No, they’re not sweeping changes, but EA looks to make subtle changes to its EA Sports lineup that aim to get even more players interested.
Physicality is the name of the game with NHL 16
NHL 16‘s reveal hinted at the brutal physicality that is characteristic of the NHL, with the physical aspect of hockey displayed through DICE’s Frostbite engine. Of course, given NHL 15‘s poor showing last year, it will take a lot more than fighting in order to get the NHL series back on track, and EA looks to do that with a new hockey league.
NHL 16 also gives players more control when it comes to passing, with players now able to receive passes when accelerating or turning. In addition, new features involving the puck now allow for smoother player transitions when making succeeding moves. Finally, four-player split-screen co-op and online tournaments are now included, as well as new features in the Be A Pro and Be A GM game modes. NHL 16 will be released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this September.
NBA Live 16 returns with better ball control
Much like NHL 15, NBA Live 15 also had a poor showing last year, though EA hopes to turn things around with a slew of improvements and new features for NBA Live 16, one of which is a face-scanning app. Presumably available for iOS and Android, the app scans your face using your smartphone’s front-facing camera and generates and in-game model based on the scan.
EA also made changes under the hood, the first of which is “Live Motion.” In short, it is EA’s attempt to eliminate scripted animations by combining run-time physics with motion capture, thus enabling “thousands of new animations.” In addition, the new full-court shot system and ball control system on offense and defense look to give players more control when playing. Finally, there will be a new game mode which, based on the E3 trailer for the game, looks like a riff of NBA 2K’s Park mode.
NBA Live 16 will be released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 29.
Madden NFL 16 throws some love at playmakers
Last year’s entry focused on defense, and while Madden NFL 16 still focuses on defense, it also throws some love at offensive players.
EA’s improvements in this year’s entry in the Madden NFL 16 focuses on three kind of on-field players: quarterbacks, receivers, and defense. Starting with quarterbacks, players can now make body-relative throws. In other words, players can now consciously either throw low when executing a curl route, for example, or throw high in order to throw off the defender.
Receivers now have three catch types: a possession catch, a run-after catch, or an aggressive catch. Possession catches emphasize securing the ball over gaining yards, while a run-after catch focuses on the route receivers take after making a catch. Finally, an aggressive catch emphasizes making a big catch after a big throw, though it’s the riskiest of the three.
Finally, defenders can now play the receiver. In short, defenders now have the option of either securing the tackle, which ensures receivers don’t get many yards after making a catch, or making a well-time hit, which has the chance of knocking the football out of the receiver’s hands.
In addition, EA also included a Draft Champions mode, which acts as a fast-paced fantasy draft mode. Players have three draft choices per round, and after the draft ends, players take to the field to see how their teams perform against one another.
Madden NFL 16 will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on August 25.
Improved play and women’s teams in FIFA 16
Finally, while being the second EA Sports title shown off, FIFA 16‘s changes look to help it maintain its status as the world’s best-selling sports title, the largest of which being the inclusion of women’s FIFA teams. 12 women’s national teams will be playable, though there aren’t any women’s club teams. We should see the integration of women’s teams deepen in future iterations, though it’s definitely a great start.
Under the hood, FIFA 16 added more defensive systems, as well as more midfield options. More specifically, the latest entry in the FIFA series now includes dribbling without the ball, much like half the plays you see Lionel Messi execute on the field. Finally, FIFA Trainer is a new mode that help players improve their skills by giving them contextual controls. It will help you with timing, as well as what kind of pass to make and what defensive play to execute, for example.
FIFA 16 will be released Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on September 22.