EA can quite fairly claim to have again delivered the best football game ever made. But every year the developers seem to have less of an idea what that means. EA knows a thing or two about football statistics: the English Premier League's official performance index relies on numbers crunched by EA Sports. Those figures are used on a weekly basis to rate the performance of every single player in the league, data which can be fed back into FIFA to update the online rosters week in and week out. This is also a game that will challenge you, even as a seasoned player.
The AI is brutal, to say the least, with most breakaways ending in a goal, and this time around rather than being frustrated at conceding a goal that you felt was unfair, you will clearly be able to see why the goal was conceded. It might have been a defensive line caught out by a perfect pass, a defensive line creeping up too far or a man being left unmarked. This is a marked improvement to FIFA 14 where I often conceded goals that I felt were not necessarily realistic, especially when defenders were unable to obtain the ball with quality tackling. The goal is not to make you feel like a football manager or a central defender grinding out a tough one goal victory on a bitter winter night. That would be too realistic, and not exciting enough.Yes, the goalkeepers are vastly improved, but intentionally or otherwise, they seem to be equally prone to making the same howlers as their real life counterparts. It’s symptomatic of a general sloppiness you wouldn’t ordinarily associate with FIFA. Playing against the AI is frequently an exercise in frustration. Headed clearances are the most irritating of the game’s scripted moments: it doesn’t matter which position a defender is in, or how much pressure they’re under, they’ll always be able to head the ball a good 20-30 yards clear of the box. What’s worse is that this will frequently coincide with your midfielders haring towards the penalty area, leaving acres of field for your opponent to race into and prompt a dangerous counter-attack. It simply can’t be serendipity when it happens at least once every game.