FIFA 16: Ultimate Team Meets Pokemon Lottery

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Summary

FIFA 16: Ultimate Team isn’t a terrible game, but it’s not really moving along either. While consoles’ FIFA continues to evolve with every release, when it comes to mobile, the game feels the same as it did 6 years ago.

70%
70
Not bad

This is a game based on a franchise that will never really change. EA has been in charge of rolling out similar releases year after year, and FIFA hasn’t been doing a decent job of revamping itself for those who are all about the modern era.

FIFA 16: Ultimate Team is no longer just “play with your friends after a night of bar-hopping” simulation that has been successfully selling millions of copies for years. Instead, it now attempts to adopt mechanics of free-to-play games, which has turned FIFA into something similar to a Pokemon lottery.

Free-to-football

FIFA 16: The Ultimate Team squad builder

You will purchase packs of random players and attempt to piece them all together to form the ultimate team. And it has proven to be popular on gaming consoles. By taking away player’s complete control over the team, FIFA has gained additional challenge, and it really depends on your skill to create a strategy that works. Or on your wallet, should you wish so.

The players’ abilities improve only if you construct your teams smartly. Members of the same nationality will do best when they play next to each other, and it’s recommended to line up club teammates as well. It is basically like solving a Rubik’s cube − moving players around can mess up your team. It is because of this balance that people keep on purchasing new packs. Team management turned out to be a great mechanic that overshadows the actual gameplay of football.

FIFA 16 gameplay

Using virtual buttons and movable thumb stick to tackle, shoot, and pass seems a little loose, and it feels like the game is always giving you a helping hand to achieve what you are going for. You can easily find holes in your rival’s defense that will let you through, or they simply won’t tackle you as you make the run.

The whole game feels like a compromise, which probably explains why the lucrative Ultimate Team feature is now EA’s top priority. Since it is so addictive, it can practically be its own product. Thankfully, the development team had a commercial sense to wrap it in other mechanics, like one-off matches and online tournaments.

Verdict

FIFA 16: The Ultimate Team on mobile

So is it a decent game? Not entirely. FIFA 16: Ultimate Team is an addictive package, but it feels like a game stuck in the mud, with loose gameplay that hasn’t really progressed over the years. There needs to be more effort spent on the actual football part in the future releases, instead of promoting the free-to-play model.

Get FIFA 16 on App Store | Free Get FIFA 16 on Google Play | Free