Before I get into how the women's football plays (no, I didn't forget), it's worth touching on a few other things. The ball physics (one of the best parts of FIFA 15) remain mostly the same, with some tweaks done to improve things further. Passing remains pretty good, natural and unpredictable, but the biggest impact of the aforementioned tweaks is on the shooting. A weak part of last year's outing; lashing the ball at goal now has a satisfying feel back to it. That's the biggest compliment I can pay it. Keepers, praise the FIFA gods, are much better too. Still the odd shot where you think they could've done better, but for the most part they are good. I didn't notice any worrying signs that were present at the same stage of FIFA 15 and later at gamescom. Visuals also seem to be better, with faces and character models looking more like their real life counterparts rather than professional wrestlers. This change, surprisingly, came about thanks to the inclusion of women's football, making the development team realise they need to improve the current modelling process. All for the better. Just like the introduction of the women's game.
Yes, that's right. I said for the better. I have to say I had a great time playing women's football in FIFA 16. Playing as either USA or Germany, I found the matches to be a bit more fluid and nimble compared to the men's game, graceful even. There was a clear difference, in a good way. That's not to say it was all nicey nice, not at all. There was still a physical element to matches, yet I still felt like I could play a good game of football, much like the rest of FIFA 16. This, as EA told us, is down to a different way of gathering the women's stats and getting them into the game. No details were revealed regarding the process, but whatever they did it worked a charm. Women's football is genuinely a great addition to FIFA 16, I enjoyed playing it much more than I thought I would. Also, the player models (wavy hair included) looked better than the guys. I'm not even joking. It's true.
So, yeah, there you have it. It's fair to say I left EA Guildford impressed with my first look and hands-on with FIFA 16. EA has focused less on the big name features and more on the core gameplay, the stuff that matters. It's like an evolution of FIFA 14, one of the best games in the series for a long time in my humble opinion. Well, on the PS4 anyway. It plays an enjoyable, balanced game of football. You now feel like if you know your football and want to play a passing game; you can do exactly that. Unlike FIFA 15, the midfield exists and it's not all about pace. Oh and you can defend with some confidence. Huzzah! I said this to the developers that were there, and I'll say it here too. I've been going to these things for a good few years now, and this is the best shape I've seen FIFA in at this early stage. Now it's just a case of not doing what EA somehow always do, toning things down or completely messing things up. If they don't do that, FIFA 16 could well be the best one in the series for years. Seriously, if anyone from EA is reading this, don't… Just don't. Please.