It won’t be long before we start receiving information, screenshots and trailers about EA’s upcoming FIFA 16. We’ve certainly seen the franchise make some bold moves since it first began way back in 1993. However, the problem faced with any sport sim is that the rules are set, meaning they can’t be creative within this area. A storyline is something which is very important for the majority of games, however, this doesn’t apply to your typical sports title or the FIFA series. This leaves EA with all focus on attempting to improve presentation, accuracy, visuals and features on a yearly basis – easier said than done!
One of the biggest problems faced for football (soccer) fans is that they are presented with two real options each year. That’s because the FIFA game series has only got one real competitor, and that’s Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer franchise. Sadly for this genre, competition is usually regarded as a good thing, as it puts added pressure on to deliver something extra special. This is perhaps why we sometimes see a bunch of lacklustre releases, as EA know they’ll sell. The next big problem is that EA always have the upper hand, as they hold the full licence, meaning no competitor can use official kits and team names.
We’ve had FIFA 14 and FIFA 15 release on the PS4 so far, and whilst they were open to plenty of criticism, they do offer something that you won’t find elsewhere. One of the biggest problems is that you seem to run into a few too many bugs and errors. The visuals are decent, but definitely can be improved with this year’s release. However, there’s plenty of fun to be had with the first two releases, and they could be considered a stepping stone towards far better releases.
Let’s take a look at how EA could deliver their best soccer-sim yet with FIFA 16.
FIFA 16 needs to look jaw-dropping and take advantage of what the PS4 can truly offer. FIFA 15 didn’t give you that wow factor – too much motion blur and choppiness was of great annoyance. Whilst the presentation does look top quality, there is still massive amounts of room for improvement with player models and gameplay visuals.
More Official Stadiums
It’s not easy to accurately 3D model a stadium. However, EA are starting to grow their catalogue of official stadiums. Every team from the English Premier League featured official stadium status in FIFA 15. Could every stadium from the Spanish league be featured in FIFA 16? Perhaps. EA may also take the approach of adding a number from all of the mainstream football leagues outside of England: Spain, Germany, Italy and France. Whatever happens, expect more official stadiums.
Some managers are very animated whilst others are reserved – this should all be noticeable as you’re playing. It’s time that managers looked as realistic as they do in real life, along with their personalities and gestures. Take Jose Moreno as an example, he loves to get up and express his anger when things aren’t going well, and go crazy when his team has scored a goal. Managers can also trigger fan reactions, they sometimes go hand in hand.
Whilst the crowds are starting to look better than a bunch of 2D shapes, there’s still room for massive improvement. Take a real football game, if your team was losing a game 5-0, then many fans would be getting up and leaving – this is the type of thing that we need to see as it adds realism. What happens when a team lose a bunch of games in concession? They start turning on the manager, and this should be noticeable as you play. The crowd should behave differently, all with their very own reactions and expressions, and this shouldn’t be hard for EA to achieve – namely because of their The Sims franchise.
You’ve just scored that amazing goal, now it’s time to celebrate! Why should we be limited to the variety EA set? Those who own a PlayStation camera should be able to create their own custom celebrations. It would work by the camera capturing your movements, and then it would save as a celebration, which would be triggered by a button-punch combo of your choice. Your very own robot dance readily available for Messi to perform after scoring that amazing goal. Perhaps a celebration’s editor could also be included for those who don’t own a camera – although this wouldn’t be that easy to develop.
The real question is… are we set for one of those disappointing releases which offer nothing more than a player and team update? Hopefully not! Let’s hope that EA are working on something far more special with lots of new innovations that will leave fans with a huge smile. FIFA 16 is set for release on the 23rd of September 2015 and will be available for pre-order soon. Which features and innovations would you like to see? Leave your ideas in the comment box below!