FIFA, the game. Starting way back in 1993, FIFA has been a staple of the gaming industry. Every console generation, every year, there is always a new FIFA game and every year brings new changes, from things as simple as roster and kit changes up to core gameplay mechanics and that’s what we’re here to talk about today. With the release of the newest iteration of the football powerhouse on October 1st 2021, what changes have been made to set FIFA 22 apart from FIFA 21 and the rest of the games?
FIFA 22 is the latest installment in the Football (Soccer) franchise from EA Sports. Which was released on October 1st 2021
To the untrained eye, or to somebody who just doesn’t play a lot of FIFA or sports games in general, on the surface you might think that not a lot has changed from game to game, given that the graphics have been pretty on point for a few years at this point, in terms of “out of game” animation they’ve improved that to a high level over the last generation also. But we’re mostly going to be looking at actual game changing mechanics, you know the meat and potatoes of the thing.
First thing I’d like to talk about isn’t necessarily a mechanical change, it’s more a content change. EA Sports have been pushing hard on their end to big up the FIFA Esports scene. As a man who likes to have a dabble with gambling on Esports, you know ‘cause I’d like to think I know a lot about Esports, we’re being treated to more betting lines for this generation, if you’re like me you’ll be pleased to know we’re getting 2v2 tournaments alongside the usual 1v1 stuff. This will allow players to represent themselves, it’ll allow big esports organizations to be represented also and real world football clubs/nations. Pretty exciting stuff!
Anyway that’s enough about that, time to get to it. The first big gameplay improvement is something that EA Sports is calling “Hypermotion Technology”. This tech is actually really impressive, EA Sports had players wired up while on the pitch, in action, so they could record the exact body movements, using players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, the world class full back from Liverpool, making the animation during gameplay as accurate as physically possible. Movements were captured while ON the ball and OFF the ball. Allegedly, this ended up capturing 8.7million frames worth of data but will be put together to make more than 4000 new animations, giving the most realistic movement ever seen in a FIFA game.
Kylian M’Bappe, the cover star for FIFA 22, with Virgil Van Dijk chasing him down. The graphics are looking REAL nice.
The next thing is something people whinge about EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. The AI. It’s no secret that when playing against the computer, we all moan about the decisions the refs make, or the runs our players make off the ball, or a big one people like to say is scripting. You ever feel like the game just wants you to lose? Don’t worry we’ve all felt it. However, for FIFA 22 the artificial intelligence of players you’re not controlling, EA Sports estimates that the AI players will be able to make as much as six times as many decisions compared to the AI in FIFA 21. This again is done with the aim of making the newest installation a much more realistic experience with better off the ball runs, etc.
The last thing I want to talk about is the work they have done with their goalkeepers. Something I’ve noticed over the years playing FIFA, specifically Ultimate Team, is that there are a select handful of goalkeepers that are really good and usable but most of them just seem, for lack of a better term, absolutely garbage. However, EA have done, well, a lot to fix that for FIFA 22. The functionality that goes into how goalkeepers work has been completely re-written. Which, if you’re like me, you’re very excited about that. They’re going to feature much improved shot-stopping, way better decision making abilities (so, coming out for corners etc.) and much less robotic animations. This has been a long time coming.
That’s going to do it for today! What do you think, have you picked up FIFA 22 yet? You know, since it may be the last one named FIFA. Are there any changes you wish they had made to the current game? Do you think they should be on a 2 yearly cycle instead of releasing a new game every year? Are you one of those people who just sticks with last years game until the next one comes out, helping save you some money? or, more controversially, are you more of a Pro Evolution person? Let us know, we’d love to get a discussion going!