FIFA 22 Is "More Of The Same"
As we finally reach October, we're reminded that it's another year and yet another entry in EA's FIFA series. FIFA 22 releases for the first time across all major consoles of both current and previous generations. In the past, the "next-gen" releases would appear several months after the initial launch. This was also something I noticed with other sports titles including NBA 2K22, which we previewed on the Nintendo Switch.
Unlike the charming anomaly that was NBA 2K22, the Switch version of FIFA 22 is not just inferior to the other games in the series. FIFA on the Switch was always a scam, dating as early as FIFA 20 reportedly being the exact same game as FIFA 19. EA Sports was caught under fire for this very reason in FIFA 21. More can be read on this via IGN's humorous review. Despite the name "Legacy Edition," FIFA 22 on the Switch is more of the same for the past three years.
The Best Tutorial Ever In A Sports Game
For every other console not the Switch, FIFA 22 begins unlike any sports title I've played. A cutscene showing the city of Paris with various famous football players enjoying their morning is shown. The camera then pans to a hotel room with a hidden person answering texts and phone calls. The player then gets to choose between several presets of various genders, revealing the hidden person as themselves.
The premise is that you, the player, is a prospect for PSG, Paris Saint-Germain F.C, and your scouting session begins today. Without much in the way of practice, you and your partner play a mock-up game of football. This is all the while roaming through the Paris streets to the metro. While this is going on, controls including how to move your player, dribble, and pass are introduced.
Eventually, the player reaches the PSG stadium where they are taught how to defend, shoot, and other nuances. Elements of the game's career mode are teased, including dressing up your player in formal attire. See, your player isn't going to be debuting their game. Instead, they will spectate the semi-final between PSG and Chelsea. You are playing as PSG. It is here that the first tutorial match plays in full.
HyperMotion Technology Makes FIFA 22 Expressive
There is a range of expression in FIFA 22 from the moment the player has possession of the ball. The kits on the players flow with the motion of their movements. Their method of dribbling changes depending on the number of defenders. Even their responses to passes and shots are dependent on many variables. With FIFA 22's new "HyperMotion Technology," the game aims to not only make a game beautiful via its graphics, but with its motion capture as well.
Football is one of the most physically involved sports, both American and international, requiring footwork and body motion. While everything is a blur in actual gameplay, this is shown in detail during replays. The arc of the player's kicks, combined with the varying degrees of celebrations. The facial animations when a shot is missed vs when a call is made on the field. On the Xbox Series X, these are a pleasure to watch.
FIFA 22 Is For The Enthusiasts And Newbies
Ultimately, this is an EA Sports title, which means Ultimate Team is in full force. While microtransactions will always loom in sports titles such as these, the game is a marvel at its core. As someone who has little involvement in football aside from the World Cup, I was impressed with how easy the controls were. The ease of controls is customized by the player, ranging from "Classic" layouts to a single-button layout.
Fans of various teams by country will also be content with the number of football teams available on the roster. Aside from the national teams, teams separated by country are included. United States, Brazil, England, Austria, Japan, South Korea, and many other countries have their respective leagues. There's a team for everyone and for those who want more, the player customization is spot on. Of the sports titles I've played this year, FIFA 22 is a solid entry no matter what platform it's on. Just, avoid the Switch version at all costs.
FIFA 22 is now available on the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch.