FIFA 22 - Review

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Review by FIFA 22. Game for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Google Stadia, the video game was released on 30/09/2021 The version for PlayStation 4 came out on 02/10/2021 The version for Xbox One came out on 02/10/2021
Version for PlayStation 5 from 02/10/2021
Version for Xbox Series X from 02/10/2021
Version for Google Stadia from 02/10/2021

The numerous and thundering videogame releases in September culminate with the arrival of what is in no uncertain terms one of the most anticipated and talked about products of each season: the new FIFA 22. The new iteration of Electronic Arts football, out on September 27th for all those who have pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition and from 1 October for all the others, it promises to improve and perfect the work done in recent years, without however upsetting a winning formula, net of all the historical imperfections of the brand. The transition to HyperMotion technology is undoubtedly a fundamental watershed for the new course of the Canadian software house and its flagship brand, which lays the foundations, at least on next-gen, for what certainly promises a bright future but that needs. of further steps to be truly complete.

On the whole, however, we can say that the path taken seems to be the right one and this chapter of the series, however "transitional" and necessary, represents a good starting point, although not perfect.

The game in fact brings with it some historical problems of the series and some inaccuracies due to the new play structure, completely understandable but which could discourage some of the historical fans of the brand, accustomed to a playful style that inevitably is altered in some dynamics. . The news, however, is not lacking even in terms of game modes, among which a revolution of competitive modes such as Weekend League e Division Rivals and much more, which will surely make the happiness (but also the opposite, in some cases) of many gamers. If you are curious to find out all the details on FIFA 22, however, you just have to continue reading our review!

Football at your fingertips

Let's face it, for a football title and above all for a production eager to try to reinvent different structural dynamics, the most important aspect could only be that relating to the gameplay. Electronic Arts has not announced great revolutions and after all it has not brought them but has been able to renew (not always in a successful way, however, attention) in an evident way some playful solutions, bringing on the screen a pad product in the hand that is profoundly different from the one seen in the last years.

The transition to technology Hypermotion, exclusively for next-gen versions of the game, has profoundly changed some of the most important dynamics of the game, thus marking a big gap between the annual chapter and the previous ones. Although to a less trained eye FIFA 22 may seem very similar to FIFA 21, in essence, the reality of the facts is very different and this thing is evident right away, especially for those who, like this writer, have played over 3000 games on FIFA 21 and we are not talking about marginal changes, quite the contrary. Very few games were enough for us to understand how much the development team wanted to deeply change the playful aspect of the production, while remaining tied to the main dogmas of production without distorting them too much but still altering them in some cases heavily.

The first "victim", in a positive or negative sense based on the point of view, are the skills, which in the last 3-4 chapters of the saga have always represented a fundamental part of the success of the players, which this year have been heavily resized on the altar of a more concrete and marked "realism". Let's be clear, FIFA 22 remains fundamentally a spectacular title and devoted to fun rather than credibility but the changes made to the backbone of the game in this sense are also very evident in some passages. The speech linked to skills is based on other very important factors that have been revisited, which have a profound impact on this aspect of the game and in general on the whole construction of the maneuver, in this case offensive but also on the other side of the field. .

In fact, skills, in addition to being less effective in an intrinsic way, crash with three main factors that in this FIFA 22 have undergone an important review: the opposing CPU, the physics of the ball and the general fluidity of the athletes on the pitch, embellished with an increasingly exorbitant amount of animations. The different rhythm of the game but also of the same bodies of the athletes, who move in a more truthful and above all organized and reflexive way in the middle of the field, make the construction of the maneuver less tightrope and direct, since the "classic" frenzy in approaching the game, paradoxically, this year can be a sword of Damocles difficult to bear.

Thanks to Hypermotion technology (but we also call it CPU) the development team put on an opposing AI (but also an ally, mind you) much more aware of itself in the middle of the field, something that is felt especially in the defensive phase, in recent years more and more one of the darkest and most complicated points to evaluate in the Electronic Arts production. The new defensive phase, the result of the transition to the new graphics engine, is much more "bulky" but functional and can be felt simply by observing the players moved by artificial intelligence, who finally move in a more harmonious and intelligent way on the pitch. , leaving very little space for the adversary raids. This new defense management is also facilitated by a long series of new movements that the players have, which make them clearly more reactive and ready to intervene in different game situations, especially when the player tends to raise the defense in a manner too firm without worrying about the consequences.

In addition to the defensive phase, much more "manual" but at the same time automatic, thanks to the greater reliability of teammates, Electronic Arts with FIFA 22 has also worked hard on another of the most evident critical issues of the production: the goalkeepers. As already anticipated in the phase of approaching the definitive release, the development team has done a great job on the extreme defenders, who in particular in the last two editions of the brand have turned out to be nothing short of up to the situation, even too much unfair. With FIFA 22 the music has changed radically, with the extreme defenders that are real human walls in front of the goal, almost independent of the overall of the player himself. Equipped with a long series of additional movements and above all with a much more advanced AI, the latter become the protagonists of incredible interventions, resulting almost unbeatable in one-on-one and in close conclusions, thus giving great safety to the entire backward department.

Good intentions don't always pay off

All very nice? It probably might seem like it but, in reality, that's not the case at all. Starting right from the extreme defenders, it should be noted that their incredible skill in opposing close conclusions, honestly excessive and on more than one occasion bordering on credible, contrasts with an incredible amount of blunders in rejecting conclusions from outside the area. , this year extraordinarily effective, especially if you entrust the green led with perfect timed finalizations.

On such occasions the goalkeepers are almost always unable to read the trajectory of the ball, ending up being found unprepared both in terms of reactivity and positioning, thus giving rise to sudden imbalances (even in the results of online competitions, of course) perhaps even more evident. than in recent years. At the time of writing (we are expecting a "corrective" patch shortly) being able to evaluate the work done on the goalkeepers, inevitably, is really complex and we hope that in the shortest possible time we can finally find a balance to few steps but which still has to be achieved.

A similar but different speech must be made with regard to the aforementioned defensive phase, this year really super effective, perhaps even too much. The CPU that moves the players without the ball is very aggressive and fast in reading game situations, even the most complex ones, in a way that is sometimes too excessive. We pass a bit from one extreme to the other, as well as for goalkeepers so to speak, with the consequent birth of equally inconsistent and unrealistic situations, in which we are witnessing the almost complete incapacity of even the most important athletes such as Mbappè, Neymar and so on to overtake one's opponents, even the most modest ones. This is clearly due to one CPU unnaturally too skillful but above all aggressive, able to press all the time and to read the passing lines always and in any case, forcing the player to rely on solutions from the outside which, as mentioned before, often end up surprising the opposing goalkeeper, provided however that they overcome the annoying auto block that once again this year, net of the engine change, they come back to knock on the players' door.

All this is combined with a deliberately slowed pace of play, in which it is more difficult to go away at speed even with the usual suspects, which clearly would not be a bad thing, if it were not, however, that put all in the cauldron these elements generate a result probably opposite or in any case different than desired.

Is attack the best defense?

By force of racing, it is clear that even the offensive phase, in this FIFA 22, has undergone a strong revisitation compared to the chapters of previous years. Let me be clear, the pace of the game is always frenzied and incessant but to change is the very concept of creating scoring chances. As we said before, relying on the usual raids of the fastest athletes this year is not necessarily a winning move, on the contrary, both for the characteristics listed above and for the will of the development team to give the construction of the maneuver a different conception, still relying on the greater skills of the virtual players moved byHypermotion. Thanks also to a heavier and more credible physics of the ball (except for some rare cases in which it is exactly the opposite, such as with the goalkeepers' referrals) the construction of the action is slower and less rapid, which shows an aspect if we want a different title than its predecessors, decidedly more devoted to boarding and less "reflexive". To be clear, now the ball turn is the best way to get in front of goal, which gives new life to the whole playful mechanism of the production, in particular by taking a look at the players present in the game.

With this gameplay, even slower but more skilled players with physically stronger but less rapid passes or defenders, both offline and online, regain importance, which can only please a slice of users, always eager to witness this small revolution that this year, albeit in very small doses, has begun to appear on the game servers. Unfortunately, however, not everything works as it should. Thanks once again to the excessive aggressiveness of the opposing AI, this desire to push the pace of the game in a different direction is in some ways a limitation, with the result, often times, of witnessing mixed and difficult maneuvers to complete, also because of the greater heaviness of both the ball and the athletes on the pitch. However, this new aspect brought by FIFA 22 is not to be underestimated, nor to be branded as a failure, indeed. We are in fact convinced that, despite everything, building the action is much more satisfying and intriguing, and we are also sure that in the next chapter, perhaps paying attention to the critical issues previously reported, the final result can be really very interesting and, above all, can represent a strong change of course compared to the previous chapters.

Fun for all tastes

FIFA 22, like all its predecessors, has one element that no one can really argue about: the rich offer of content. Also this year, in fact, the content offer of the Electronic Arts giant is exorbitant and above all it is able to really think about every type of player. For fans of spectacular football, orphans of the former FIFA Street, the Volta Football Mode returns this year, in a more overwhelming way than the last editions, embellished with a series of certainly not revolutionary but still very intriguing improvements. The main of them certainly concerns the progression system, which is based not only on a classic system with a skill tree but also on unique special skills depending on the player's needs, which can certainly generate a good variety within the matches and in the general advancement of your alter ego. The news, however, does not end there, and extends to the introduction of some fun mini games in the "mini game" such as soccer tennis and others, ideal for those looking for a fun and carefree game with which to spend a few hours in company. with friends or alone.

In addition to the mode Volta, FIFA 22 now offers more possibilities for those who want to try their hand at women's soccer, introducing some small structural additions with the possibility of taking part in some tournaments, in which it is possible to select some of the most famous national football teams in the world. Also with regard to the Pro club, a mode very dear to many players, it is necessary to point out the introduction of some small innovations, certainly however, once again, not revolutionary but still functional. Players this year can enjoy a matchmaking much faster and more precise that manages to match players in a more conscious way based on their real skill level, in turn linked to the introduction of a progression system very similar to that of Volta. From this year, in fact, each avatar can have access to a skill tree to be expanded from game to game, with the possibility of expanding the skills with exclusive perks which give the player extra attributes.

Added to this is a wider customization system than in the past, much closer to other game modes but which in any case does not actively affect the actual game but is limited to a purely aesthetic value. In any case, however, for fans of the modality in question, the appointment with the "revolution" is still postponed, since the new additions are so interesting but fail to be truly incisive at three hundred and sixty degrees.

FUT and Career: between news and the usual (in) certainties!

In this sea of ​​videogame possibilities, however, the usual queens of the FIFA scene stand out: the Career Manager and the FUT. The two main football iterations in this FIFA 22 live on a fundamentally conservative concept in their structure, in which the most important innovations are offered by the latter, whose novelties, however, are "limited" to the competitive and playful sphere rather than to the backbone general real. Before going into the news related to the FUT we want to analyze first those related to the Career mode, certainly interesting but still more marginal.

The most important news related to Coaching career is about being able to create a team completely from scratch to start your own adventure, a bit like what happened with the dear Master League of the good times on the PES era. Once the creation of the team has started, from which it is possible to freely select uniforms, badges, social and stadium colors, through a fairly numerous preset selection, the game offers you the possibility to go and modify different aspects of the new Club, with an impact certainly important with what the gaming experience will be.

In this phase it is possible to modify important parameters such as the potential of the team, the average age and managerial expectations, thus creating a personalized and satisfying ecosystem for all types of players. The differences generated by these different approaches, in the long term, are certainly all still to be evaluated but we can already tell you that we strongly felt the feeling of "starting from scratch" generated by this new way of approaching a career, which is a must to approach in a more intelligent and "managerial" way, keeping all team management under control.

Considering that it is also possible to manage the starting budget of the team, the FIFA 22 Manager career it can be a super intriguing challenge for every type of player, clearly with an eye to those who want to get involved at higher levels. Clearly it is also possible to choose an existing club to start the Career but in this way you go to remove what is the big chunk of novelty of the mode in question since, for the rest, the differences compared to FIFA 21 are certainly minimal. Basically, in fact, there are no new things apart from the creation of the club, with the development team having decided to focus on improving some critical aspects of the previous iteration.

We are talking, for example, of a management of the market a little more realistic and an interaction with the various players a little more credible but these are in any case marginal changes on the whole and concerning some mechanics that, in the near future, we hope to find in shape. different and more in step with the times.

This is Ultimate Team: football (not) for everyone!

Needless to go around it, the real engine of the machine called FIFA 22 is called Ultimate Team, this year ready for the starting line with a fair amount of news related in particular to the competitive sphere of the queen mode of the sports videogame market.

From the point of view of the modalities in the modality and in the creation of the team, including the management of the inevitable SBCs, Ultimate Team proves to be perfectly in line with what has been seen in recent years, with the most important innovations that mainly affect the competitive modes par excellence: the Division Rivals and the Fut Champions. With FIFA 22 the development team has revolutionized the progression of both modes, trying to meet the demands of the community and the needs of every type of user.

To do this, the guys from Electronic Arts pulled on a different and more "long-lived" progression system which tries to please in particular those players who do not have much time available but also to try to better balance the gap on the pitch between the various athletes involved.

To do this EA has created a system of rewards and seasonal advancement and no longer weekly, with players who will have to climb the divisions through a system of points that allows the passage between one division and another, passing through the checkpoints that they need. in order not to lose the progress achieved in a particular division. Based on the division achieved and the victories centered in that specific week, the game will then deliver to the players the classic weekly prizes, which join the monthly ones, which require the achievement of certain "Milestones" which often consist simply in playing a certain number of matches, regardless of the final result.

By playing the Rivals, as always, they accumulate points for the Weekend League, which this year, however, will not be available immediately and for everyone. Once you have scored the points necessary for access to the competitive mode (1500 points), you will not enter the heart of the competition directly, but Playoff, playable safely throughout the week, which represent the final obstacle to access the real finals, playable as usual on the weekend, with a reduced number of games, however, from 30 to 20.

To access the final stages you need to score 24 points, with each player having 9 games available to hit the target. Each game won offers players 4 qualification points, while defeat offers 1. This means they are needed 5 victories to access the final competition, but redeemable at any time and not necessarily in that week. These tricks have been designed to make everything more accessible but have generated a different and less positive effect on the game environment if we want.

First of all, everything has become very "competitive", which is not a bad thing but it has created an even more suffocating game environment, in which each game is a small final, which puts a strain on the nerves of all the players . Secondly, the Rivals progression system tends to create very noticeable moments of stagnation where players get stuck in limbo without being able to progress or relegate, as the level resets every season and not every week.

To close the circle, from our negative point of view, we then think of the various prizes, this year too narrow and that do not reward the effort made by the players to hit the various weekly and seasonal objectives, offering rewards that are far too small. Let me be clear, in the past chapters perhaps the exact opposite happened but we did not expect to go from one extreme to the other in such an evident way. Squad Battles rewards have also been heavily scaled down which could discourage less hardened players or those who don't spend real currency in game to buy packs to upgrade their squads. Fortunately, however, the game is full of objectives to complete to unlock various packages, very useful for improving your team but certainly not able to be a truly valid alternative to the phenomenon of pay-to-win.

Overall, however, the various changes made have their potential but we are convinced that at least the reward system should be revised a moment, to prevent players from getting discouraged and leaving the game servers prematurely.

Lights (and shadows) at San Siro!

From a technical and graphic point of view, the new FIFA 22, supported by the new graphic engine, brings to the screens of the owners of the new generation consoles a product that preserves the will of the development team to improve without revolutionizing, with good results. The general glance offered by the title is in fact very good, with the polygonal models of the players, both the main and the secondary ones, much more accurate, both in terms of movements and on a more "practical" level, starting from the yield on the pitch , from the proportions and behavior of the players on the pitch, clearly with a main focus on the most illustrious athletes, who also enjoy a more precise and increasingly photorealistic scan face system.

The increase in the AI ​​of athletes has an impact not only in terms of gameplay but also on a technical and visual level, where thanks to the new possibilities offered byHypermotion it all seems much more credible and realistic. In fact, the players move in a more coherent and harmonious way on a virtual game rectangle that is at the same time more credible and refined, in which we witness the effects of the passage of the minutes of play with situations such as deterioration of the field and so on, which do not affect on the gameplay but which still give a more harmonious image to the whole structure.

Electronic Arts has also worked on the surrounding elements, such as audience and rendering of the background elements, increasingly an integral part of the playful and audiovisual ecosystem, which is confirmed, in practical terms, with a target set on 4K and 60fps very stable on next generation consoles.

The Canadian company has also revised the lighting management in a rather evident way, which however, although it is an integral part of the most evident improvements of the game, it "stains" with some blunders, especially on some types of gaming facilities and in certain conditions. climatic. In these cases the color rendering of the game is poorly balanced, with some colors either too hot or too cold, which make the glance at times unrealistic, as if everything were covered with an effect cell shading in some ways also annoying. Clearly it is not anything sensationally disabling but perhaps a little more could be done in this regard.

However, something more has been done regarding the support for the Dualense, intriguing and satisfying even without particular revolutions. Electronic Arts has pushed a lot to let PlayStation players breathe football even on a sensory level thanks to the new pad, which returns to the players elements such as tiredness, the touch of the ball, the shot and in general all types of movements and various contrasts.

First and foremost it is precisely the performance of the collisions that is very “felt” by holding the controller but also the progressive fatigue of the players, with the pad that simulates a sort of beat that is precisely to mark the resistance index of the various players. Of course, it is not anything really impacting on the gameplay but they are small improvements that help to breathe the air of next-gen in a more heartfelt way.

This aspect is also embellished by the menus, made much more modern in terms of aesthetics which, once again, without revolutionizing the whole make the gaming experience more enjoyable. Final comment on the audio sector: thanks to the possibilities of the new Sony flagship the sound performance becomes more immersive and helps the player to feel more and more part of the game, for a final result that is certainly intriguing and that lays the foundations for a promising future.

Different speech for the commentary, once again entrusted to the excellent Pierluigi Pardo who, however, this year will be accompanied by the very interesting new entry Daniele "Lele" Adani. Although on paper the couple seems wonderful, in reality the commentary remains basically a side dish and especially Adani enjoys very few sentences and above all seems to have little space, speaking only on rare occasions. We hope that this aspect will receive greater attention from next season also because the potential is there.

FIFA 22 is not the revolutionary title that someone could have expected but it still manages to mark a big furrow with the past in several respects. The gameplay, for example, has made significant progress but the "new" gaps bring to light what is still an excellent job, which however requires an important improvement path, precisely to avoid repeating the mistakes made in the past. , especially when it comes to goalkeeper AI and defensive CPU AI. The marginal changes made to the Career and most of the modes are still positive signs but we expect something more already from the next chapter. Even the news of Ultimate Team are very interesting but we are convinced that, once again, everything should be revised in some way, to try to avoid creating a general imbalance, so feared in recent seasons, and that precisely with these innovations he wanted to be removed. , however, with the risk of having the opposite effect on your hands. Overall, however, we can reassure all fans of the brand: FIFA 22 will keep you company throughout the year with many things to do but for the real "revolution" we will have to wait a little longer.

► FIFA 22 is a Simulation-Sport game developed and published by Electronic Arts for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Google Stadia, the game was released on 30/09/2021 The version for PlayStation 4 came out on 02/10/2021 The version for Xbox One came out on 02/10/2021
Version for PlayStation 5 from 02/10/2021
Version for Xbox Series X from 02/10/2021
Version for Google Stadia from 02/10/2021

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