FIFA 22 Review

Electronic Arts has been continuously producing FIFA football simulators for many years and has been the undisputed market leader for a very long time.

Electronic Arts has been continuously producing FIFA football simulators for many years and has been the undisputed market leader for a very long time. Its Japanese competitors got tired of being on the sidelines and performed a ritual seppuku, closing the Pro Evolution Soccer line and releasing a completely raw heir in the person of eFootball 2022. The recently announced Belarusian competitor also poses no threat, as UFL is still in production. Against the background of all this, EA Sports has chosen a slow and systematic way of developing the series.

It is important to note that the version of FIFA 22 for the new generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles differs from the versions for previous systems and personal computers. It is not the first time EA Sports has deprived the "Boyar" platform popular in our region with new technologies, justifying this by the fact that the PC audience mostly uses weak machines. We tested the PlayStation 5 version and almost immediately noticed the differences from last year's game, which are visible even in the first matches.

The new HyperMotion system has greatly influenced the dynamics and balance of the game. The essence of this technology lies in the fact that the developers assembled two teams consisting of professional football players, who were equipped with special Motion Capture sensors, and then asked them to play a full-fledged match, recording the data on special cameras. The information obtained allowed not only to update the movements of virtual players themselves, but also to refine their interactions with each other.

After analyzing the behavior of football players on the field and fixing various details, including movement within the tactical scheme, the developers managed to modify artificial intelligence, which improved the behavior of the participants of the matches. Of course, in the trailers of FIFA 22, this is presented as a revolution, but in fact it is a very noticeable, but evolutionary development for the series. Everything is done so that fans feel the changes and improvements in the gameplay, but at the same time everything was familiar.

The new technology has influenced not only the visual part, but also the overall feel of the game. The pace of the match decreased, and the players began to move more naturally and realistically. The inertia of the players and the ball began to feel stronger, which is why it is now more difficult to make sharp turns and feints. To pass several defenders by one football player? Such a task now seems difficult even for skilled dribblers. Because of this, many gamers online began to control the ball more often, playing a small pass, or coming up with more complex and interesting practical jokes. At the same time, high-speed players still show their extremely high efficiency. Scoring after a cross pass when a fast striker just runs away from defenders is the easiest option, as before. This imbalance is well felt if you play against teams like PSG, where a pair of strikers Neymar and Mbappe will tear apart any, even highly rated defense. Although the difference in speed can be compensated by the correct positioning of defenders, who in this part can often take a more advantageous position to intercept the ball, but still it does not always work and generally does not solve the problem of imbalance.

The goalkeepers' intelligence underwent an important revision. Now they are not as stupid as before, especially when it comes to blows from a medium distance. In this aspect, the difference between high- and middle-class goalkeepers is especially felt. During testing, it seemed to me that Peter Gulachi with a rating of 85 helps out more often than Dean Henderson does with 80 points. In general, high-class goalkeepers are less likely to miss into the near corner than their less qualified colleagues, but they do not seem impenetrable like their counterparts from PES.

Separately, it is worth mentioning that shots at the goal were rebalanced. Twisted projectiles fired from outside the penalty area seem to be more effective than before, and circling shots inside the penalty area, on the contrary, hit the target less often and are more often parried by the goalkeeper.

The game modes in FIFA 22 have not changed much. The opportunity to create your own club has returned. After choosing a logo, uniform and other attributes, you need to join one of several available leagues and go through season after season. However, the most popular mode is still Ultimate Team. Here you need to collect cards of football players and make a team, taking into account their nationality, league and club. This year there is a new category – heroes. These are the players who do not reach the status of world legends, but at the same time are such at a more local level. The developers attributed Jurgen Kohler, Diego Milito, as well as our compatriot Alexander Mostovoy, the legend of Spartak Moscow and Celta, to the ”heroes“. There are 19 people on the list in total. To get the desired players, you will have to sweat a lot.

At the very beginning, you may be given several popular players for rent for a fixed number of matches, but otherwise you will have to rely on luck and performing various tests. From time to time, tasks appear, completing which you can get a specific football player or a pack of cards with a random set of players and items.

In general, by regularly fulfilling the set goals, it is possible to assemble a more or less played team, but without additional purchases of card sets, the development of the team will go very slowly. Microtransactions themselves are implemented in much the same way as in previous FIFA series games, and if you don't like the long development of the club, you will have to fork out.

It is worth noting that this time there are special sets in which you can see in advance what exactly should fall out of there, but this does not make the task easier. During testing, I did not have a single suitable football player in these “transparent” packs.

The gameplay in online FUT mode is still very different from what happens in local matches. Now that EA Sports has done a lot of work to improve the artificial intelligence of players and their correct movement on the field, it is especially noticeable how in the network version of FUT in some situations, players become very stupid and act according to simplified algorithms. Sometimes the movement of football players in their positions seems more straightforward, which is clearly noticeable with the 4-4-2 scheme. Then the players can generally move like on the rails of table hockey. In addition, there are situations when both players fall on the lawn during selection, the ball remains out of control, and the players standing next to it on both sides just look at it until you switch to someone manually, which takes time and looks very ridiculous in general.

Volta mode is becoming more and more similar to FIFA Street. Now here during the match you need to earn special points, which are given for beautiful feints, passes and strikes. The player also gets the opportunity to activate special power-ups: super-acceleration, powerful blow or aggressive selection. In addition, a beautiful game allows you to get an additional goal multiplier, which increases the effectiveness of a goal scored. This approach forces players to act more effectively in order to get more points and win faster.

As for the graphics, there are also minor improvements compared to FIFA 21 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The textures have become a little clearer, and the hairstyles of the players seem more realistic and detailed, especially for long-haired athletes. Otherwise, everything is up to date when it comes to stars from popular teams. However, it is impossible to call the picture breakthrough or incredible. Most likely, a really big step forward will be made after the main audience completely moves to new consoles.

In the end, I would like to mention that a new type of camera has been introduced into the game, which is installed by default. I liked the new angle — it made it easier to control the direction of strikes or shuffles near the penalty area. However, for those who do not like this option, of course there is an opportunity to switch to one of the old angles.

In FIFA 22, the developers have traditionally tried to fix the problems of the previous parts, and also modified the gameplay, making it a little slower and more realistic. HyperMotion technology really gave a fresher impression, and the new camera will seem convenient to those who like to control the ball. Otherwise, it's still the same FIFA with its advantages and disadvantages.