The FIFA series has always been a staple in the sports gaming world, but what makes this year’s installment so special?
FIFA 22 is the best launch for a football game since FIFA 16. It’s been in development for over 4 years and has been released to the public on September 26th, 2018.
It’s that time of year once again. The domestic leagues have begun. The transfer window for the summer has ended. It’s time to get your hands on FIFA 22’s newest and best. With a year of work behind them, EA has unveiled several intriguing new features for FIFA 22, the most notable of which being HyperMotion. HyperMotion’s basis incorporates Machine Learning and 11-on-11 motion capture capabilities, and it’s marketed as a revolutionary technology that enables for improved animations that can be created “six times quicker” than previously. It’s time to discover whether FIFA 22 is really worthy of becoming a great next-gen football game, building on the improvements from last year’s mid-cycle next-gen release.
What I Like About FIFA 22
Sync the tempo
One of the most serious problems that has afflicted the FIFA franchise in recent years has been the game’s pace. FIFA was for far too long a back-and-forth goal-fest with no concern for build-up play or any semblance of a midfield, resembling basketball with quick breakaway. Although pace still reigns supreme, the match tempo is as high as it has ever been in FIFA.
Matches go at various rates, exactly as if you were watching a weekend match on television. Thanks to HyperMotion and the new ball mechanics on cross-field changes, breaking down teams and switching the play has never been more fun. While there aren’t as many fouls as I’d like, there’s still enough of activity to keep you interested.
Everything is a lot more alive now.
EA seems to have cranked up the intensity for FIFA 22. Everything in this game screams “more energy,” from the pre-game presentation to the way the players move on the field. This isn’t an intentionally increased frenzied experience, but rather a demonstration of how HyperMotion and mo-capping a complete 11-on-11 encounter has affected the participants.
One of my major gripes with FIFA 21 was how uninterested your players were at kickoff. They appeared to simply jog into position instead of putting out the kind of intensity that you’d expect to see in a contest.
Your virtual gamers didn’t appear to be enthralled by the great presentation. Everything feels more vibrant and brimming with anticipation this year. The action pulls you in more, and FIFA 22 is better because of it. From fans erupting during rivalry matches to your players displaying more passion, the action sucks you in more and FIFA 22 is better because of it.
Improved artificial intelligence
Although I mentioned it briefly in my initial impressions post, it’s worth repeating how wonderful it is to have half-decent colleagues. Teammates who not only make runs while attacking, but also when defending, have heightened awareness and anticipation. There are still too few crosses from AI players who should be crossing the ball in apparent circumstances, and center back spacing is sometimes too wide, but the AI is tough and diverse enough to make career mode interesting.
With significantly better midfielders over last year’s game and the potential to make great players stand out via Player Based Difficulty, FIFA’s gameplay is in the best condition it’s been in since FIFA 16.
The Meta Has Changed
The way FIFA 22 is played has changed as a consequence of the enhanced AI and match pace. The meta techniques of FIFA 21 no longer work in FIFA 22, much to the dismay of the competitive community, which isn’t a fan of change in general. The slower, more patient approach that pays off in FIFA 22 is a welcome departure from FIFA 21’s pace-heavy, AI-abused, poor-midfield landscape.
Because players are inherently more active, they play passing channels, putting their feet out to intercept or catch a ball. Poor passes, such as those 180-degree blind passes, don’t find their intended targets as frequently as they used to, making passing more risky than in previous years. Last year’s powerful through ball, which was a mainstay and tough to deal with, has been toned down, with pass efficiency and overall defensive posture much improved. Switching the play and changing defenses is a proven and successful strategy for achieving success.
What I Don’t Like About FIFA 22
Mode of Work
Coming into the ’22 cycle, I had a feeling that career mode would be a letdown this year. It wasn’t so much because it was terrible as it was because we weren’t going to see any major changes this year. The Pitch Notes blog, which highlighted more modifications to “player” career mode than the usual club-based career mode, backed up this prediction.
This year’s major feature was Create-a-Club, which is largely a port from FUT. Create-a-Club is a nice feature, and I’m sure some people will like it, but it’s basically simply reintroducing something that was removed from the game (Creation Center) in a prior edition.
There are fresh news articles and, for the first time, a greater emphasis on winning individual prizes, but there is still no trophy room or statistical monitoring beyond a year. There is still no managerial carousel, so if you’re two years into your save, you’ll see the same manager, formations, and tactics as in the first season. The AI-controlled teams’ transfer logic still needs improvement, as you’ll see familiar moves in year one, as well as the infamous CPU position stacking problem, which sees them collect far too many players at one position.
As I previously said, career mode isn’t terrible in general, but it lacks the complexity of an NBA 2K and is more akin to a Madden. FIFA sells more copies than almost any other game, so career mode should be farther advanced by now.
Perhaps it’s foolish to expect HyperMotion to function flawlessly right now. When it comes to sports games, most fresh ideas, regardless of genre, need to be ironed out. When it comes to this, HyperMotion isn’t alone. For all that it helps to organize your midfield — and midfielders are far better at defending this year than they were last year – it creates problems with your backline, which may be much more problematic given that it is your final line of defense.
The biggest problems I’ve seen are people diving much too deep or leaving huge holes in the middle of the park. When your center backs drop too far back, it opens up a large gap between your midfield and backline, which the opponent may exploit to break your lines. It’s much worse when your backline slips deep within your own box, allowing attackers to turn and fire with only a blocked shot or save to rescue them.
Apart from its effects on form and organization, HyperMotion was praised for its ability to enhance animations, even generating new animations on the fly through “Machine Learning,” as main engineer Sam Rivera explained:
“What that algorithm does is learn from all of the data from that motion capture shot — how the players approach the ball, how many steps they take to get to the ball, is it three long steps and one small step; what is the right angle, with the proper cadence, to properly hit that ball. It generates that solution in real time, as well as the animation. That is cutting-edge technology at its finest. This is really the start of machine learning taking over the animation industry.”
This animations issue isn’t a new issue with the Frosbite Engine, which many, including myself, feel is when FIFA’s gameplay began to deteriorate following its release in FIFA 17. It’s an engine that’s had a hard time replicating physics well enough to have a beneficial effect on gameplay. Is it truly necessary for Frostbite to create new animations?
In any case, the game looks and feels fantastic in action, but when you watch replays, the warping and strange movements reappear. Overall, I think HyperMotion is a work in progress, but the realism and dynamic gameplay improvements we were promised in FIFA 22 aren’t quite there yet.
Delay in Input
The input latency in FIFA 22 is one of the game’s most irritating aspects. The competitive audience has been harping on this problem for years, while offline gamers have misinterpreted it as a demand for responsiveness. Instead of being sensitive to player movement, the response is often delayed — particularly when tackling — resulting in some bad challenges that take a long time to play out.
This is one of the reasons why the greatest defense in FIFA is still attempting to grab the ball from the attacker’s foot, or even running into them. Correcting the button responsiveness may go a long way toward bringing more fouls into play, especially when fouls seem to be non-existent.
Input lag isn’t only a defensive problem; it also occurs while attacking, especially when firing. It’s no more obvious than when you want to go for a header but the game either ignores you or forces you to go for a header without jumping when leaping is the better choice. The secret to a football game that not only feels but also looks realistic is the appropriate animation in the right situation. In this respect, FIFA 22 is a step forward, but there is still more to be done.
Issues with Backline Depth
Despite all of HyperMotion’s improvements to the midfield in terms of tracking runners and being aggressive on defense, there seems to be a problem with your backline as a consequence, particularly falling too deep inside your own 18-yard box. In ideal circumstances, your backline should be stepping up in situations like the ones shown above. The gap between the two midfielders and my defenders is too great with the midfielders defending within my box, allowing for simple passes into the foot of the striker.
This is countered by defenders’ superhuman ability to stop shots, but generally, marking should be considerably tighter, and your backline should only move as a unit when attempting to play the opponent offside. Sliders can help with this problem, but sliders aren’t a good solution for what should be defense 101.
Despite the aforementioned problems, this is the greatest FIFA launch in a long time. There are no exploits or obvious problems that make the game unusable for some, and the visuals are excellent, particularly for clubs whose stadiums and players have been scanned.
FIFA 22 will undoubtedly evolve over the next several months as a result of user input, but if you’re looking for a good soccer game to scratch your football itch, FIFA 22 is the game for you. There are many modes to enjoy, the online service is as reliable as ever, and the gameplay has finally improved to the point where it can provide a satisfying challenge, due in part to the attacking/defending balance.
FIFA 22 is one of the best launches in soccer gaming since FIFA 16. With a new engine and updated gameplay, FIFA 22 has been able to be a great launch for the next-gen consoles Reference: fifa 22 next-gen pc.
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