The FUT draft is just a lot of fun and is most certainly a mode I’ll play a lot. I’m someone who really enjoys the squad building elements of Ultimate Team and one of the funnest aspect of this mode is drafting the squad and trying to get it to 100 chemistry. Even with the one game and no online I was addicted and wanted to create new and interesting squads every time. Though the number of players is limited in the demo, every team I made was different, so the potential really is endless.
Now onto the gameplay. The two main features that have been hyped up pre-release was the change to passing and the off-the-ball dribbling. The off-the-ball dribbling works to some extent but to be honest I can’t see it being a feature that’s used that often. It works to a degree against the AI but I can’t see it being much use against real opponents. The main change to the passing comes in the form of the driven pass and that really does make a world of difference. I can’t count the times on previous FIFA’s where a weak pass (despite being fully powered) has let me down, so this addition really helps. The pass is balanced by the fact that it will sometimes go astray and that players find it harder to control, but overall it is very effective, especially in the final third where it can be used to unleash a powerful first time shot.
A lot of people have been saying that pace is less effective on this edition but I’m not sure how much that is true. First of all, pace has never been as effective against the AI as it is against real players and secondly I don’t believe pace has been changed but rather AI positioning has. Overall I felt the defenders were a lot more intelligent in their positioning, meaning the likes of John Terry were taking that step back and were able to make the tackle that they might have otherwise missed.
The goalkeepers felt improved and you could no longer just run past them to score (the most popular goalscoring technique in FIFA 15). However they did feel susceptible to finesse shots and on a number of occasions I scored from a weak finesse being palmed away.
Overall the gameplay feels improved but not by as much as I expected. It’s still very similar to FIFA 15, over-the-top through balls were still very powerful and the first time fake shots still caught defenders by surprise, every time. I’m excited for the FUT draft and I’ve no doubt I’ll enjoy the game but I’d like to have seen more done.