EA Sports has finally come up with its latest version of the football simulation series, FIFA 22.
The players' in-game movements and physical attributes have been improvised significantly for Machine Learning integration, making the playing style and graphics more realistic and rewarding.
Overall, FIFA 22 by EA Sports has been a solid release since the game became available on October 1 across all platforms. Career Mode has also received specific tweaks that were promised for a long time.
The opening promos, especially the OTW cards, have received positive feedback as well.
Multiple minor tweaks and variations in FIFA 22's Career Mode and Volta Football mode have impacted the visual aspects of the game. However, it's nothing more than the aforementioned set of points as, in terms of gameplay, FIFA 22 is nothing but FIFA 21 with updated kits and designs.
Brief overview of FIFA 22
The game intro starts with David Beckham ordering coffee and pancakes on a French balcony with the Eiffel Tower in the background. The camera then rolls down a floor through flowerbeds and flags to reveal the protagonist of FIFA 22.
The surprisingly sumptuous-looking intro does provide FIFA gamers with a hint of the game's future RPG plans, or virtual football mode.
The all-new aesthetic facelift and hyper-realism is undoubtedly a good area of satisfaction for first-timers. But for lovers of the sports genre, especially those with the PC version, the gameplay failed to impress most of them.
Famous players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, and Robert Lewandowski have been rendered remarkable facial and physical details, including expression, hair movements, and mood. However, managers look pretty horrendous, having different faces mounted on a standard body structure.
In summary, FIFA 22 is a wholesome experience for football enthusiasts featuring an intoxicating atmosphere to take in. But according to FIFA regulars, the tweaks are merely surface-level improvisations.
FIFA 22 positives
As of now, many FIFA 22 players claim that the franchise's latest title continues the classic sports style of the three-decade-old series. As a matter of fact, FIFA 22 is the most realistic edition in terms of VFX and individual player attributes.
The stadiums' atmosphere has improved phenomenally, and the spectators resemble those seen on television and not dummies in digital games. Listed below are some positive aspects of the game.
1) HyperMotion integration
FIFA 22 has made significant improvements in terms of VFX, thanks to the newly integrated HyperMotion technology. This motion-capture tech made the title's playing style more fluid on new-gen consoles.
Electronic Arts added over 4000 raw clips in the form of animations harvested from real-time matches of various famous footballers.
The term "HyperMotion" may sound like another marketing keyword by EA, but it did result in tangible improvements on the digital greens. For example, a striker's leg will buckle out of momentum from the powerful shot when they kick the football.
Midfielders will react to the offshoot from powerful passes, while wingers with heavy dribbling stats feel more flexible during sideline sprints. Player collisions have also improved, with opposing AIs being dragged up as victims of the clash.
Keepers have been looked into this year by EA Sports with severe concerns in terms of positioning and realistic features. Their fingers aren't as buttery as FIFA 21, and they do maintain a proper grip on the ball.
Meanwhile, top-notch keepers like Jan Oblak and Manuel Neuer can also act shakily under pressure, leaving the players dumbstruck and scratching their heads.
In short, in FIFA 22, it's much harder to get past goalkeepers in basic one-on-one situations, but sudden fake shots or quick long crosses across the D-box might leave them clueless, pretty much similar to real-life scenarios.
3) Music tracks
FIFA 22 adds to the brilliant collection of soundtracks that have constantly expanded with new editions every year. The game has two exclusive playlists for regular football modes and VOLTA.
Five of the best tracks from this year's title are:
- Lifetime (Swedish House Mafia ft. Ty Dolla $ign and 070 Shake)
- I don't wanna talk (Glass Animals)
- Good girls (CHVRCHES)
- Eyes on the prize (Che Lingo ft. Tamaraebi)
- The mission (Bakar)
Through the years, FIFA titles have had some great tracks that players can still recall. The Nights by Avicci, Stevie by Kasabian, and Love Me Again by John Newman are just some of the greatest songs that fans have gotten over the last decade.
4) Ball physics
As promised by EA, all versions of FIFA 22, be it for consoles or PCs, now have improved ball physics, resulting in significantly better accurate passes and realistic bounces. The company has also added lots of new variables for speed, swerve, air drag, air resistance, ground friction, and rolling friction, making every touch, trap, shot, volley, pass and dribble look and feel more realistic.
The off-the-ball movement of players has also improved massively, bringing in realistic in-game positioning, both in terms of VFX and gameplay.
FIFA 22 negatives
Despite the praise and excitement, there are certain problems with FIFA 22 as well. Some of them are old persistent problems that have riddled previous versions of the game. Others are new or have appeared after a long time.
Some are glitches that EA Sports has started responding to and providing fixes. Others seem to have deeper issues that revolve around the core of the game itself. Some gamers believe in PCs and old gens, and a new purchase may not be worth it, so having too many negatives in the game is self-defeating.
Here are some of the critical areas of criticism featuring FIFA 22.
1) PC players feeling hard done by
While the new-gen console owners have been gifted with HyperMotion, PC players have been left out. However, EA Sports' justification for continuing with the old engine on FIFA 22 for PC has ensured players are not left out.
In a website release, EA Sports informed that HyperMotion has significantly increased power and resource consumption. With gaming PCs getting costlier and the lack of universal access, continuing with the old gen has ensured greater accessibility to more PC players.
With the system requirements staying the same, they can play FIFA 22 on the same device as FIFA 21.
While some users have felt that this is a justified move, others are less pleased. They believe that this is typical lazy behavior of EA. The enraged section feels that the company could have done a lot more to optimize HyperMotion technology to make it more resource-efficient.
Additionally, players are questioning the rationale of paying the entire amount for a reskin of the old game with updated squads.
2) Division Rival changes
Division Rivals is one of the most popular FIFA 22 Ultimate Team modes. Players have already completed the first week of the mode. Unfortunately, EA Sports has again made some changes, and users are not happy. Irrespective of the division and rank, the reward conditions and reward upgrades involve winning a certain number of matches.
Players believe that while this improves competition, it leaves very little room for casual players. Not every FIFA 22 player can afford to spend daily or weekly hours grinding the rewards.
Ultimate Team also has a heavy reputation for being pay-to-win. This shift leaves everyone with a bitter taste in their mouths.
The issue with the gameplay is a subjective point as it will ultimately boil down to a gamer's expectations from FIFA 22. But many feel that the game has become overly realistic and less fun.
On the other hand, loyal franchise users had been asking for FIFA 22 to be more fast-paced.
But gameplay stays slow and long passes remain unrealistically accurate. The gameplay creates a paradox where some mechanisms add to the realism while the others reduce it.
Although some players believe that the FIFA 22 Ultimate Team mode will no longer depend on skills in its early days, not everyone is a fan of the patient approach.
4) Bugs and glitches
Such issues are a common element of any video game. But when it becomes a routine affair, players lose patience.
FIFA 22 has several issues related to glitches and bugs. While some are rare and funny, others are frequent and game-breaking.
Here are some glitches and bugs that have appeared during the opening week:
- Incident of a player scoring from an indirect freekick within the penalty box without any goalkeeper in the goal.
- Freekick where the ball is in front of the goal and the wall behind the goal.
- Goalkeepers performing howlers out of nowhere.
- AI defenders are scoring occasional own goals without any need.
There is a game-breaking bug that has appeared for many players on PC where the game stutters, drops frames and freezes temporarily. At first, this was thought to result from online problems.
Still, many users reported facing this in squad battles and Career Mode in FIFA 22. Whereas these are random, the glitches seem to happen more when an outfielder blocks a shot or attempted pass or someone dribbles successfully.
Many players have also reported that their GPU usage is higher when FIFA 22 is on the menu, making the entire experience a nightmare.
Despite the positives, these bugs and glitches have become a repeated affair. Some players are losing faith in the opening week itself.
Overall, FIFA 22 has been a mixed bag so far. There are multiple aspects to like about the game. These include its improved goalkeeper positioning, ball movement, and its "hypermotional" revamped game physics that has brought hyper-realism into play.
However, EA's inability to fix specific long-standing issues like pace over-dependency and uneven momentum shifts make sure FIFA 22 remains open to criticism, like every other year.
There are numerous negative aspects, like the same old monotonous gameplay and never-ending, recurring bugs. The review ends on an unfortunate note, as PC players have once again been left out of experiencing ML perks while new-gen console owners have been gifted with HyperMotion.
But EA Sports' FIFA 22, without a doubt, is a must-play for first-timers and console players. PC players, though, might think twice before splashing their money on "FIFA 21 with updated kits and designs".
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5, PC.
Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series S, Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.
Publisher: Electronic Arts, EA Sports.
Developer: EA Vancouver; EA Romania.
Price: Rs 4,400 (PS5), Rs 3,999 (PS4) Rs 2,499 (Nintendo Switch), Rs 2,999 (PC).