Women’s football boosts FIFA’s potential for greatness from FIFA 15

fifa15coins Date: Jun/23/15 23:34:32 Views: 621

Paul Davies goes hands-on with USA Vs Germany, and discovers subtle changes in control and AI that lay a strong foundation for games to come.


The week that we played FIFA 16 timed perfectly awkwardly with corruption news at FIFA HQ. And, in a way, this only emphasised how much EA’s video game fantasy technicians were at odds with those engineering domino-effect disaster in the real world. It is long overdue, but the inclusion of women’s football points to how EA believes in the football ideal with all due respects being paid.


Women’s football is more than lip service for FIFA 16, as its inclusion signifies advancements in 3D modelling and gameplay subtleties. EA waited until its rendering technology was capable of creating the female physique rather than go ahead and include, pretty much, bloke bodies with female faces. 


Pacing with regards to physicality and finesse also came under the microscope, improving all team contributions across the length of the pitch. So, before moving on, let’s acknowledge the inclusion of women’s football as the milestone achievement it truly is; its limitation to international teams really only reflecting the truth of the marginalised league game in reality.


The evolution within FIFA this season is subtle but, it seems in practice, a very strong foundation for games to come. In blunt terms, the development team has set about plugging gaps in the midfield, ironing out frustrations in defence and adding a little more spectacle in the attack. This is achieved by new AI behaviour and subtle options in the control.


Starting from the back, goalkeepers behave more realistically owing to how their AI reads the game combined with animations that see them tipping the ball over the crossbar or narrowly preventing the ball from crossing the line by catching and holding it at arm’s length. The keepers can now rely on a defence that works more coherently together, providing support if a teammate is beaten so that fleet-footed strikers must work harder to create openings.


Across the midfield, players look for the interception with new animations to trap the ball midflight or stretching to block a speedy pass. To keep things balanced here, the attacking team has the new option to pass along the ground at speed at the risk of the receiver being unable to contain the pace. When the ball reaches the feet of the forwards, they can use the pace of the ball to run off it while dribbling, dropping a shoulder to wrong-foot defenders and continue toward goal.


The moment a player takes a shot on goal there are more variables affecting foot placement and momentum, which can result in absolute screamers or embarrassing howlers. The end result, EA hopes, is that players will be on their feet punching the air more often than they are head in hands and smacking sofa cushions. Will frustration owing to situations beyond control be relegated to the past?