While the next FIFA World Cup isn't for another two years, many soccer fanatics will be assuaged by the release of EA Sports' FIFA 16.
As FIFA announced yesterday, FIFA 16 is selling well in North America since its release on Tuesday. Two new concepts are a big part of FIFA 16's initial success: no-touch dribbling and 12 women's national team rosters. The winner of the E3 2015 Game Critics Best Sports Game, another new feature in FIFA 16 helps those who are unfamiliar with the series that has been around since 1993, first appearing on the Sega Master System: a FIFA trainer, designed to help players of all skill levels.
Ever since winning the 2015 Women's World Cup, women's soccer in America (and all women's sports, really) have seen unprecedented popularity. FIFA 16 recognizes this and is capitalizing on it by featuring the reigning World Cup champions, as well as popular squads from Germany, Canada, and England, among others.But as Fox News points out, FIFA 16 is putting a big emphasis on the women's squads, despite the fact that they only account for 12 of the 650-plus playable teams on the recent EA Sports release. The U.S. releases, for example, will feature Alex Morgan alongside Lionel Messi on the FIFA 16 cover. The Canadian and Australian releases for FIFA 16 included their respective women's national team captains in place of Morgan. Japan, who the U.S. defeated in the World Cup finals, was left out.
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For the gamers who aren't especially impressed with the ability to play as a female -- last year's male-teams-only FIFA resulted in over 13 billion hours of online play -- the gameplay has improved as well. The feature causing the most buzz is the "no-touch dribbling" available for the first time in FIFA 16. As Matt Lawless for Mail Online described, the no touch dribbling "allows you to free yourself from the ball" so that you can "buy time and feint past your defender." The additional time given to players to create some separation and set up some skill moves are major bonuses for long-time FIFA players.There is one other thing that serious gamers are excited for -- the 2016 FIFA Interactive World Cup.
Along with FIFA 16, the FAQ at FIFA.com elaborates on what Guinness World Records: Gamers Edition has officially declared as the largest gaming tournament in the world. Giving someone the unofficial rights to the title of virtual soccer world champion, the online qualifying matches begin October 1. Involving three seasons and resulting in 31 tournament entrants, the FIFA 16 qualifiers end on January 1, 2016.
[Image credit Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]