I’ve played another session since the above screenshot was taken, a session in which I had several ruinous draws and a defeat and slipped down to the bottom end of the playoff places.
Seasons in Career Mode are incredibly long, so there’s some way to go.
My target for FIFA16 is promotion at the first time of asking – hence keeping it on Professional. Which I would be doing anyway, as I’m not finding Professional easy at all. The low-quality players really ‘shine’ through. I’m having an old-school ML Default-type experience here in FIFA16 in Career Mode, and loving it.
Gameplay is sometimes rather stodgy, in a way that negatively reminds me of FIFA14, but that accounts for perhaps 5% of the overall experience. The remaining 95% is composed of really deep, really satisfying, really engrossing football gameplay.
Going 1-0 down in FIFA16 with a team of knackered League 1 players on the pitch, and then going down to 10 men, really poses a problem. ‘How on Earth am I going to get back into this match?’
In many other recent football games, that wouldn’t be a problem at all. Getting back into the match would just happen. It would happen so routinely that you’d barely even notice.
The watchwords of recent football games are ‘fun’ and ‘flowing’. Which simply isn’t what football games should be all about, but I’ve already flogged that horse to death repeatedly.
FIFA16 is also surprisingly deep tactically. Moving the ATT/DEF levels (to use PES-style nomenclature) up and down using the d-pad is, in FIFA16, the most effective I’ve ever seen in any football game,
Keeping it on Defensive, or lower, pins your full-backs in their own half, seeing them rarely stray beyond the halfway line.
Increase it just a notch towards the Attacking side and your full-backs go haring down the wings. If you then concede possession, the AI will seek to exploit the space left by the marauding full-backs. Football 101.
All-out Attack sees every player camped out in and around the opposition penalty box – which invites devastating counter-attacks from the AI.
I’ve been having tight, tense matches, usually decided by the odd goal, or no goals at all. It’s a high quality football gaming experience. FIFA15 was a superb game, and so is FIFA16, so much so that I believe anybody who thinks differently must have an agenda other than football gaming itself.
As late as the 1970s there were still Japanese soldiers in the wild who refused to acknowledge wartime surrender. Today there are still self-styled hardcore PES fans living in the depths of the jungle who refuse to acknowledge any value in FIFA. It’s all about identity, in my opinion. They want to express the kind of individual and group identity that ‘we’ used to have, way back in the day. Sadly, that identity pretty much died on the day PES2008 came out.