Perhaps more than ever, FIFA this year comes down to small details. If you have played the game last season, the visuals, the game modes, the action on land and means of interaction will be familiar immediately. Consequently, the learning curve in FIFA 15 is almost nonexistent. What is different is the degree of style and elegance with which everything is run, giving the game a sense of refinement that was lacking last season. If the game last year was a skeleton that FIFA wanted to achieve in this generation console, then consider FIFA 15 the first layer of meat on top of it.
is nowhere more evident than with the goalkeepers, including new animations instantly make it more realistic in terms of look and behavior. Their movements are more diverse, allowing skilled players to perform a series of spectacular gymnastics in an effort to keep the ball out of the net. More importantly, their movements allude to basic thought process of a guard, who did much to humanize the guards and shake that feeling of playing against pre-programmed machine.
If you are on purpose and-on-one with a goalkeeper, it is not uncommon to see the first rush of the posts and attacks, to decide that it is a bad idea and hightail it back to its line . Similarly, short of the goal to punch or catch the ball from a corner results in a lot of flashbacks when a guard realizes that it is a friendly supporter or opposition attacker will get there in first.
Although these actions create a seemingly dynamic environment in which players act and interact with each other without your direct input, they have little effect on the outcome of a match. There is a slight improvement in the ability of a goalkeeper to save long strikes, but they still tend to concede the same percentage of shots than last season; the overall impact on the gameplay was balanced in such a way as not to disturb the established difficulty of a goal net.
This is not a bad thing, however. FIFA has done a good job over the last half-decade to avoid regular instances of splits that look as if they belong to basketball or football. To change such a thing now would be to change the nature of an incredibly popular series. That said, it is now a bit easier to score the kind of goals you expect to see in a highlight reel end of the season. Goalkeepers may be much better off long shots, but really outrageous efforts seem to find the twine more often than you would expect.
On a number of occasions, I scored goals from the edge of the center circle, the ball directly zoom into the top corner with the precision of a guided missile or a Maradona hand. Arjen Robben and Yaya Touré seem particularly able to execute this kind of extravagance, with missed shots even back into play following a fumble by the keeper.
Training and ideology of the team you are playing against made a significant difference to whether you can mark these ridiculous shots, though. On the higher difficulty settings, AI teams radically change their approach depending on the circumstances. If you play like Manchester City in a Premier League game against a Burnley side struggling to avoid relegation, then you will face a strategy to limit your time and space on the ball. In cases like this, it becomes extremely difficult to get the likes of Yaya Toure in a position from which it can launch a deadly long-range strike, with Burnley central midfielders who work hard to fill the gaps and limit your options.