isn’t a FIFA vs PES article, this is a review of FIFA, but I will have to sometimes throw in comparisons, because the differences in PES to FIFA has made the issues in FIFA seem a lot more apparent, and using PES as an example shows a good scale of things.

AI drastically needs a huge overhaul rather than little tweaks each year. The AI is just dull, unhuman like and still fairly dumb and unintuitive. The AI in terms of your team mates have been improved, it’s actually not too bad but it could be better. Player runs are fairly inconsistent, sometimes they can be clever and actually for the first time this year very instant, and then other times they either stand around like clowns or make stupid runs and give you no options and instead of running into space, run into marked areas. In fairness to the game, the team mate AI seems to vary based on the modes I play, the team I use, and what I have done to the gameplay sliders in offline play. I think the team mate AI has improved a lot since say fifa 14, but I still think it could be a lot better. Something I don’t seem to like and never have is how the AI doesn’t respond to your tactics, formations and instructions that accurately or effectively which almost makes tactics and instructions more of a gimmick than something actually useful. Players won’t do the things you want them to do in the instructions such as giving a winger the free roam ability, you only occasionally see them in the centre but most of the time they will still be glued to the position they are set at, especially when the ball goes out of play. This makes world class players playing on the wing feel wasted. In terms of tactics and team mentalities such as “ultra attacking” or “all out attack”, they don’t feel that different to “balanced”. You will notice fullbacks pushing forwards and players making a few more forward runs, but notice how I said a few. All out attack for example you would expect the whole team rushing forward with movement from everywhere but that does not happen and most of the time what I have noticed is your defenders push up higher and sometimes join in the attack but the midfield and strikers are still stale in movement and then what happens is you get punished on the counter attack. Formations do work very well in Fifa and have done for many fifas which is something they have done well, but it does have a strange sort of trigger in career mode which I will get into later.

I believe the tactics etc would make a huge difference if the teammate AI were significantly improved. UT team chemistry can sometimes massively improve your team mates AI, or more of the fact that they actually move, not so much the AI being smarter but just more lively and actually helpful in that fact. Sometimes in certain matches, again to do with changing formations too in career mode will suddenly make team mate AI more up for it. It probably explains why so many FIFA players believe matches are scripted.

So that is just the team mate AI, I haven’t even started on the opposing team AI. This is something that needs to be completely overhauled and it is appalling how dull and generic playing against the AI is. It comes across that the developers believe more people will play online head to head and UT online so they didn’t need to prioritise the AI and never really looked at changing it. What they don’t realise is there is a huge community that care more for playing offline mainly for the Career Mode, such as myself. I won’t get into it on my review but Ultimate team and playing strangers online in random matches in head to head, really isn’t my cup of tea anymore, and I only enjoy online matches these days against a friend.

Opposing AI lacks any characteristic and charm about it. It is so boring to play against that it actually makes the gameplay feel that even more dull and has really got to a point for me where it actually significantly lowers the quality of enjoyment of Career Mode and is making the mode become stale very fast.

If I go back to my point about the game not capturing the player likeness in gameplay very well, it is very, very apparent with how the computer plays with teams and players. A criticism I have had year after year about FIFA and playing against the AI, is how they just do not play anything like the team does in real life, the players don’t play anything like they do either. You get this general feel that every player on the pitch is the same and either poses equal amount of threat or no threat at all. It is quite evident when you start seeing defenders score screamers or defensive midfielders wiggle through your defence like they’re Messi. Something I like about PES is how you could be all over a team but if you know they have a world class player upfront such as Tevez for example, you know he’s capable of anything and is always a threat, and then he will do something really unexpected and score a goal he had no right to score… and you’re left thinking to be fair I could imagine Tevez doing something like that, for f**k*** sake Tevez, which by the way the computer scored. You don’t feel like that with FIFA’s AI, you don’t feel like that player had just done that against you, you just feel like the computer scored against you, if that makes any sense.

The AI also seems to play the same style of boring football against you every single game no matter what team they are, and the only time you ever see the computer play differently is literally when the next FIFA comes out, where they will tweak the AI to play slightly differently in the next iteration of FIFA. For example in this years FIFA the AI seems to love to knock the ball really far forward and sprint onto it, whilst they didn’t do that last year. The odd occasion you will play the computer where they are really aggressive and the match feels scripted, usually in cup matches. The general type of match you play when playing on world class and above is, you will dominate the game, but struggle to score and break their defence, they will either not get a shot off, get some shots off and miss or get one chance and score it and you’ll lose. Sometimes you can scrape the win, but you never have a really easy high goal scoring win, or even a high goalscoring thriller. If you play around with the gameplay sliders to adjust how the computer plays, it does help, and you can make them easier to breakdown but be more attackive, but it doesn’t seem as effective this year. This basically means now pretty much every match you go into no matter who you play, you play a type of game where they park the bus and hit you on the counter. It is boring, and not just that but also very repetitive. I want to see teams play differently, positive football. Maybe some teams can play that style but not every team. It is a huge issue for me personally.

Playing on world class is unbelievably unfair. Now the computer doesn’t actually seem better than me by skill, it doesn’t play that much differently from professional either. The main difference is that the computer on world class can read everything you do in milliseconds, faster than what any human player could do because of how long the game would take to respond to your input. They close you down, and read what you do instantly and lock onto you like homing missiles and perfectly tackle you every time. It gets to a point where their players genuinely feel like they all have better attributes than your players despite who you are playing against. It feels like the difficulties don’t take into account player attributes. Players on world class will be stronger and faster than you, meaning beating players is difficult and you will be 2nd best to so much. Winning headers in their box is also really difficult, they will perfectly time the defensive header almost all the time.

Playing it on a easier difficulty just makes the game equally as boring, although it is quite fun to actually be able to beat players and be able to play the football you want to play because the computer isn’t so unfairly fast at reacting to your move, it also becomes no challenge after a while which gets boring, you may score goals but you will never concede a goal and pretty much win every game comfortably which gets equally as repetitive.

I actually remember the late PS2 Fifas started having different styles of play, PS2 AI could even achieve it, I think if I remember correctly, when they introduced tactics and team chemistry into career mode, which by the way needs to return. Now something else I could settle for is even just making the AI play in a more human like manner. The way the AI defends for example is in a way that near enough no one can play like, they lock onto you like homing missiles and tackle you, their players respond instantly whilst you have to select the player first to be able to win the ball, they can lock onto you and take the ball from you faster than you can actually turn thanks to the sluggish controls that don’t help.

The AI needs a massive overhaul, it’s a simple as that. As it stands it makes the game offline very dull, repetitive and frustrating.

Referees can get decisions wrong, and players can also make mistakes. Some people find this very frustrating, now I don’t know if this is a game error or it is intentionally put here for authenticity purposes. I am perfectly fine with it happening, because it happens in real football, sometimes things can go against you and sometimes things can go your way. However I have to admit if this is put in intentionally, it needs to be removed from online, element of luck in competitive play is not cool at all.

The gameplay online works well as usual, most of the time you do not get input lag, although you do sometimes get your players making really dumb decisions and screwing you over, otherwise known as getting “EA’d” or ‘fifa bs goals”. However playing against humans is so much more enjoyable and you actually get a fair chance of scoring, although the balance of the improved defence but still poor dribbling and pace not being a big factor anymore, means you get more boring matches even online sometimes.

Goalkeepers still also feel really overpowered in my opinion and feel quite unrealistic to me. Especially when it comes to lower rated goalkeepers, I feel like most of the saves you see on FIFA, you only should be seeing from world class goalkeepers. I also hate how they continuously make great saves every single matches especially noticeable when playing against the computer, when in reality, you don’t see that every game which is what makes the great save so dramatic. You just don’t get that in fifa, it doesn’t feel realistic at all. It’s even worse when you do eventually go up against a top keeper such as Neuer, who is unbelievably overpowered. It’s like having superman in goal, everything he does is superhuman.

The game can be very enjoyable at times however, it can sometimes play a decent game of football, and nice moves can be created. The game shines when goals are scored, that’s when you start to take enjoyment from the game and the variety of goals you can score is good.

The thing about FIFA is it’s all about the goals, the goals and shooting is the best thing about FIFA, playing a goalless draw feels like you have wasted your time and you feel unsatisfied with the match, whilst for example again with PES, you still actually enjoyed the match with a goalless draw and always feel like you took enjoyment out of it regardless of the result. That’s because every area of the pitch feels fun, whilst I don’t feel that way with FIFA this year.

The gameplay as a whole for fifa 16 isn’t bad, it can play a decent game of football, it just isn’t great, it isn’t anything amazing but it’s still enjoyable despite all the criticism I have given.

I may sound like I am being very harsh and critical and just picking at small things, but for me it’s gradually over the years becoming more and more of an issue purely because they still remain after all the years. The gameplay is becoming more and more stale each year in my opinion. However I don’t want to sound like I am saying the gameplay is awful and the game is awful, because I understand that’s what the review is now coming across like. It is not an awful game, the gameplay is solid, but nothing to shout about. For me it is more of the fact that I buy FIFA every year and I am starting to see how stagnated the game is becoming since fifa 14.

Presentation – The presentation is absolutely fantastic in FIFA. They capture the look and aesthetic of the sport to a tee. It is done so well that it is really the major selling point of the franchise. It is what attracts so many people to buy it in my opinion. The presentation is the best reason to own FIFA in comparison to everyone else. No one does it better. Having all the licenses is what gives it such a edge and advantage over any other football franchise and they make great use of the licences in the game.

One new presentation feature that I really like in particular is the ability to have a stadium of your choice from the huge catalogue of stadiums as the dynamic background

Menus are slick throughout all the modes. Career mode apart from a few features, which I will get into, have a great interface and I enjoy the way that is laid out. Ultimate Team seems to be slightly smoother with the cool team management screen being an actual pitch of the stadium in the background that it seamlessly transitions from different angles of the stadiums here too.

I really like this presentation style, something the football manager games used to have and can still do if you add it yourself in the user files, is having pictures of the stadiums as the background on screen when viewing a team or playing a match. I used to like that, and now in fifa it is dynamic and an actual 3d alive background which I think is an excellent touch and makes even better use out of the huge amount of licenced stadiums in the game.

Commentary is good on the most part, the dialog is definitely there and on the most part is accurate too, for example when the keeper makes a good save, it is a good save, unlike football games of the past that would scream what a great save when the keeper has simply caught the ball. The sheer amount of dialog and detail the commentators go into is fantastic. Commentary is from the fairly dull and monotone Martin Tyler and fairly irritating Alan Smith, but they are trying to replicate sky sports with some of the presentation so I understand why they are the chosen commentators.

Graphics are solid, although I still think the graphics could look better on these generations of consoles, they certainly aren’t bad and the stadiums look great. The lighting and weather also looks pretty nice, however no dynamic lighting or true dynamic weather is in the game still, although it really seems like this year has all the weather and time of day options set up for it, so I am fully expecting the next FIFA to have this.

I am a big fan of little aesthetic attentions to detail, it adds so much more authenticity and believability. FIFA of recent years are starting to get it right. Having all the premier league stadiums is an amazing achievement to have in a football game and a dream come true, gone are the days of having to assign generic stadiums to premier league teams imagining that’s their ground, which by the way, FIFA also has a huge variety of generic stadiums to pick from that are assigned to the huge roster of teams, to those teams not fortunate enough to have their ground in the game. The stadiums also now look to have the correct distance from the stadium to pitch, and I also think it’s really cool how the advertisement boards are electronic and dynamically change like in real football but are also actual real advertisements from what you see from that stadium in real football. For example White Hart Lane will advertise the website or twitter etc. Whilst Crystal Palace will advertise their shirt sponsor Mansion, etc. It’s little touches like this that really charm me in terms of the presentation of the game.

Premier League HUD and different colour schemed HUD’s based off the competition you are playing in is also a neat touch, this year has the addition of displaying the competition you are playing in just under the score at the top. I like this.

Player faces are good, not amazing, they still look a little bit plastic and robotic emotionally, but they on the most part look identical to the real life counterpart. As a whole though, players look great.

Audio is very impressive this year, with the commentary as said is top notch but the crowd atmosphere is brilliant thanks to the work of EA travelling around matches and recording real chants adding over 1200 chants. The music is great as per usual, you wouldn’t expect anything less as FIFA always has bangers every year. Whoever finds the music for each year’s FIFA needs some recognition by the way.

It’s a real shame this year, the presentation is fantastic and finally they have every stadium you could want, as an English topflight football fan, (they even have league 2 side Portsmouth’s ground Fratton Park, which is dam impressive, and for a good cause.) As soon as they finally nail the authenticity of the game, looks and sound wise, they fail to nail the gameplay.

Fifa Ultimate Team – A mode that was genius back in FIFA 09, a mode that eventually had features and depth added to it back in Fifa 12. Now it is becoming a mode that is the same thing every year, with tiny changes that actually point towards EA wanting more money rather than actually making a better experience for us.

This mode has been abused, plain and simple. The concept of the mode is fantastic, hence why it is so popular and addictive, but it has become extremely stale for me and the grind is getting larger and larger every year.

It is very apparent that the game revolves around gold packs, and essentially spending real money on them. Gambling real money for players that mean nothing. The odds are always against you, and this is where I begin with how I have a problem with this mode.

EA do not reward you, and instead stick the knife in your back several times in this mode. The reward is so poor for actually achieving things in the mode, and it has been like this for years and it is no different this year, if anything worse.

Winning tournaments, winning leagues, winning matches, pays out so poorly. Players are too expensive, they expect you to grind out 1000s of matches to get the top players… or spend FIFA points with real money to gamble away your money on getting useless players to you 90% of the time. Winning events can reward you with gold packs, for you only to get nothing.

FUT Draft is a gimmicky joke of a feature within the mode. Here you get to pick a superstar dream team of all the best players, I had Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo in my team. Then if you win 4 matches in a row (essentially a glorified disguised knockout tournament) you win gold packs! Yes you do all that.. for gold packs.. you spend a good hour grinding it out to get 2 measly gold packs to.. you guessed it.. get nothing. It gets better, the first time is free entry. Afterwards it costs 15000 coins or 300 fifa points. Yes as steep as that. Where in the world is the logic in that? So basically you could spend 300 fifa points or 15000 gold coins to buy 2 premium gold packs… orrr you could grind out FUT Draft for an hour without being guaranteed to win all 4 games to get the 2 packs. Hmm.. I wonder what you would do? There is zero logic in this mode. Other than to try out the best players, but why would you spend an expensive price just to try out the top players?

The biggest problem with UT by far is how unbalanced the reward system in the game is, and how it favours EA and unfavours the players, the player is not rewarded at all. Coins for winning matches is measly, winning tournaments is measly, players are too expensive, gold pack odds of getting anyone interesting is so so low, and everything is a long grind only to find that the next FIFA is out by the time you have grinded out the team you want. You are playing a mode where the odds are against you. Yes I know you can buy coin boosts in the catalogue with in game money without spending real money, but it still doesn’t justify much.

Not to mention how the competitions in the game are lifeless and lack depth in my opinion, the game does not favour you. My two cents is to just stay away from this mode, it’s an evil mode, designed to take your money, designed for them to make tons of money. Yes it is a fun, addictive mode, but it is just not worth it and for me the fun has diminished.

EA really need to rethink how to treat UT players and need to overhaul the mode and add more depth to it.

Career Mode – A mode that is the real meat to Fifa in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons why many people and myself play FIFA. Without a doubt the 2nd most popular mode in FIFA, 2nd to ultimate team. We have not seen any major changes to the mode for years, this has been disappointing, and this year is the first time we have seen any attention given to the mode for a few years now.

I really like career mode, I think it is the life and soul of FIFA for me. In fact in any football game. I love to have an immersive simulation of the real football world and be able to create my own story. Career mode has depth, thanks to the massive amount of teams and players FIFA has and the brilliant amount of stadiums in the game now. It has always had enough meat to keep me happy, but it was always just enough, never amazing or mindblowing. Career mode for me has never been amazing, but enjoyable still and I still dig into it for seasons upon seasons. However over the years I am growing tiresome of it, due to the fact of it being the same thing every year with no real depth being added to it.

Firstly I want to talk about the new features they have added.

Pre season tournaments – Now in my opinion I believe this feature was incredibly overhyped and over marketed. All it is, is friendly matches, with a stick of paint over it and put into a tournament. Yes you get to play in a variety of stadiums based on the location you are playing at which is nice, but it’s still just friendlies but just a little bit less generic. The AI plays with much more intensity, with the computer being much more difficult to play against in pre season tournaments for some reason, with them being far more aggressive both defensively and attackively. For me though, it’s a feature that really doesn’t bother me, and although you can win money to boost your transfer budget, which is something that may give incentive to try and win it, it doesn’t actually make career mode massively better and I wouldn’t miss it if the feature never made it or got removed.

Player training & player growth – This is a great addition to career mode, I really do like it and am glad it’s a feature in career mode now. However it is flawed, flawed based off the fact that the player growth system is scripted, which I will get into in a bit. Firstly lets talk about how useful and enjoyable the feature is.

FIFA have finally made constructive use of the well crafted skill games they have in FIFA. You have 5 slots to use per week, the choice is to either use 5 players in them slots, or one player to 5 slots, or somewhere in between such as 1 player on two slots, one player on one slot and another on the last two slots. This is what I often do, and works best for me. You then select training drills/skill games to assign to the player which will boost their attributes in that field, for example doing a particular passing drill will increase short pass and vision. Etc etc. XP is then awarded to the attributes until the bar fills full to level up the attribute, for example shooting from 79 to 80. How much XP you get will be determined based off how well you do in the skill game. I really like this idea, it reminds me of virtua tennis. Eventually it will naturally get repetitive, which is ok, I will usually play the skill games during pre season or on a international break or just when I’m in the mood to do some. During the course of most of your season you will usually simulate the training session which is great that you can do that too or it would have become far to tedious. When simulated, it will merely roll a dice on how well they will do, basically like it does with match simulating.

This is great, because you now have the power to choose who you want to see grow, and throughout the course of the season you will see how effective it is and how much you can really boost a players rating, almost so well it could be argued it’s overpowered but I am totally fine with that, it spices it up. You can always vary the players up so that it doesn’t become unauthentic and a player doesn’t get too good.

However, you start to realise how you don’t entirely have the power to determine who gets good and who doesn’t because of the scripted player growth system that still exists in FIFA Career Mode.

Lets go over the scripted player growth system that has existed in FIFA for years, a huge flaw for me. Some players will grow really fast, some players will grow to really high ratings, and others won’t grow at all or won’t grow to high ratings. This is based off whatever EA have assigned to players and whoever EA believe will be great and who they believe won’t be. Players DO NOT grow based off of what they actually do in your career mode, they do not grow based off how well or bad they perform in matches throughout the season. This takes away the realism, and freedom of being able to determine how good a player will be. This style of growth system also damages the realism and transfer ability, which I will also get to.

I have tested this and players with a high average match rating, good goal or assist to match ratio, can often not grow, whilst players who have been awful for you will still grow regardless. By the way the players are similar age. This makes no sense, it is complete random, or more so, scripted. Players that are supposed to be good will always grow to be a really high rating regardless of how bad they can play, because no matter what, it appears to have been programmed into the game for them to end up to be that rating.

With the training in mind, yes you do have the freedom to pick and choose the players you want to grow which is great. However knowing that there is a player that will grow to a really high rating, and knowing the player you want to see grow, will never be as high of a rating as the other player that is destined no matter what to have a high rating, makes you think, “what if I put the higher player growth potential player in the training slots instead?” It’s knowing that you are missing out by not putting the scripted player growth player but knowing that if you did, it wouldn’t feel realistic to you. That is a problem to me.

Now this flaw carries through the whole experience of career mode. Players not developing based off their performances are an issue.

Let’s throw some real football examples to show you how this is flawed the way it is. Gareth Bale, he became a world superstar and the most expensive player from his actions. Scoring a hat-trik in Milan made the whole world talk about him, he made a name for himself in the champions league. The next season he went on to be a fantastic player for Tottenham. Certainly after that, on the next iteration of fifa, Bale’s ratings significantly improved. Bale then went on to have the season of his life scoring countless amounts of world class last minute goals, winning PFA and scoring 30 goals in 53 games that season. He reached his potential through his actions. Bale’s ratings in FIFA went up yearly based off his actual performances.

Lets now compare that to youngsters that didn’t live up to their potential. Stuart Downing, dubbed to be a world class player in the making, seen as England’s wonder kid. He then went on to disappoint and fail at clubs having a average match rating of… and only having 2 assist all season for Liverpool. His career nosedived, he never reached the potential he could have had. If we go back to a time where Bale was written off because of poor early performances for spurs and Downing was almost considered to be a solution to spurs and better than Bale. Now if this was FIFA, Bale would not grow and Downing would grow to be a 85, even though downing had only … in …. Games, it doesn’t matter, because he’s destined to be a great player. Downing never became a 85 on FIFA, because he never proved it in his actions on the pitch in real life. Whilst on FIFA career mode, players will grow without having to prove and justify their rating. An overall rating and player attributes that they grow into should not only be determined based off what EA think/ have programmed, it should be based off what happens in your career mode. Yes I think players should have potential growth meaning that if players play well, certain players could grow higher than others because of their potential, but we should not be seeing players grow even when they’ve done naff all, all season. At least not grow much anyway.

Transfers and Global Transfer Network-

Now this flaw carries into buying players.

Something clubs do in real life, is look at players based off how their season went, it often happens. How many times do you see clubs chase a striker after he has had an amazing season scoring so many goals in one season? The way most players move to big clubs is because of how well they’ve been performing for their club. It means that you will assume that if they are capable of scoring x amount of goals or completing x amount of tackles a match in a season, you would then understand they must be a good player. However this mentality does not apply to FIFA.

Thanks to the terrible scouting system, you have to really snoop around for players in a chore like manner. With player overalls and player attributes not being entirely revealed, it narrows your options, even to choose who to scout if you don’t know the players in that league or whatever is just like picking a name out of a hat really. You would not be able to look up a player and see that he has scored 20 goals in that season and then think, yea he will have grown a lot or he will have a good rating, it just doesn’t reflect that. You wont be able to buy a player based off these kind of statistics, not to mention that statistics in FIFA career mode is very limited and there is no option to look that up outside of your league.

This also applies to your scouts, how they don’t give you relevant or actual useful suggestions half the time. Wouldn’t it be nice if a scout could throw some players at you based off your search criteria, but search the best possible results based on who they think is good enough and realistic of actually signing with their actual input? So they could say, this player would be a good addition to the squad, he adds pace to the team up front which we do not have. Or this player would be a good addition and has had a great season last season scoring over 20 goals.

What you get instead is a un user friendly scouting system that just feels like a grind and a chore. They made it harder to find players to make it more realistic, but what they have given you in return is a very half assed feature and nothing has been properly improved since they have done this to career mode. You must assign various scouts to different countries to find players, you then give them a search criteria which is very bland and limited by the way (Where is the search for players within my transfer budget?). They come back and give you a huge list of players together from the different countries you have sent them out to. What ends up happening is you see unrealistic potential buys come up from the big clubs that you will never be able to afford,(fro example being league 2 side portsmouth and the scout coming back suggesting to buy Yaya Toure, Wayne Rooney or Serguio Arguero...What?) or a huge a bunch of players you don’t know and you don’t get given any detailed attributes on them with no overall rating. What is worse is how annoying the interface is. What is also very irritating is how simple things have been striped from the interface such as no option to look at the player bio from that menu meaning you cannot see their star rating of weak foot and skill moves, you can’t see what other positions they play either, which is baffling as you would think that would be a very big part of what you would also look for in a player is the other positions they can play. You have to add them to shortlist and then go onto shortlist just to look at their player bio, now it’s not a huge inconvenience but its more of an example of how lazy the interface of the “global scouting network” is.

I don’t like it and never have. I think that whole system needs a rework, now I don’t know exactly how they should go about that, but at the very least, why not give us a scout that will actually act like a real scout and have their own opinion and input on what the player can offer? If failing that, at least give us an option to turn off the whole feature and go back to the legacy arcadey way of finding players. Which is having a search filter with all attributes revealed including overall rating.

Now with enough patience, you can use the global transfer network to eventually find players, however even just little things get in the way such as no ability to filter/sort the results you have received from your scouts for example, sort by country, by league, by age etc. Would just be a little bit more helpful. It could also help you find the players you would be more realistically looking for. Thankfully though it is much more bearable now with the game being a bit more lenient on the system, players don’t take no where near as long to scout anymore and the stats don’t expire until a year now. I can actually put up with and somewhat embrace the whole transfer network system this year because of this change.

Transfers as a whole are still solid, with the player wages and transfer fees required to sign players increased, it is now more challenging to sign players at times which actually is a good thing and I like this. I still really enjoy signing players in career mode which is naturally the main life and blood of the mode. Your adviser or scout also gives input on transfers saying how much you should bid to get him, an example of how it would be nice to have that kind of input in the players that the scout finds before you buy them, give you a bit of advice who to scout further like I said earlier.

The transfer market around you still seem a little bit over the top and scripted, the same stereotyped players move around, and the same transfer stories seem to develop which again doesn’t seem to be based off a teams performance too much. That is slightly disappointing and I would like to see that overhauled too in the future to the level of football manager, but it isn’t a major concern at the moment and is solid enough for now. I do wish the interface was tweaked though, I want to see a bigger summary of what’s happened in the transfer market from all clubs!


Career Mode does not feel very tactical, when you compare the depth of tactics Football Manager has, FIFA is quite laughable. Most tactics as said before feel gimmicky, but formations have a weird trigger which has been in FIFA for years. I have noticed that, you will need to rock out two formations at least. Playing the same formation becomes stale for the team, players will suddenly start performing badly, not making runs, and teammates don’t seem interested. Whilst if you play a new formation that works for your players, it sets off this weird trigger where everyone suddenly becomes interested and everyone is moving around into space. Varying between different formations keeps your team fresh. Not in a sense of say football manager where your scout will recommend a formation to counter the style or formation of the opposing team, but more of a gimmicky way of not being able to rock out the same formation every match. That is a bit disappointing, not a huge issue but something I hope to see change or at least be tweaked in the future.

Career mode is still very solid, its still a good mode don’t get me wrong, the presentation is fantastic, plenty of content, the transfers are just about good enough and enjoyable, training mode is a nice addition and there’s a plentiful of competitions to be played. However it is now 2015, with the so called next gen consoles, I want to see the level of depth Football Manager has, now obviously granted the developers of FM have done an amazing job over the years, but I want to see EA striving to achieve what they have in Career Mode. The hardware is capable of it so there is absolutely no excuse, it was understandable in the past but now I expect there to be much more depth. It is even quite evident with the fact that the install file for FIFA is 25gb, which is half of what the disk storage has (50gb). Career mode kind of sums up Fifa as a whole for me, it is solid and can be enjoyable, I still enjoy it, even if I spend the majority of time simming matches than playing them now which says a lot about the game to be honest. It is starting to become quite stale however. Something that was great is becoming old pretty fast.

The presentation and Career Mode is the only thing that keeps this game still standing for me. The presentation with the plentiful content such as a huge selection of teams and players with so many stadiums, and a solid enough career mode that uses these foundations, keeps this game just about good enough to be a solid game at best. With Ultimate team being a complete cash cow that seems to steer more and more towards being a cashcow every year, with very gimmicky “innovations” in the mode, and the addition of womens football being a gimmicky mode in my personal opinion because It doesn’t interest me, and only has a few selections of teams with that only being international teams. FIFA is starting to slide down a slippery slope and will become a very mediocre game in no time if things are not changed. The gameplay, and the modes such as Career Mode and Ultimate Team, need overhauls.

FIFA is starting to become a franchise that is living up to its stereotype. The stereotype from non football fan gamers that claim it’s the same thing every year with new roster updates. Something I used to defend FIFA to the ground and how impressed I was with how much improvement the game could go through from just 1 year of development each year has now hit a stagnated wall for a few years now, and less and less effort towards actually changing the game is happening. It’s not a bad game, it’s a decent game, but it’s just not that great either and a fantastic franchise just really isn’t that fantastic anymore, it’s become a stale game that needs change. EA may have monopolised the football game market with the licences and powerful marketing tools, but despite that, gamers are starting to have reason to look elsewhere, the game is starting to give you a reason to look at something else with PES around the corner really gunning for top spot again and looking to be a serious future contender, EA will definitely have to up their game with next years FIFA because this years just hasn’t been good enough and it hasn’t been for quite sometime.

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