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FIFA 22 review: More challenging, more rewarding


W

ith the new season well underway, the transfer window closed and winter nights drawing in, it it is time for EA Sports to return with their latest in the FIFA series.

FIFA 22 is the company’s first crack at a game built for next generation consoles, and it shows.

The introduction of Hypermotion technology has brought the biggest gameplay overhaul for some time to those playing on the latest generation of consoles. The software combines motion capture from full 11-a-side games with machine learning to bring far more natural and realistic gameplay to players.

For those of us still playing on the older consoles, there’s little fear of being left behind just yet. Aesthetically the game shows little difference to the last iteration but there’s still a noticeable difference in gameplay. As with every new release in this series, there are promises that pace is not the only threat and that players are rewarded for more technical build-up. The game certainly feels a touch slower but there are also changes in how the ball falls to players following scrambles, blocks and loose touches which makes getting forward more challenging and defending quite frankly a nightmare at times until you settle in.

Pace is still helpful but the changes help bring the best out of slower forwards such as Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski, previously rather obsolete in FIFA, and rewards players for smart play in creating chances.

Goalkeeping has had quite the refresh, too, with new animations and individual styles introduced. It feels a touch overpowered at the moment; already there have been rows between player and animated keeper here after daft decisions and mistakes. With some ironing out it will be a welcome change.

Career mode has had a couple of tweaks – players can now create an entirely new club should they wish – but it remains in need of a proper revamp.

The cut scenes around negotiations quickly become tedious and cumbersome, as are the clunky pre and post-post match dealings with the press.

The new gameplay, however, is very well suited to career mode players and makes things rather more challenging and rewarding.

One mode which has seen some much needed TLC after years in the wilderness is Be A Pro.

Players can create their own player or take control of one of their heroes and have much more of a say over how things progress.

At last there is the chance you will be named on the bench instead of starting or entirely left out, with the manager sending players on for the final half-an-hour or 20 minutes to make an impact.


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