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FIFA 22 – Cementing the Franchise’s Legacy Despite Its Flaws

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The world’s biggest sport needs the world’s biggest video game, and FIFA 22 duly delivers as the mega-franchise returns for another year. It ain’t perfect, yet that’s part of its appeal because, as we’ve seen in recent years, soccer is far from flawless.

Nothing gets the blood racing like the announcement of a new video game release. Even when a franchise continuously saturates the market, as EA Sports does with FIFA, you can’t help but wonder how the experience has improved. Does the gameplay make players feel as if they are sitting in Anfield’s Kop End as the stadium shakes after a Mohamed Salah stunner? Is there stunned silence when an equalizer brings the fans back down to earth?

FIFA 22 doesn’t wait long before it addresses the concerns. From the outset, users are reminded that this is the most detailed and complex edition of the iconic title that Electronic Arts Sports has released, via a 15-minute introduction where the latest software is introduced.

What’s Different?

FIFA 22 coincides with the release of the latest next-generation consoles from PlayStation and Xbox. So, it makes sense that the game utilizes the platforms to its advantage. One of the main ways it does it is through HyperMotion technology. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Simply put, the software uses 11v11 match capture and machine learning to create new animations, which means the characters are more lifelike.

However, it goes beyond appearance. 11v11 match capture tech affects how the players run, dribble, tackle, and move in general. The result is a slicker experience that convinces you that you’re not at home playing on your screen but in a legendary European stadium watching the world’s best soccer players.

Unfortunately, the 8.7 million frames the machine learning algorithm captured to create over 4,000 new animations isn’t available on Xbox One or PS4. You’ll need a PS5 or Xbox Series X or S.

Is There Anything Else?

Yes, the FIFA Ultimate Team mode remains. There aren’t any drastic alterations, yet the few tweaks that have been added make the feature much smoother. Take the menus as examples. Navigating them before wasn’t impossible, but it was clunky because the navigation element didn’t seem to make sense. For FIFA 22, the likes of ‘Transfer Market’ are efficient, which means you’ll spend less time getting frustrated at the layout. Plus, the extra customization components highlight the lengths EA Sports has gone to make the video game realistic, such as toggling a stadium’s stand colors.

EA Sports isn’t just a soccer specialist. As far as sporting video games are concerned, it’s the king of them all. This is another tick in the plus column for FIFA 22, since the developer has taken features from its library to enhance the best-selling soccer game ever. For instance, ‘Career Mode’ uses technology from its NHL series. Player Growth is a feature that has been used in ice hockey releases for years, and it’s finally been added to FIFA 22.

Something we can’t ignore is the Pro Clubs online service. For the first time, it will include the option to create female players as well as male players. Combined with former-pro Alex Scott taking over the commentary responsibilities, FIFA 22 feels like it represents the diversity of the sport in communities around the world.

One Big Drawback

FIFA 22 isn’t faultless. Indeed, something that will annoy regular users is the camera angle that made its debut in FIFA 21. It’s a small thing that makes all the difference, and it’s frustrating that EA Sports hasn’t listened to the complaints. Sure, the default angle looks incredible during the lead-up to a match. However, once the kick-off is taken, it’s apparent that it is style over substance as the camera doesn’t move along the sideline, making your field of vision smaller. You may want to consider heading to ‘Settings’ and playing around with the camera angle options before you kick a ball in anger. Otherwise, the gameplay could be less enjoyable.

How the FIFA Series Remains the Number One Soccer Game

Once upon a time, a couple of pretenders sought to dethrone FIFA from the number one spot. The likes of Pro Evolution Soccer pushed FIFA hard for a while, but it fell by the wayside in the end. Although Pro Evo had issues – it didn’t have any right to stadium and players’ names, as highlighted at 90min.com – FIFA’s ability to evolve meant it was fighting a losing battle.

The introduction of HyperMotion technology shouldn’t be underestimated because it’s proof of FIFA 22s journey. Arguably, any edition of the video game would sell millions of copies. Regardless, EA Sports is pushing the envelope by introducing Kinetic Air Battles, player fatigue, and enhanced humanization. This strategy is only the tip of the iceberg as EA Sports also stays relevant by overlapping with iGaming. Much of the technology used with modern video games such as FIFA 22 involves things you will find on online casinos, for example, virtual reality and augmented reality headsets.

Then there is the online element that all gamers demand, which is encouraged because of the popularity of remote gaming. It’s no coincidence that the latest version of FIFA connects with verticals such as eSports and virtual betting, particularly when you consider the relationship between gamers and iGamers. Even online casino games like slots increase the demand for FIFA 22, as offerings such as Let’s Soccer on time2play.com as well as the majority of the biggest US operators demonstrate through its widespread availability in the industry. After factoring in these characters, it’s not shocking that FIFA 22 is part of the most popular soccer video game franchise that has ever existed, destroying Konami by a distance.

Is FIFA 22 an Improvement?

FIFA 22 is undoubtedly an improvement from its predecessors. The new technology makes it smoother and more authentic than ever. Also, running it on next-gen consoles takes the experience to another level. There are flaws, and FIFA 22 may not be your favorite in the franchise, but it does what it’s supposed to and that should be celebrated.

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