*Left out other platforms because the game is different on those.
My current specs:
After installing the demo and starting it up you will be greeted by the usual FIFA launcher. This consists of Play, Game settings and exit. In game settings, you are allowed to use pretty much any resolution your monitor is capable of, windows, and full screen modes, low/high rendering quality, MSAA 2x/4x, 30/60/ 60+ FPS, and disabled Aero theme. During my time with the Demo I tried all the available options and decided to stick to 1280×720, Windowed, High Rendering, MSAA 2x, and 60fps when recording. While playing casually I set it to full screen with 1920×1080 resolution. I wish I could have kept all the settings on max while recording and playing casually, but my graphics card did not seem up to the task, so if you have a card similar to mine I’d like to recommend upgrading if you plan to play with higher settings.
After fully booting up the demo you will be greeted by a pretty nice, clean in game menu. This is a menu that I rather like, because the colours and fonts chosen for the menus this are warm and relaxing. Menus like these are also easy to navigate, just like those from the previous year, which is one thing that I’m happy that they kept. On the main menu you’re only able to play two modes, Kick off and ultimate team draft mode both modes allow for a lot of gameplay, which will allow you to get a proper feel for the game. The only mode that I wish was also included would be a training mode. There are trainings possible during loading screens, but I was unable to choose the trainings I wanted to focus on. Other than those modes there is a setting menu and one that shows you some slides with the features that will be present in the game, and also allows you to purchase it.
Before we start talking about gameplay it should be noted that FIFA 16’s demo seems to be an early build, as it still has players like Pedro and Illarramendi with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, so I doubt that some of the flaws that I’ve found in it will be present in the full release on 22nd. It should also be noted that the female teams do not have much differences in the way they play when compared to the blokes. The only difference I noticed was that the shouts during matches were very noticeably female sounding.
The Graphics of the overall game looks pretty good on maxed and lower settings. There’s nothing mind blowing about it visually, but as I’ve already stated they do look good, certainly a bit better than last year’s FIFA 15. However where this game does shines visually is with the animations, and faces. There were moments where I had to drop my controller to just say “wow, that looks just like Karim”, or “wow that’s exactly how Suárez would react”. These moments are pretty cool and I sure hope there are tons more of them in the finished game. Having them makes the game that much more authentic to us fans.
Another aspect that I noticed has gotten some more attention in demo were the chants. I could clearly hear some of the chants while playing, especially when playing with Real Madrid and the US women’s national team. I remember moments when I’d be pacing up the centre of the pitch with Megan Rapinoe and then the crowd would explode with “U-S-A, U-S-A!!” chants. I admit that made me pretty excited, and it influenced the way I played. When my team’s fans were behind me I felt that much more capable of scoring, and when I heard the rivals chants I felt the urge to drop my entire defense behind the ball like a human wall of sorts.
These feelings that I felt while playing were genuine, and they were helped even more so by the better controls and physics that I experienced while playing. I didn’t get a hang of the off the ball play, but Things like passing with purpose, and better player awareness/ positioning are huge game changers, and those that master them will be near unstoppable when the final product is released. Then there are the physics of the ball and players in motion. The way the ball moved, and the way in which players responded to it was so much better than that of FIFA 15. There were moments of bliss when I could pass the ball all the way from the centre of the pitch to a player near the opposing goal with passing with purpose, then cut back and cross it into the box with a deceptive curve, and then bury it into the opposing net. I’ve only played a few matches since I got the demo, and I’ve been able to produce these moments with relative easy on all difficulty setting. Some more frequently than others.
OK let’s start with one aspect that has been an issue that many have had with FIFA games for quite a while, which has not been addressed at all. That aspect is the commentary. The commentary for the game is just the same as the year before, and I don’t mean that they just keep saying the same things as last year, but rather that the commentary is not adaptive to what is going on the pitch. What we get Is a few generic pre-programmed quotes from Martin Tyler and Alan Smith, that get really old really fast. It’s always “the fans are giving Piqué a hard time”, or “let’s take a look again at that goal from Benzima”. None of which sounds natural after 2 games with the same teams, because trust me you’ve either heard it before in a previous FIFA game or you’ve heard it the first time you played with those teams in this game. What EA Sports needed to do was to make an adaptive commentary system similar to the ones used in 2K Sports games. I remember playing MLB 2k10 a few years ago and it still has better commentary than all the FIFA games I’ve played to date. EA Sports need to make it so that the things said during the match are about that match, about what the players are doing then, and not what they did a few months ago IRL. I want to be sold on the fantasy that my team is really playing a match on my monitor and not me just playing a game of my team playing a match. I highly doubt that the commentary will be any better in the finished game, but just to be the optimistic bloke that I am I’ll keep them fingers crossed.
The only other issues that I notices while playing were either related to my graphics card not being powerful enough to keep up with the frame rate, or some graphical inconsistencies like players lodging their appendages into each other. These however are issues that I believe will be either ironed out for the finished product, and or with better specs.
All in all I find that the FIFA 16 Demo does a lot more good changes than bad ones when compared to last year. After playing the demo I can confidently say that I’m really excited for the finished release on September 22nd, and you should be too.
if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.
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