It could be said that EA Sports is emulating Apple where the latest FIFA is concerned. Apple has an "S" year biannually, choosing to modify and adapt the last generation of iPhone rather than reinvent the device. This is EA's "S" year.
FIFA 16, from the early build we played on the company's stand at E3 2015, is more a tweaked version of last year's edition. Although women's football is an all-new inclusion, with 12 officially licensed women's teams joining the fun, the gameplay is more tweaked than overhauled, with few far reaching changes - ironic considering FIFA itself is undergoing it's biggest rejig in many a year.
There will be further alterations and new game amendments that are still to be announced, but from the match we played the game very much feels the same as FIFA 15. And that's by no means a bad thing.
Last year's game was a leap forward for the franchise, with player models, AI and movement all being radically improved, so it would seem churlish to expect another major refresh so soon afterwards. What we do get this time around though is a readdressed balance to the game.
Previous attacking additions had made it somewhat skewed towards flair play and the better the player, the easier it was to score against the clod-hoppers invariably found in defence.
That has now been fixed, with defenders gaining new turning abilities and more agility than ever before. The artificial intelligence governing them has also been adapted to help them make better positional decisions based on the build up of play.
EA claims that there is "innovation across the pitch" but it is here that we experienced perhaps the most pronounced included so far. It was not necessarily harder to score, but doing so felt much more natural. Through balls, for example, didn't cut out the defence each and every time as before - the ball was intercepted by more intelligent defenders on a more regular basis.
Sliding tackles have been improved in that you can pull out of the animation halfway through in order to stand and turn much more quickly. Before, if you slid in and missed, you watched your player end up in a position of absolute no use. This time though, by tapping the tackle button again you can get back to your feet quicker in order to chase the attacker down.
Midfield players have also had their AI tweaked to avoid simply being cut out of the game. And there are other small features, such as the ability to dribble without the ball to feint players into going the wrong way - a la Messi.
Certainly, we saw a few more spectacular incidents in our 15 minutes or so of play. Indeed, the goal-line clearance our opponent managed to pull off was both incredible and we doubt he would have been able to do it before, without the defender intelligently heading back to the goal when his keeper left his line.
We were big fans of FIFA 15 and suspect we will love FIFA 16 as much, if not more so. Just don't expect too big a change however. It's just not one of those years.