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FIFA 22 Review

FIFA 22 has arrived, and with it, HyperMotion technology makes its debut. EA Sports offers up improvements across a number of game modes alongside its new animation technology.

Reviewed by Curtis Russell and Steven Montani

Game Modes

Player Career 

Player Career has finally received some improvements after years of neglect by EA. This year, the new manager rating system allows players to go from a bench player to the starting eleven. You achieve this through RPG-style objectives. The objectives get progressively harder depending on your player’s overall and current club. I like these new objectives because they give every match its importance to perform well. It provides a constant challenge, especially if you are playing on legendary or ultimate difficulty. Player Career also makes way for a new skill tree, perks, and archetypes. While the skill tree is the same as the Pro Clubs mode, it still allows players to make unique builds. Perks are a new way to gain traits that activate depending on what you do on the pitch. If you have the “long-distance shooter” perk, you will increase your accuracy and gain the 5-star weak foot trait once you take a long-range shot. I like this new method because it depends on how you perform in-game, and in return, your player gets increasingly better as the match goes on. 

Archetypes are the icing on the cake of your players’ progression. Equipping archetypes massively increase your player’s stats and attributes.

Archetypes are the icing on the cake of your players’ progression. Equipping archetypes massively increase your player’s stats and attributes. With perks, traits, and archetypes, you can create many different builds to dominate your player career mode. Additionally, the fresh builds take on a new feel with FIFA 22’s HyperMotion gameplay, too.

Pro Clubs 

Over the last three years, Pro Clubs has been one of FIFA’s most popular modes and has received some decent updates. This year, pro clubs has the same stadium creator as career mode and some small quality of life updates. Drop-in matches have received the most love from EA – the mode now allows you to play in your preferred position, and you can add friends to your drop-in lobby. The new design makes the mode easier for players who don’t have a club to recruit other players to dominate seasons. While these are not massive changes, the additions of stadium creator and drop-in improvements are welcomed ones. 

Manager Career

FIFA 22 Next Gen

Manager Career Mode is relatively the same with the addition to create your club. The club creator is a feature fans have requested for years but it only changes the mode cosmetically. You can customize basic details like your club’s stadium, ambition, and starting team. I think it’s fun to start with a club full of worthless footballers at the bottom of England’s football divisions and progress my way to winning the Premier League. Beyond that, the mode hasn’t changed and still offers the same bland experience from FIFA 21. 

FUT

Ultimate Team FIFA 22’s most controversial mode is back with a few customizable updates and a reworked progression system. While the esthetic of Ultimate Team looks great every year, it’s hard to recommend this mode due to the predatory microtransactions that it constantly throws in your face.

FIFA 22 HyperMotion Gameplay

FIFA 22

HyperMotion Settings

HyperMotion on default settings improves FIFA 22 gameplay. The “machine-learned” engine working in the background surely has potential. To unlock some of that football goodness, all we need to do is peel away a few noisy layers. We can do that by turning off all of the auto-assist functions in the controls menus. Your relationship with FIFA is about to change.

Full manual controls take an improved HyperMotion engine and convert it into an ultra-smooth football experience. Firstly, the sliding or skating effects diminish, and awkward foot-plants are less frequent. With full-manual settings, our footballers now have a sense of freedom of motion, and with that, momentum naturally follows. Secondly, with full manual passing, the pinball effect is mitigated; the “arcade” feel to the game becomes a distant memory. Lastly, it is true that animations can be unlocked by adjusting the gameplay settings.

Movement

My players feel free from the shackles of overly complicated game mechanics with FIFA 22 HyperMotion in full-manual. After we peel away layers of wasted movements, a brilliant core engine comes to light. HyperMotion excels.

Wasted motions can manifest in the shape of player skating. FIFA players know this all too well. Fortunately, the HyperMotion technology appears to compute the right foot-plant for the correct speed and stride of an athlete. The gameplay feels cleaner.

The momentum is now comparable to an NBA 2K or eFootball title. It feels like my players move with the right amount of speed and balance. This is the added benefit of removing unnecessary auto-assists from the game. These auto-assists cause conflict with the game engine. The improved momentum leads to improved shooting and passing.

Passing

FIFA 22 Hypermotion

When I am passing the ball in FIFA 22 on full-manual, I must be intentional with my movement. No wasted motions. The ball will go exactly where I aim; the CPU will no longer optimize the pass for me.

every pass is Potentially rich with imagination. 

The freedom to create plays by passing into vacant spaces opens up the game. I can finesse players into zones – a stark contrast from assisted passing, where the ball goes in the direction of a player’s established path. Instead, I now dictate. I am Mike Vick on the run – a freestyle playmaker from anywhere on the field. And it feels good. Having full control turns every moment with the ball into an unrealized attack; every pass is potentially rich with imagination. 

FIFA 22 Hypermotion Unlocks Animations

Lastly, HyperMotion technology is intended to unlock hidden animations embedded within the game engine. This is confirmed by EA Sports FIFA producer Sam Rivera in a recent interview. His comments support the notion that many animations are buried under complex layers of code. Now with HyperMotion technology combined with our adjusted settings, we have the potential to unleash all 4,000 animations in the game.

The most advanced FIFA players will likely benefit the most from HyperMotion technology with full-manual controls. Hypermotion, with auto-assists, turned off, shifts FIFA 22 from an old-gen to a new-gen mood.

VOLTA

VOLTA has been one of my favorite game modes in FIFA. It offers up global destinations to play street football. Instead of expanding on what makes VOLTA great, EA added arcade modes for weekend events. It is unclear what trajectory EA Sports will take next with this sleeper of a game mode. While the new arcade games are welcome, VOLTA remains largely unchanged. The seasonal rewards system does little to enrich the VOLTA universe.

FIFA 22 Review Verdict

FIFA 22’s HyperMotion lays the groundwork for the franchise in the new generation. However, FIFA remains a game that receives minor improvements and still prioritizes Ultimate Team over other popular modes. FIFA 22 does present exciting features like club and stadium customization and updates to player career. However, these ideas need to be expanded on in future titles.

FIFA 22
Overall
7/10

Summary

FIFA 22 has some nice things, and the addition of HyperMotion shows where the series is going. But, for now, there’s a lot that needs to be built on moving forward.

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