FIFA 22 Review: Next gen, best RPG and what not... What's not to love!

FIFA 22 ignores PC users for no apparent reason, is a major throwback to the FIFA 09 era, when PC users were likewise ignored.

Mbappe in FIFA 22. (Credits EA)

FIFA 22 is EA’s first football simulation game in eight years to launch across console generations. FIFA 22 has been created from the ground up for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, unlike FIFA 21, which had a mid-season next-gen upgrade. It has a slew of new gameplay elements dubbed “Hypermotion Technology” as a group. FIFA 22 ignores PC users for no apparent reason, is a major throwback to the FIFA 09 era, when PC users were likewise ignored. However, it’s worth mentioning that this is how the majority of people will play FIFA 22, as the PS5 and Series S/X are still far from reaching mass market because to worldwide processor shortages and supply chain issues.

Because FIFA 22 is two different games spanning console generations, there is no cross-gen support. EA Sports has once again overlooked cross-play, which sticks out even more now that its rival eFootball — formerly Pro Evolution Soccer — has gone free-to-play with full cross-play. The only good news is that PS5 and Xbox Series S/X users can play with their friends by installing the PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 22, respectively, owing to Sony and Microsoft’s backward compatibility efforts.

As far as the performance on the Xbox One X is concerned, it was a back and forth. While it was mostly smooth sailing, we did not experience some stuttering and significant frame rate reductions. It happened infrequently, but when it did, FIFA 22 became unplayable. The menus in-game are always laggy. It can be only be imagined how the FIFA 22 would play on the original PS4 and Xbox One, given that this was on an Xbox One X.

FIFA 22 gameplay

While most of the major improvements are absent, FIFA 22 on older systems still includes a slew of minor gameplay tweaks across the board. However, these appear to have pushed FIFA further into arcade terrain than it has ever been before. This is especially true of goalbound shots. Goals from outside the box with the first touch. With two players surrounding him and the keeper in front of him, the left back finished from a zero angle. Reallife defenders can only dream of scoring volleys like those from the centre back. Most AI goals are arcadestyle, which means you’ll be bombarded with impossible goals online until players figure out how to effectively use the resources FIFA 22 provides.The ball cuts through the air like a knife when shooting, there doesn’t appear to be any swerve or air drag on it.

On one hand, this is strange considering goalkeepers in FIFA 22 are meant to be better. EA Sports claims to have gone through a “rewrite,” with over 600 animations dedicated to how goalkeepers move, dive, parry the ball, and tip it over the goal. Goalkeepers are amazing, I must say, saving one-on-ones that I would have buried in previous FIFA games. They have the appearance of superheroes at times. It’s as though their hands are made of steel. However, considering how AI prefers to score, they are also useless. I also saw a hilarious goalkeeping bug, which you can see in the video below.

When you realise that the ball performs in a more realistic manner than almost anywhere else, the arcade character of shots becomes even more perplexing. On FIFA 22, the way it moves, the way players take it in stride and pass it on to others, feels better. Driven crosses (R1/RB + square/X) aren’t as arcade-y or overpowered as they once were.

With passing, EA Sports is also extending the talent difference. The deeper your target is and the degree of difficulty of the pass itself, the more exact your direction and left stick will need to be in any competitive mode for through passes. This is especially true for passages that are driven through. While I used to be able to take them off with ease, they aren’t as easy to connect to the target in FIFA 22. It’s still aggravating how FIFA can’t identify the right player when you have an offside and onside player in the same direction to choose from.

When it comes to the FIFA 22 AI, the rubber banding appears to be at an all-time high. At the end of every match, the AI transforms into a superhero, more so on higher levels. This is particularly aggravating in Ultimate Team, where Squad Battles can feel a little like late-season Career Mode at times.

FIFA 22 Career Mode

Although you may be more enthused about the reintroduction of Create Your Club, the most significant improvements are in the Player Career section. FIFA 22 will finally allow your player to come on as a substitute, after a decade of PES having the feature. Unlike Konami’s game, you don’t have to witness the match (in real time or sped up) because everything is quick-simmed until you enter the arena. FIFA 22 also introduces all-new match objectives, which are nonetheless incredibly unrealistic. No coach in the world expects his players to score two goals from outside the box in a single game.

The most significant change in FIFA 22’s Player Career is how player progression is handled. You will earn XP as you train, play matches, and achieve match objectives. This XP assists you in levelling up, which offers you skill points that may be used to develop your player in a variety of ways. The skill tree has been completely overhauled and enlarged. You now have complete control over how your player’s statistics develop. The “Archetype” nodes at the end of a skill tree branch are where the most growth occurs.

In addition, Player Career in FIFA 22 introduces “Perks.” There are approximately 30 of them, and they all serve as stat enhancements. Consider them mini-superpowers. Long-distance or first-touch shooting can both be improved. After scoring or losing a goal, you can temporarily improve all of your shooting attributes. You can improve your passing and tackling skills. For a limited period, you can even increase the entire team’s defensive or offensive attributes. However, you can only have three Perks equipped at a time. You begin with one slot and gain access to more as you go.

For the first time, enthusiasta can also jump into the Indian Super League, with the ISL making its debut in a FIFA game.

Volta Football

Despite its status as an afterthought, EA Sports appears to be committed to the street football mode Volta. It is, however, reducing its budgetary commitments. FIFA 21’s significantly trimmed (and funny) storey mode, which included Kaká and Thierry Henry, is no longer available. In reality, the same huge names that were touted so highly in Volta’s initial couple of editions have been completely removed from the game. This is due to the fact that FIFA 22 is foregoing the entire recruiting process. (This also implies that chemistry is no longer a thing.) EA Sports claims it wants to concentrate on the individual rather than the team, and on playing with friends rather than synthetic avatars.

You’re stuck with low-70-rated AI players who miss open goal sitters because recruiting isn’t an option. Volta Battles, Volta’s version of Ultimate Team’s Squad Battles, are the only solo play option in Volta, with 5v5 player-vs-player Volta Squads being the only other option.

Volta’s gameplay, like that of the rest of FIFA 22, is getting more arcade-like. To be fair, it is at least the proposed goal here. As indicated by the new Skill Meter, EA Sports is emphasising the value of flare. Filling it up can be as simple as making creative passes, wall passes, regaining control, or defeating opponents with nutmegs or skill plays. As it fills up, your next goal could be two, three, or four. In principle, you can be down three goals and still win if you fill up the Skill Meter and score a goal in the last seconds of a game.

More than just football

Even if EA manages to get its head out of the gold mine, the company is having problems on the field. FIFA no longer feels like football to me. To be honest, it never was — due to pitch size, pace dominance, and other factors — but it now appears to be drifting farther and more away from the sport it claims to represent each year. Perhaps a new rival will be able to shake things up. We are in desperate need of it.

Sportslumo Desk

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