It is safe to say that the titles from the FIFA franchise are games that capture huge media attention from year to year but also are most susceptible to numerous criticisms.
Despite the fact that some titles used to mark a kind of revolution in the field of football simulations, and some were declared worthless and bad games, the fact remains that critics will always watch the FIFA series with double magnifying glass.
EA Sports Seems to Have Adopted a New Approach for FIFA
About FIFA, criticism has been heard lately that the same game is actually bought every year but only with updated transfers, and that the way of playing and modes remain exactly the same. The changes that EA Sports (whose reputation in developing sports simulations equals the one of e.g. NetEnt in developing casino games at TopCasinoExpert.com) always announces with the release of a new FIFA title are often negligible for gamers and the feeling of playing exactly the same game from year to year began to seriously bother fans and those who have second thoughts of whether they might turn to the PES franchise title or not.
FIFA 22 seems to be finally the new title from the series that really brings something new. It cannot be said that all the changes have resulted in the compactness of a whole game and it is clear that the game has some flaws, but we may be witnessing the beginning of EA Sports’ new approach to FIFA and an attempt to take the popular football simulation to the next level.
The First Thing That Excites Right Away – The Look of the Game
What every gamer and football simulation fan will first notice when starting to play FIFA 22 is the look of the game. Regardless of the platform on which it is played, FIFA 22 looks fantastic (this is especially true of the Xbox Series X console). Simply, everything got a new visual aspect – from the stadium and turf to the players, the weather, and the amazing details on the field. Particularly impressive are the presentations such as the players going out on the pitch where you really have the feeling that this is a football match that you are watching on television.
Many will be surprised by the special animations that are included in the game, and are often related to football stars and more famous players who are usually in the public spotlight and are most expected of them on the pitch. The visuals in the game have been upgraded with just over 4,000 animations, and EA Sports has confirmed that this is the largest number of changes in the game so far.
The basis of a large number of changes in the gaming experience is the so-called HyperMotion technology that has brought many improvements in FIFA. The movements of players and balls and the mutual synchronization of players on the turf with HyperMotion technology have become even closer to the realism of real events on the football field. Player movements are now not only closer to real-world situations on the ground, but machine-learning algorithms can also download nearly 8.7 million patterns to more accurately depict player activities and interactions between them.
Ball touches, duels, and sprints are much more intense and the physical aspect of each will be felt. The players’ AI on the field has been improved so they will better understand the tactical part of their teams’ attacks and defense and their movements. Attacking players now have the ability to make almost six times more decisions per second and are much more aware of the situation on the pitch. They can be better positioned without the ball and do more useful sprints that use the so-called “Explosive Sprint” mechanism that makes it easier to bypass the defender.
Ball Control Has Become Closer to Reality
Team cooperation in defense has improved, so now the back row of players behaves more like a tactical unit whose positioning makes sense. The ML-Flow algorithm works in real-time animation to make it easier and more convenient for players to control the ball and adjust their movements. Small changes have also been made to the players’ air duels, so you can see and experience even more intensely how defenders and attackers adjust, push, or retreat when entering the penalty area, intercepting passes, or preparing to jump.
Ball control has gained in realism, and when players interact, numerous moments are added when they talk to each other, send instructions to others, or show gestures in tactical settings, which contributes to the feeling that this is a real game. The AI has been improved for the goalkeepers, so now they are in a much better position and scoring goals is a bit harder compared to previous titles, hence more realistic match results are expected.
The general impression is that FIFA 22 has managed to move a bit away from the arcade-style of play and the improvements presented really go in the direction of creating a football simulation that wants to provide a realistic gaming experience. Precisely because of that, FIFA 22 has a slightly slower pace compared to FIFA 21, and the ‘arcade’ dynamism of faster arrivals to the opposing halves has been lost a bit.
Changes in Available Modes
Many changes have occurred in the available modes in the game. The popular Career Mode now allows players to create their own team with a separate logo, and it is even possible to influence the look of the pitch on which they play. The created team can be inserted into the league of their choice and you can play as the owner of the club. This change is certainly not something we have not seen in other sports simulations, but FIFA fans may not be used to this more free approach, so opinions on it are extremely positive.
In the matches themselves, the change was made under the section Match Objectives and now these tasks have much more realistic goals, and players’ progress through “experience” points are now much better presented and the choice of necessary skills can be made clearer.
Volta, a popular version of street football and futsal has been given a new mode in which special competitions for four players can be chosen. These are competitions called Dodgerball, Foot Tennis, Disco Lava, and Team Keepaway, and EA Sports plans to add more in the future. Some other minor changes within Volta mode are the inclusion of player features such as Skill Meter and Signature Abilities.
Many interesting and new things that can be characterized as progress have been partially spoiled by the inertia of FIFA Ultimate Team mode. It has undergone a few significant changes and numerous criticisms of paying for various features within the mode are still present, often neglecting the skills of the players. The free part of playing FIFA Ultimate Team mode has become more user-friendly in FIFA 22 with the inclusion of new ways to achieve rewards and goals, but there is still an emphasis on payments which are often the only guarantee of player success.