The Analysis of FIFA 16 Demo

Posted by james bonds on October 14th, 2015

Another year and yet another FIFA title to join the year-end ranks of gaming. It’s amazing how long the series has been running at this point and how EA Sports has discovered numerous ways to polish, hone and renovate the digital sport. Even with stand-out titles in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer franchise, FIFA is here to stay and FIFA 16 seems to be the best yet. Please note that our entire analysis is based on the game’s demo.

Like PES, FIFA has been undergoing a shift in visual quality in the past two years. The Ignite Engine debuted in FIFA 14 two years ago and since then, it’s been used in every major current gen sports title from EA. It’s not all about better character animation, which has improved “ten-fold” over the previous generation or more realistic stadium members or even the improved physics to limbs and clothing. Ignite has also been pegged to feature better artificial intelligence calculations and allow its players to behave more akin to real-life athletes. Such a change in visual direction was to be expected and Ignite also lends itself to physical based rendering for added realism.

FIFA 16 on both the Xbox One and PS4 runs at 1920×1080 resolution and 60 frames per second. V-Sync is employed to ensure a steady frame rate during gameplay but this drops to 30 FPS in cinematic scenes like close-ups and replays, both manual and general. Oddly enough, frame rate spikes have been noticed during camera changes but it’s near instantaneous and you won’t even notice it.

MSAA 2x is employed for both versions of the game and does a great job of smoothening out any jaggies. The result is most apparent in objects with intense curves in their complex geometry – as a result, stadiums are of the highest image quality throughout. The PC version goes a step further with MSAA 4x which results in even better looking curves.

EA Sports made a pretty big deal about improved crowd graphics in FIFA 16 and despite how dumb some of the animations look, it’s managed to fulfill that promise. Models are now fully 3D and LOD relies on a less aggressive model to ensure clarity of details when the camera pans in and out. While the actual reactions don’t appeal to us, it’s hard to deny that FIFA 16 has the best crowd reactions till date in any football title.

Head to head comparison between PS4, Xbox One and PC versions. Select 1080p and 60fps option for best possible video quality.

When observing shadows throughout the gameplay, many of them appeared smooth but we noticed some dithering every now and then. This was noticed only on the console versions, primarily during cinematic cut scenes, replays and celebrations. The PC version doesn’t have this issue, if you have enough Fifa 16 coins. It should also be noted that Xbox One fans receive motion blur right out of the box along with all the other platform versions. Last year’s FIFA 15 saw motion blur patched in later and it’s a small sign of progress that helps maintain visual parity among the various platforms.

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james bonds
Joined: October 14th, 2015
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