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The Cutting Room Floor – FIFA 16

November 6th, 2015 by

Fifa CRF 001The Cutting Room Floor is a new series in which we explore some of the slightly leftfield elements that didn’t make it into the retail versions of our favourite games – and why. This month: FIFA 16, 5 features that got kicked out.

In light of the recent implosion in the international legislative body for football, Midlife Gamer decided to launch an expose to find out if the corruption filtered through to the video games they are associated with (we definitely didn’t abseil down the EA HQ using defunct controller cords with EyeToy cameras sellotaped to our helmets). Here are 6 features that were proposed in this post-bothering pastime – but ended up on the cutting room floor.

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Heterosexual Action – Andy Gray would be livid

The introduction of teams from the world of women’s football grabbed a lot of the headlines at the launch of FIFA 16. Many people thought it was a forward-thinking move for football that was well overdue, some thought that it was another example of social justice warriors taking over. To set the record straight, whichever opinion you hold, we agree with you.

Players will perhaps be surprised to learn that during early development, execs at EA had formed a fledgling enterprise called SHEFA. Their first (wo)mandate? To increase the number of men-on-women clashes, and vice-versa. SHEFA saw this as a good step in repairing the public perception that footballers cannot interact well with women. Mind you, depending on how you feel about 94kg Romelu Lukaku climbing all over 62kg Steph Houghton in the 6-yard box to win a header – this may have been an opportunity better missed than taken.

Dropped when: in one of his final acts as head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter insisted that these matches were played out in bikinis. When they found out, the male mo-cap artists refused to don a two-piece so the whole proposal fell through.

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Orange Cards – pass or Dutchie

Everyone’s experienced it, whether in a sofa based kick off with a mate or online with an internet buddy. Communication breaks down and for whatever reason your teammate decides he’s a modern day Maradona and can run the length to score – without passing to you. Having a team-mate attempt to do this is all the more frustrating in FIFA16 given that the emphasis is less on pace (we’re looking at you all previous FIFA games) and more on moving the ball well.

It’ll be no surprise then that a potential fix was on the table. Pressing a combination of shoulder buttons and analogue sticks would allow a player to “orange card” their team-mate, effectively removing him from the game for 10minutes of in-match time. Each player would have one card per game, and could regain it if dust began collecting on their partner’s pass button. This had the potential to end all FIFA based disputes, for ever.

Dropped when: during playtesting, the orange card caused many more fights than it avoided, leading to 12 instances of assault, one arson, and a bizarre case of indecent exposure. Sadly, the feature was deemed unworkable and subsequently canned.

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Realistic Player Ratings

Generally FIFA games do a pretty good job of benchmarking the abilities of footballers from around the globe. However, they always seize the chance to be a little sneaky and throw in one curve-ball that makes your Ultimate team more barmy than brilliant, in spite of the stats. Consider that FIFA14 gave a rating of 87 to a player who was PFA Player of the Year (twice), the third-highest goalscorer in the Premier League and then world’s most expensive player was rated the same. It was the same score as was given to a player with only 27 league appearances to his name, of which only half were won. One was Nemanja Vidic, the other Gareth Bale, you don’t need to be the Special One to work out which is which. Centre forward Emile Heskey also has a defending stat better than his shooting stat in the same game… on second thoughts that may not be an error.

Early rumours suggested that this year all would be right in the world and FIFA could cement its’ claim as the accurate football simulator. EA designers revealed however that it is too hard to resist the temptation to throw a couple of curveballs in and have again relied on the roulette wheel for a few of the stats. The plan for 100% accuracy didn’t quite come to fruition.

Dropped when: Jordan Henderson was given a lowly 79 (the same as Mousa Dembele and Lassana Diarra) which begs the question: why is he on the box art?! Also, anyone that claims that Arsenal’s nearly man Mesut Ozil is better than Yaya Toure or Alexis Sanchez probably needs a sit down.

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Drinkable power-ups – performance enhancing chugs

There comes a time when a re-playing El Classico for the 8th time that evening when a little variation is required. Previously that meant playing with inferior teams, dropping the skill and pace (and often enjoyment) of the game. To inject a little interest a suggestion was made late in the development cycle.

Code was included in the pre-beta stress-testing that meant a game languishing as a low draw would begin to spawn random “water-bottle” pickups at half time. Super-speed and shot-strength power-ups were quickly thrown out for more realistic ideas. Ideas like:

-       The pogo stick: for hard to reach headers

-       Offside trap: a grisly mechanism to help secure your box

-       Free-kick spray: temporarily fog up your opponent’s view

-       Fergie’s watch: pause injury time to give your team more time to score

Dropped when: the exec team decided to include the “gun” power-up, a one-use projectile that you could use that would make the ref instantly injure the nearest player from your opponents team. This was quickly left aside when it was decided it was too close to real life.

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Cars – because footballers love top gear

Something that has become synonymous with footballers these days is adultery, egregious wealth, cannibalism, beautiful car collections. What better way to canonise this trend than by including it in FIFA a game that is enjoyed not only by football fans, but the players themselves. It could have been that Be A Pro mode included a garage that you had to fill with overdesigned supercars or horribly decorated luxury 4x4s. The team at EA were keen to go one better by including cars in-game.

Dropped when: Rocket League proved that you can put football, cars and microtransactions together without coming across as a money grabbing a******. FIFA coins? I mean, seriously!

Hope you enjoyed us revealing a bit more of the features that didn’t get past the pitch stage for the latest FIFA. If there are any games you want us to launch a corruption sting for in the future – drop them in the comments and we’ll get to it.
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer did not actually abseil to gain information, the EyeToy thing is sort of true as part of a dalliance with potholing but that’s another story. None of the above is based on any truth, fact, or common sense. Because football can’t be boiled down to logic and reasoned argument – it deserves… more.

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