So EA brought Pele onstage at E3, sat him in his rocking chair and gently encouraged him to ramble on about the “beautiful game”. Depending on your perspective, it was either three minutes we’ll never get back, or just the sort of pitch-level nerdiness a game named FIFA needs right now.
After that, they got into the meat of what’s in the game, as they say at EA Sports. Namely revamped defence, more options in midfield and better dribbling.
EA are promising the “most balanced FIFA yet”. That begins with more viable means to guard against strikers; the dev team have focused on providing better defensive shape to help take down attacks and counter-attacks.
Moving up the pitch, there’ll be more choices to make in the midfield. A Passing with Purpose feature – you can tell it’s capitalised from the way they enunciate – will enable you to play sharp passes and “slice through” defenders. And new Interception Intelligence will let you shut down the other team’s options.
Up front, there’ll be a greater assortment of skills and better dribbling to help create “menacing attacks”. Of particular note is the “no-touch” dribbling, inspired by Messi, that’ll encourage you play with opponents’ expectations.
For newcomers, there’s the upgraded FIFA Trainer – an optional tips setting in which advice on what buttons to press next hovers around the player you’re currently controlling.
On the appearance of female squads in FIFA 16, EA Sports VP David Rutter said: “We’ve been working on this for years, and it’s at the level of authenticity that FIFA’s known for thanks to our motion-capture technology. [It’s] something myself and the FIFA team are immensely proud of.”
FIFA 16 comes to PC in September, and more news on its features will dribble out over the course of the summer. Will you leave the bench for this one? Please reply in sporting metaphors only.