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Release date: September 27, 2016
Developed by: EA Canada
It's a new year, new season and a new FIFA. But this time EA has really knocked it out of the park.
With the new Frostbite engine, which is also being used in games like Battlefield 1 and Star Wars Battlefront, the game now looks phenomenal. This year's FIFA gets a complete makeover including the cover art which now stars Marco Reus rather than Lionel Messi who's contract with EA ended last year. The set-piece system has also been revamped. You can now adjust the position of your player depending upon the position of the freekick, control your run up and even decide which foot you're going to use. Sometimes these freekicks might seem a bit unrealistic,but there is no denying the fact that when you score one in the top corner the satisfaction is immeasurable. To take a corner, you'll need to pick a target in the box by planting a jittering cursor in place, before kicking the ball in by controlling the power in order to make the ball curve or float. Penalties have also been given a makeover, and now you'll need to control the run up of your penalty taker with the analog stick while simultaneously adjusting the power of the shot. Overall the penalties are harder but more fun to score.
There has been improvement in the passing department. The passes are now more fluid and feel sharper. Finally, your midfield maestros like Mesut Özil can be fully utilized to their potential attacking threat. There have been some scenarios where your player fails to control or even touch the ball, behaving like a Sunday League football player. Defending like previous years is still a bit sluggish. Teams with fast players like Aubemeyang and Walcott can easily outrun these defenders when looking to deliver the perfect cross to their teammate in the middle. Shooting has improved to that extent that you feel completely satisfied when actually scoring those 40 yard screamers, unlike previous versions where whenever you got a chance could slot one home quite easily.
There are still some problems like last year's FIFA with the Goalkeeper AI which persist even now. These are the adjustments that have made the game more exciting unlike it's predecessor.
Now getting to the most exciting part, The Journey. Step into Alex Hunter's shoes and experience how it feels to be a footballer in the pro world. You start off the story in a match where Alex, our protagonist, is a boy looking to win the Under 11 regional cup, eventually appearing for the exit trials and trying to get a pro contract, initiating his football career. The Journey offers you a choice to play for your favourite English club along with your lifelong friend Gareth Walker who, as we advance through the story, gets affected by the fame and riches, becoming Alex's rival. Although The Journey somewhat feels like a clichéd, Marcus Rashford-esque story, it is still a nice change and a lot of fun to play.
Apart from The Journey, the most exciting mode, FIFA Ultimate Team returns. There are some new animations like the ‘walk-outs’ in the pack openings which only happen for high rated players.
In conclusion, The Journey mode really let’s you experience FIFA from a whole new different outlook but the accompanying gameplay tweaks aren't all for the better.
Reviewed by: Vrishabha Jinendra