One more year (and it is already several decades) FIFA comes to our consoles with a new installment under its arm. This year EA has put more effort into its new generation version -which to many seemed quite decaffeinated with FIFA 21- and presents the most interesting novelties in the movement of the players thanks to Hypermotion technology, improved physics and touch-ups in passes and shots. All with a new layer that improves last year’s graphics, but that he still has work aheadand. Tie your boots and enter the field of our FIFA 22 analysis for the new generation of consoles.
Walking around paris
The first thing that surprises us when landing in FIFA 22 is a strange cinematic scene in which faces known as Beckham or Cantona are dropped, which serves to introduce game mechanics to new and old players, as well as defining the style of our avatar (both as a player and as a coach) that we can use later in the Volta, Career and Pro Club modes. In this introduction of just over half an hour we will walk the streets of Paris practicing with the ball until get to the typical FIFA intro game.
While it is not something that influences the game after a few hours, these types of dynamic introductions are appreciated. Once we take control of the players on the field, we can start to see the first differences in the gameplay: animations have been improved, with more human reactions in controls, passes and shots. The size of the players is also taken into account more, with burly defenders who will easily win anticipations and disputes where they have to fight, while those faster players remain the kings of the party.
Hypermotion technology does not present us with a totally different game in FIFA 22, but it does teach us that something has changed as far as naturalness is concerned. The rhythm of the games in offline modes decreases a lot and the game of touch is usually rewarded, with colleagues who perform unmarking and position themselves more intelligently than in previous installments.
The mechanics that allow us to abandon the player with the ball and control a player who is unmarked or in a position to receive the ball has also been polished, this time being more useful, although it will be difficult to control until we get the hang of it.
For the rest, in terms of gameplay level, also the physics of the ball has been improved with more realistic shots and with trajectories not as defined as before. What’s more, the positioning of the goalkeepers and their saves will become somewhat more random in each game, with more realistic saves and reactions more according to the position of the goalkeeper, the power and the placement of the shot.
Modes for everyone
I admit it, despite the fact that in the past I had thrown my dozens of hours into Ultimate Team, this is a mode that attracts me less and less, something that has helped me gain mental health, why deny it. While this is the star mode for most FIFA players, for me it is an extra to enter from time to time. Even so, this year Ultimate Team has benefited with changes in the customization of the stadiums (much deeper than last year) or tweaks that help make Division Rivals more accessible.
Regarding Pro Clubs, this year there have been no excessive changes, beyond the fact that now we can have female avatars and greater customization of the club that we create with our teammates. As for the Volta mode, it has ended up eliminating all traces of the narrative component and it has remained as an arcade and street version of FIFA, with modes completely focused on the multiplayer experience and progression of our own avatar, with special abilities that improve certain stats of our player.
Where I want to place the greatest emphasis is on one of the most beloved classic modes and that in recent years has finally received the pampering it required after a multitude of forgotten versions: Career Mode. If significant changes were added last year, in FIFA 22 the curl is curled by allowing us to create our own team in Coach Career Mode. Although you can customize this creation and start competing in the first division with great players, surely the experience that many choose is to go from being a humble team to end up reigning in Europe.
I must admit that the initial editor surprised me and that is that no element is left to chance: we can customize the colors of our team, their jersey (choosing from a wide variety with real clothing brands such as Nike, Puma or Adidas), shield and stadium. For the stadium we can also customize the color of the stands, the type of grass, the chants and a multitude of elements. Total, what the feeling of creating a “real” club is there.
The problem is that when we create that club and define our goals, the experience becomes the same as last year. If we create our own club we should be able to get hold of things as important as sponsorships, marketing campaigns, section improvement and others. Something in which they could take good indications from Codemasters and their great My Team mode, even the NBA 2K franchise has expanded its General Manager mode with changes of this style.
As for the Career Mode by the player, we have a more guided experience in which we will have to earn our position little by little, assigning points to our skill tree and obtaining advantages to end up succeeding on the field. An experience that has changed little or nothing compared to last year.
Sheet metal and paint
The FIFA technical section took a good leap when it was decided to make the jump to the Frostbite engine. Since then the improvements have been somewhat slow and in FIFA 21 for the new generation we saw some glimpses of what the new generation engine could offer. The result of FIFA 22 is quite divided, since in the general plane of its new camera the game looks very good, with almost real shots supported by the licenses of the leagues that seem to make us live a live broadcast.
Unfortunately, when the shots are shortened and the players are focused we still see the huge seams of FIFA 22, with only a select few who have a realistic modeling, while those even with a scanned face still lack that pampering that makes us see that there is something strange about that face. Then we have the unscanned models, which look like their real-world avatars in the whites of their eyes. Poor Pedri, who goes from being 18 to almost 40, 2 mortgages and 3 children.
FIFA 22 performs at about 60 frames per second stable for most of the time, despite the fact that on Xbox Series X there have been several dramatic drops that I have had during certain fights for the ball, something that seems more like a bug than a serious performance problem. As for the sound section, the chosen songs follow the trend of the latest installments that make us miss Safri Duo, Avril Lavigne or Blur. For their part, Manolo Lama and Paco González are chosen for another year to narrate our games, with new comments, including one that asks us not to silence them no matter how much we don’t like them.
FIFA 22 introduces more improvements than FIFA 21, without a doubt, it is also better game. The problem is that everything that it adds tastes little to us. Hypermotion changes certain gameplay dynamics due to the different movement of the players, the ball and its physics have been improved and the game dynamics become a little more real. But it is that all are “small” changes.
The same can be applied to the changes in the game modes, where none have seen a substantial addition beyond the possibility of creating our own club in the Career Mode for coach, which is very good and adds another point of view to said mode, but once 5 days go by we come across the same mode as in FIFA 21. I said, each mode could be deepened and improved much more, but the feeling is that we see seeing small tweaks every year, waiting for a substantial improvement in the delivery of the year that is to come.
FIFA 22 is a good installment of the EA Sports saga, but it once again blames fatigue and lack of pampering in many of its ways, crying out for a drastic change in the future. The biggest downside to FIFA is that nowadays no one coughs up, with competition from Konami completely aimless with a eFootball 2022 that he cannot tighten the nuts on EA to risk and improve a saga that ends up feeling like that car that you love very much but that no longer gives for more, with a few years behind it, but with a new coat of paint looks like another. When you start the engine you are faced with reality.