LifeisXbox’s Fifa 22 review | It is that time of the year again! Online players that abort while you score, goalkeepers that fail to save the easiest goal attempt, online players with fast runners that do ten tricks in one minute and the addiction to get your dream team in FUT. You guessed it, EA Sports is back with another Fifa game. Even more football fan eyes are on this year’s game as the new Pro Evolution Soccer (eFootball) is a massive disappointment. (review)
So what is new for Fifa 22? Biggest thing is HyperMotion that completely renewed the animations. small note, this is only on Xbox Series X|S and PS5. (Sorry Xbox One and PS4 gamers…) Another clear improvement is the AI positioning for defending middlefield players and defenders, goalkeepers have been improved too but still make some annoying mistakes. Sprinting has a new feature too, making fast players even more powerful against defenders. And for the very first time a female ex-England international, Alex Scott joins the commentary team. There’s a bit more new but they don’t have a big impact on the gameplay.
What we liked!
- HyperMotion is a gamechanger | For the first time, full-team motion capture and machine learning are used for the Fifa franchise. EA is using the marketing term ‘HyperMotion’ for this and it is a big refreshment in the flow of the game. Every single animation feels a lot more responsive and accurate. What benefits this new animation system, even more, are player collisions, the odd and unrealistic players being stuck together is almost completely gone now. EA mentioned 4000 new animations, I didn’t count them. What I do know is that the game plays more fluid. Fifa 22 is kinda the new Pro Evolution when it comes to responsiveness and smooth animations, took them long enough.
- Fifa’s 22 playable intro is brilliantly done | Every gamer understands the crucial part of tutorials, but at the same time we hate them too. Fifa 22 solves this by an incredible intro that learns you how to play the game with many familiar faces and a very neat Paris setting. It starts with beautiful cutscenes and making your character. After polishing your character you dribble past obstacles on the streets of Paris on your way to Le Parc des Princes. Once you arrive at this magnificent stadium you train with Mbappé and Thierry Henry. At the end of the day, you have the honour to follow a Champions League match PSG against Chelsea in a VIP box. For some weird reason, you watch the game together with Lewis Hamilton and David Beckham. This 20-minute intro was lovely to play and it shows a lot of love for the Fifa franchise, there’s even a small funny moment with Blur’s Song Two. One of Fifa’s most nostalgic songs.
- Quality of life improvements with all games modes, especially career mode | After years and years, it is finally possible to make a football club from scratch and drop it in an existing league. I have many Fifa player friends and this was highly requested. You can create your home and away kits, choose your colours and built your own stadium. Creating your player in Player Career is a lot more fun too as you’ll have to tackle objectives to earn more experience. They added a nice perk bonus that influences your entire team and replaying the same pieces of training over and over again isn’t required anymore. Ultimate Team, EA’s live service that earned them $1.62bn in Fifa 21 doesn’t have many changes. It is still a mode that tries to milk cash out of gamers, gamers in Belgium aren’t able to purchase loot boxes, so keep that in mind! (gambling law)
- Volta street football receives more love | Volta was introduced in Fifa 20, while I preferred to have a new Fifa Street this arcade street soccer mode in the main Fifa is fun too. It didn’t really get much extra value in Fifa 21 but this year it received some much-needed love from the developers. The basic concept is still the same but now you can pick extra powerups that temporarily improve shooting or defending. In addition, doing skill moves and showing off fills up a skill meter that can double your score. EA knows the audience perfectly and introduces new ways of socially having fun with Volta, with party games. Things like tennis football, avoiding lava pools while dribbling or dodgeball, with more coming in the future.
- Explosive sprint mechanic | You now have the option to break away from defenders with a speed boost. This will cause the player to get more tired but the balance is leaning towards strikers. When you are dealing with Phil Foden, Erling Holand, Kylian Mbappé or from my country Doku it is hard to not get frustrated by conceding a goal because he ran off like a roadrunner. There just misses a meep meep sound to make it even more comical to see. There’s always been this player base in Fifa that only uses fast players online, this new mechanic gives players even more reasons to misuse fast players.
- First real Xbox Series X|S Fifa | Once again football stars look more realistic, the grass looks greener and more detailed, the audience looks fantastic and the presentation is like watching a real football game on television. But honestly? I expected a bigger jump in visuals, just look at NBA 2K22. The only real big difference between the Xbox One generation and Series X|S is the loading times. You’re almost instantly playing a game now and that’s very impressive. Not everything needs to be about visuals and with HyperMotion the game did massively improve on Xbox Series X|S and PS5 but I’m still seeing many awkward security stewards, lowly detailed football players in less known clubs, weird career cutscenes straight out of the late Xbox 360 Fifa games and especially weather effects are hilariously bad.
What we disliked
- Huge frame drops happen in the 18-yard box | On rare occasions the game struggles with performance in the 18-yard box. This seems to be an engine glitch as I didn’t see a particular thing that caused it. Sometimes it happened when I was one-on-one with the goalie or when multiple players tried to head the ball during a corner. One thing is for sure though, it is extremely frustrating and a bit weird to see with a Fifa game. Never before did I notice frame issues with previous games in the franchise. Luckily 95% of the time the performance is smooth and reliable but that doesn’t make that 5% any less comfortable.
How long to beat the story | /
How long to achieve 1000G | 35 hours
Similar with | Pro Evolution Soccer – Football Manager
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