With not long to go until FIFA 16’s release, I don’t feel particularly excited by the release of it. Having switched back from PES in 2007, the FIFA series has always improved from its predecessor, but I didn’t feel that way with FIFA 15, and I aren’t too optimistic for 16. Here are some changes I would like to see from future FIFA titles, starting this September.
I might as well start with my biggest criticism of the FIFA 15 gameplay. Goalkeepers. Yes, they can pull off spectacular saves and one-on-one finishing has become more difficult, but there are ways to beat them and once you’ve figured it out, it’s easy to repeat. The near post finish: if you take the ball slightly to the side of the goalkeeper, it becomes so easy to slot the ball underneath him, or to the side of him. It’s a fundamental necessity of any goalkeeper to be solid at his near post, and while being unbeatable there would be absurd, to be beaten eight or nine times out of ten is just too easy. Crosses/Corners: I’ve often seen goalkeepers come out for crosses, only to get stuck and end up in an awful position whereby the striker for the opposition is left with an empty net to tap home. When it works for you it’s great, but when it goes against you there is nothing more frustrating than seeing your keeper gift the opposition a cheap goal.
For me, Pro Clubs is the game mode with the most potential. I love the idea of building your player up by scoring goals, contributing assists or making successful tackles. But the process has been the same for a few years now, and does it begin to lose its appeal as a result? I would love to have the addition of a coins based system, similar to Ultimate Team. With this system, you could buy computer-controlled players for each position, and their stats would built based on their performances within a game. The coin system could allow you to purchase a stadium, design a jersey, and create your own club emblem to give it a personal feeling. At the moment, creating a stadium name and a team name just isn’t enough. CPU intelligence could do with another minor push, as they had from FIFA 14 to FIFA 15, but once again they need a little bit more.
The online friendlies needs a minor revamp. That revamp would come in the form of being able to play extra time and, if necessary, penalties against a friend. Having the choice between a league format and a one-off game would allow players to not play out a bore draw, adding more suspense to FIFA games.
Similar to my idea for Pro Clubs, I’d like more of a personal style to be imprinted on Ultimate Team. Creating your own jersey and crest would be nice. I’d also like a Champions League style group for this mode. When you reach Division 1, I would like there to be a European Division to run alongside your league campaign.
I played the 2014 World Cup game on PS3 and although that game had its flaws, I loved the concept of training in between matches, where you took control of your players during training sessions and it improved their stats for the upcoming game. Other than fatigue, this would give you another reason to make changes to your lineup.
Improved AI for career mode is a must. EA normally improve the quality of gameplay every year, but to make every game feel more unique would be welcomed greatly. Even adding changeable weather within a game would be a nice addition.
EA Sports radio channel, or something similar would be fantastic. This was on the 2014 World Cup game, and it was so interactive. I loved it as I could spend a bit of time in the career menu listening to the radio hosts, and there was enough content to stop it being too repetitive. The transfer system needs a revamp to make it more similar to a management simulator. I would like the addition of a loan back option, dealing with agents and enhanced contract offers. I would also like the option of discussing with the player what role he would have in your team, and to also see what your supporters think of your signings.
I hope I’m not the only person who finds the commentary to be so monotonous and dreary. The repeated stories of the World Cup and Mario Gotze’s winning goal, as well as the boring statistics of how many goals Lionel Messi has scored in the season. The commentary seems to improve every year, but I would like it to flow more naturally, rather than it being triggered by a shot on goal, or a foul. For career mode especially, I would love the choice of a different commentary team. Why would Martin Tyler and Alan Smith commentate on a game from the Football League? I think the choice of commentators like you had for international teams is a good idea.
BE A REFEREE MODE
I would be incredibly surprised if this mode came up in FIFA 16, but it’s not that bad an idea. Working your way up from Sunday League games, to youth teams, right the way to the Premier League. This game mode could be so much fun, and would offer a fresh alternative to the usual FIFA games.
Better analysis on goals. I remember when Andy Gray used to go in to great detail to analyse when you scored a goal, and it made scoring so much more exciting. These days, I just want to skip the replays, as I find it a chore to watch the slow motion replays being played over and over again.
The Brazilian League being omitted from FIFA 15 was a shame for hardcore career mode players. Brazil had some of the most exciting and enigmatic players available on the game. Often cheaper than players within Europe, the Brazilian League was a division where I loved to find new talent.
HANDBALLS AND DIVING
To add more realism to the game, is it that unreasonable to suggest adding handball’s and diving in to FIFA 16? PES 2008 had the buttons for diving, and while it was very rare that it paid off, it was so much fun to dive when there was nobody around you, or to attempt to con the referee while you were inside the penalty box. If you had the referee mode, you could referee a game between your friends and decide what is a dive and what isn’t. Imagine the fun that could be had. Handball is a tricky one. It was irritating when a penalty would be given against you if the ball came in from a corner and your player accidentally handled the ball. Bringing it back for FIFA 16 would increase realism, but perhaps it would be good as an optional feature in the settings menu.
MORE INTERNATIONAL TEAMS
Maybe just another 15-20 teams would suffice, to help you create your own World Cup tournament.
With the addition of the women’s international sides, I would like to see more of the men’s in FIFA 16.
LEGENDS FROM CATALOGUE
For the bigger teams in history. I like the idea of unlocking the Milan side of the later 80’s, Liverpool in the 70’s and 80’s, Arsenal’s invincibles of 2003, Barcelona’s side of the late 2000’s and Real Madrid’s side in the early 2000’s.
Currently, there is the Classic XI and that is it, so more content would be a welcome addition.
ONLINE CAREER MODE
Similar to a concept that Sports Interactive added in Football Manager, I would love the idea of a side-by-side career mode where you and a friend could take control of a team and play your games at the same time. The idea of battling against your friend for the Premier League title is an incredibly exciting prospect, and as a Football Manager player, the competition between you and a friend is so enjoyable.
Some of these ideas could be implemented, some of them probably won’t be. Either way, it won’t stop me buying the next instalment of the FIFA series, but this is just my wishlist for what I want from football games going forward. It’s important for FIFA to keep progressing and keep adding licenses to its franchise, while at the same time adding to what is an already impressive product.
Do you agree with some of Nathan’s ideas for the future of FIFA? Let us know in the comment section below.