FIFA 15 is significantly different to FIFA 14. Here's an overview of what's new, and how you should adapt your play-style as a result.
FIFA 15 guide: this year's changes
How main gameplay changes should alter your approach
EA Sports are experts at providing the FIFA series with a sideways step. FIFA 13 players will remember the obscene advantage “sweaty” teams gained when playing the through ball game, as paced used to rule all.
This went out of fashion last year, but was replaced with laser-guided headers that made crosses equal to taking a penalty if you had height stationed in the middle. While Tim Cahill lovers will be disappointed with FIFA 15’s balanced aerial game, the need for speed has returned (*obligatory, bribe-based mention).
Acceleration is particularly important when skipping away from defenders who can now tug your shirt more efficiently than ever. Pace isn’t as destructive as two years ago, unless you master FIFA 15’s new dribbling techniques.
Smooth changes in direction provided an effective way of bypassing tackles last year. Lovers of Raheem Sterling, Eden Hazard and Angel Di Maria will now get used to dabbing the ball forward, a slight alteration which allows sharp changes in movement to remain under control. Simply shifting your weight is enough to force defenders into mistiming their tackle or, better yet, leaving a chasm to exploit.
A “bubble effect” engulfs those in possession — moreso than any year in recent memory — meaning it’s often difficult to actually make an impact when sticking a foot in. Sliding tackles are also less effective as the physical side of the game places an emphasis on versatility.
Manchester City star Fernandinho is already extremely popular on FUT15 due to his all-round quality. The Brazilian is quick, a confident dribbler and will contribute in both offensive and defensive phases of play, bumping his value on the early FUT15 market. It is a popular technique to offset a multi-faceted competitor like him with a specialist type.
Lining Fernandinho up alongside someone like Nemanja Matic—Chelsea’s 6’4” midfield destroyer—is one of many Premier League combinations which serves well against any side. You’ll need the ability to up tempo when in possession, but can no longer get away with using a team made up of roadrunners. Boulders, as well as a couple of wily all-rounders, will become favourites in FUT15’s best sides.
Creativity is often key to separating yourself from the rest. While my Bible-inspired side needs work, it’s refreshing to use a side that is built upon the parables of non-fiction over the usual array of pantomime villains we watch every week.
My Harry Kane and Abel Hernandez strike partnership appears deadly up front, but it is currently struggling due to the lack of chemistry between Chris Pontius and Jesus Navas behind them. The latter pairing is a nailed on failure, but has allowed me to make this completely verbose and over the top reminder that, without chemistry, you’ll have nothing. FUT15’s most basic stat—combined with this year’s gameplay changes—once again dictate the type of team you need to remain successful, even if it is tempting to shoehorn Victor Moses into my renowned King James Rodriguez XI.