How does the yearly edition of the world’s most popular sports video game fare this year? Our review of FIFA 22 will find out if it scores!
Whether you call it soccer or football, the game is basically the same as previous renditions. As such, this review focuses more on how the gameplay of FIFA 22 feels compared to its predecessors. We’ll also look at some of the new features of the game and whether they work.
Without further “stoppages”, let’s get into this review of FIFA 22!
The big new thing that FIFA 22 sports is Hypermotion technology. Instead of recording the movements of one player, the developers recorded the movements of all 22 players on the pitch, promising higher realism and better AI. It sounds great, but the problem is that it’s only available on next-gen consoles. Unless you are playing on PS5 or Xbox Series X|S, you’ll be losing out on some improvements.
The best thing from Hypermotion is that goalkeeper AI is a lot smarter now. For the longest time, goalkeepers are dumb and are more or less guaranteed to lose a 1v1 with the player. Now, goalkeepers actually provide a challenge and it’s harder to cheese, which is an excellent addition.
The biggest thing you’ll probably notice is the “weight” added to the players. This isn’t players getting fatter, Hypermotion makes it so that players feel grounded while their movements and animation are more impactful. This is a lot more noticeable especially during physical contact between players—players are harder to control right after bumping into another. This is a good thing—it’s well implemented enough that it feels realistic without feeling like a cheap or artificial annoyance.
Another thing that’s really great about Hypermotion is Explosive Sprint. Explosive Sprint makes 1v1 battles more intense. Your speed drastically increases when attacking and bypassing the opposing defense. This is a lot more noticeable for players who run fast.
The only letdown with Hypermotion is Tactical AI. While Goalkeeper AI is smarter, other AI-controlled players feel just as dumb as last time. Tactical AI only feels apparent on Legendary difficulty. Below that, there is basically no difference.
That said, you’ll still be missing all of the previously mentioned gameplay improvements if you are not playing on a next-gen console, which is a huge pain.
FIFA 22 modes and features
Career Mode is still divided between Player and Manager modes. For an in-depth explanation of the game’s Career Mode, you can read our article on it.
We can finally create our own clubs as a Manager in Career Mode! This was a fan-requested feature, so it’s great that we can finally create a club of our own. Customise just about everything, from stadiums to kits and more. Besides that, Manager Career Mode is pretty much the same.
Player Career Mode has new features, such as skill trees. For those who play RPGs, this should be pretty familiar to you. You can unlock new skills, perks and archetypes from gaining XP, which is granted by training and the new Match Objectives system, which gives the player several tasks to complete during a match. Also, there are new cinematics in the locker room which changes depending on your performance during the game, as well as a relationship feature with the manager. Overall, these new additions blend well with the established Career Mode.
FIFA Pro Clubs
This online 11v11 mode also got a new feature—the ability to create or customise female players! Your female players can also join and compete with their male counterparts. While this obviously doesn’t reflect real-world professional football, anything that gives more freedom for players is a win in my eyes.
Besides that, FIFA Pro Clubs also has the same skill tree system, where you can unlock and equip skills, archetypes and perks.
VOLTA is back! If you aren’t familiar with VOLTA, feel free to watch the above video or read our article on the VOLTA features in FIFA 22 before proceeding with the review.
VOLTA Arcade is pretty fun and makes for a great change of pace from the standard football matches. You can play mini-games like foot tennis, dodgeball (but with kicking) and other mini-games.
VOLTA also has a new feature called Signature Abilities. Players can choose 1 of 3 Signature Abilities and when the bar is filled, you can pull them off. It’s cool, but that’s about it.
VOLTA uses the skill tree system in Player Career Mode and FIFA Pro Club. The difference is that we only get access to skills and archetypes, but not perks.
Unfortunately, while trying out VOLTA, the matchmaking system was kinda slow and it took a long time to get an opponent.
FIFA Ultimate Team
FIFA Ultimate Team, or FUT has not always been my cup of tea, even in earlier games. For those who don’t know, this is the notorious gacha mode of FIFA, with stories of children emptying their parents’ bank accounts just to get Messi.
Regardless, FIFA 22‘s FUT adopts a seasonal system. Progression is more transparent in Division Rivals, and there is a new feature called Elite Division. FUT does have more competitive options, but they are obviously more pay-to-win than before.
There are a few minor changes, such as more customisation options to let players personalise their stadiums. Matchmaking was also pretty fast.
Graphics and Performance
FIFA 22 uses the same Frostbite engine as in FIFA 21, so the graphics don’t look that much different. However, I did notice that pitch looks blurry at certain angles and at certain distances, it seems like the grass just disappears. Besides that the graphics for the players and stadiums still look sharp.
Performance-wise, I encountered occasional stuttering when playing on PS5. It isn’t too frequent, but it quite annoying especially when it happens at a crucial moment in front of goal.
FIFA 22 addresses a lot of problems encountered by players of previous games. Goalkeepers are smarter and gameplay is overall more realistic, even if Tactical AI is a bit subpar. Career Mode and the other modes have a lot of welcome features and it’s safe to say that FIFA 22 is superior than FIFA 21.
However, the lack of Hypermotion on previous-gen consoles is a huge bummer. If you’re not getting FIFA 22 on PS5 or Xbox Series X|S, then I do not think that it’s worth it, even with the new features. Also, the graphical quality of the pitch feels rather underwhelming.
Review copy provided by EA. FIFA 22 is played on PlayStation 5.
An improvement over FIFA 21 in almost every way thanks to Hypermotion.
- Improved realism from Hypermotion technology
- Can create clubs in Career Mode
- All-around improvements and cool features to game modes
- RPG skill tree system works well
- Hypermotion is missing for older consoles
- Graphic quality of the pitch is underwhelming
Still a good game, but only feels worth it on PS5 or Xbox Series X|S