Defend together, win together. Rely on your teammates to cover gaps when you close down an attacker. New defensive AI gives players better awareness of dangerous space on the pitch relative to the ball and their opponent. Your teammates will track back to stop sophisticated attacking runs, and close down angles of attack. Direct free-kicks aren’t all that common in FIFA 16. But if you draw a foul just outside the 18-yard box you’ll be treated to a short cutscene where the referee will march the defensive wall back the regulation 10 yards, before putting down a line of vanishing spray. It’s true to life, and the first couple of times it’s amusing to watch. You’ll probably notice the marks remain for a short while after the kick is taken before fading away. And yet I couldn’t help but wonder if the time taken to render all that might have been better spent elsewhere. With Konami hitting a series peak with PES 2016, it’s not a good year to be obsessing over minutiae like this, especially since it seems to come at the expense of EA Sports stepping back and considering the bigger picture. If last year was a closely fought contest in this long-running rivalry, this time there’s clear daylight between the two.
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