PS5 Games – The Good, The Bad, The Bottom Line
Once you pick up FIFA 22, it doesn’t take long to recognize EA’s primary focus with this year’s version of the game was improving gameplay.
The implementation of HyperMotion technology might be the most impacting gameplay change we’ve seen in the series in more than a decade. I’ve had a full retail version of FIFA 22 in hand for weeks and I’m ready to share my thoughts and a full review.
Here is the good, the bad and the bottom line with FIFA 22.
HyperMotion Makes the Game Feel Better
When new animation tech is implemented in an annual sports game, the positive or negative impact is usually difficult to describe. You can feel it, but putting the impact into words is a challenge.
In FIFA 22, the new HyperMotion tech doesn’t just add 4,000 new animations, it distributes all of the player actions as appropriately as we’ve ever seen in a FIFA game. The number of wonky animations and odd collisions have been greatly reduced.
There’s also a number of multi-player interactions that weren’t a part of FIFA games before this year which make for a more TV-style experience. With controller in hand, the virtual action in FIFA is the best it has been since FIFA 13.
New Play Mechanics
The explosive sprint mechanic is another high-impact change to gameplay. It makes speed and reaction matter as much as it should on the pitch.
The R2/RT action for players on both sides will be the difference between gaining and losing an advantage.
Career Mode Enhancements
A new level of customization has been added to the game this year in career mode. You can now create your own club, customizing the team’s crest and stadium. While not as advanced as other games in this area, it is still a step in the right direction.
VOLTA is Phenomenal in Multiplayer
I admit, I’ve never been a big fan of VOLTA or even this style of soccer. However, the combination of depth, unbridled fun and visual appeal associated with the mode this year makes it undeniable.
From a gameplay standpoint, the new skill meter serves as the primary function that separates the VOLTA experience from traditional matches in FIFA. Signature abilities help to diversify the players, and that’s important when using an archetype structure in any game.
Lastly, and most surprisingly, I really enjoy VOLTA Arcade. The over-the-top options of Foot Tennis, Dodgeball and others offer a welcomed departure from regular sports gaming experiences. VOLTA vaulted upward to become my second favorite way to play FIFA.
As expected, the FIFA Ultimate Team treasure chest keeps getting deeper. In addition to some upgraded concepts like Division Rivals and FUT Champions, the collector mode now welcomes some club customization.
This element is even more important in FUT than it is in career mode, so it is a welcomed addition. Unlike some reviewers, I don’t take umbrage with the element of microtransactions in the game.
There are ways to play the game with a no-money-spent approach, but it does take patience and discipline. If there were several elements only available to players spending real cash, that might be a little different. As it is, spending still comes down to self control on the part of the gamer, and I don’t buy that most of the spenders are helpless minors emptying their piggybanks or stealing their parent’s debit card information.
This isn’t 1989. Games are different and far more complex. On a whole, gamers should understand the changes and set their entertainment budgets accordingly. If microtransactions aren’t your thing, then simply don’t spend.
Player Customization Options
Whether you’re looking at Pro Clubs where you can now create and customize women players or creating someone for career mode usage, there are a ton of new options.
The hair choices and face molding options have been expanded. This may seem like a small addition or enhancement, but the FIFA customization crowd has been ignored for years.
Customization is Still Lacking
Even with the new additions, creating a team is still not as enjoyable or layered as it is in other sports games like NBA 2K or even MLB The Show. There is also no option to upload images for kits or crowd signs. I understand why EA isn’t allowing this option, but with 2K still delivering in this area, it is tough to give FIFA a pass.
Franchise Mode Options Still Needed for EPL, Bundesliga and La Liga
The career mode, even as a manager, just doesn’t have the depth you want to see in a sports game. To put it plainly, a career mode focuses on one individual–whether it’s a player or manager. A franchise mode is team, club or league focused.
The latter is what the FIFA franchise is still missing. What’s the use of having such elaborate league-specific presentation elements without pouring some of that immersion into a fully-fleshed out franchise mode experience.
Single-Player VOLTA Options Are Lacking
I mostly love VOLTA, but there are two major issues. First, the single-player options are limited. It would be great if there were some entertaining grind options for your character that were similar to the VOLTA arcade options.
Single-player events with fun themes would have been so addictive and well placed.
VOLTA Arcade Has Limited Availability
The fact that VOLTA Arcade, arguably the best part of the revamped mode, is only available on the weekends is a major L. I understand trying to give gamers an event-like feature to look forward to. However, you never want to hide or hold back such a strong element.
EA Sports has delivered a strong next-gen experience with FIFA 22. The primary focus was on gameplay and the attention led to a tangible improvement overall. However, the feature set is still in need of more layers.
- Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Google Stadia (PS5 Version Reviewed, code provided by EA)
- Developer: EA Sports
- Publisher: EA
- Released: October 1, 2021
- price: $59.99 for the standard edition, $99.99 for Ultimate Edition
- Review Score: 7.5 out of 10