What to expect from the latest entry in EA's popular soccer/football franchise
Euro 2020 has come to an end, and the bitter disappointment and heartache for many teams (including our very own England) will hopefully become a little less sore with time... unless you support the Italy men's team, that is - congrats by the way!
Now the focus turns to the new season, particularly the Premier League which is set to return in August, with stadiums full to the brim with supporters who have had to wait a long time to cheer their teams on up close due to coronavirus restrictions. Of course, part of the excitement of the new season - beside buying tickets to watch your beloved club take on the new campaign and watching them on TV or at the pub - is enjoying some sports sim action in the form of soccer/football video games... and there's certainly one name that springs to mind each year.
EA Sports' FIFA series returns on October 1st, 2021 with FIFA 22 - featuring over 17,000 players, across over 700 teams, in more than 90 stadiums and over 30 leagues - with official competitions including the prestigious UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, brand new UEFA Europa Conference League, Premier League, Bundesliga and many more available to experience.
New features have been announced for the latest instalment, so let's take a look at everything you need to know and what to expect in FIFA 22.
Who is the FIFA 22 cover star
Making a return from FIFA 21, Kylian Mbappe will once again be the cover star for the next FIFA instalment. The 22-year-old currently earns his keep at Paris Saint-Germain, where the French international forward has played over 100 games for the former Ligue 1 champions, scoring 91 goals.
Despite missing a penalty in France's last 16 match against Switzerland, Mbappe is still regarded as one of the top players in the world at present. In FIFA 21, Mbappe had an overall rating of 90 - including 98 for Pace, 91 for Dribbling and 86 for Shooting - so expect some flashy stats this time around too.
What is HyperMotion in FIFA 22
EA's latest weapon in its arsenal (not the club) to take realism to another level is the new HyperMotion technology, which has allowed the development team to experiment with the integration of the first-ever motion capture of 22 professional footballers, playing at high intensity. HyperMotion will 'transform' how players pass, shoot or cross - as well as how they generally move on and off the ball.
In EA's official press statement, Nick Wlodyka - General Manager at EA SPORTS FIFA, said: “FIFA 22 offers millions of fans around the world a chance to engage with the sport they love in an unprecedented way. Each player experiences FIFA in their own way but on-pitch gameplay is the unifying constant, so we’re excited to offer deep innovation there.
"HyperMotion elevates that even further on next-gen consoles and Stadia and completely changes the feel of the game."
In addition, EA’s proprietary machine learning algorithm can learn from over 8.7 million frames of advanced match capture, which is then able to write new animations in real time, resulting in organic football movement across a variety of interactions on the pitch.
HyperMotion technology is only available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and Google Stadia.
What are FUT Heroes in FIFA 22
FIFA Ultimate Team has played a huge part in the success and player base within the last few FIFA installments, and in FIFA 22, EA is launching a new feature for FUT players.
FUT 22 Heroes has been introduced to redesign Division Rivals and FUT Champions for a much more accessible way to test your skills and progress against fellow players. Heroes gives even more depths of customization for both on and off the pitch - as well as seeing the return of memorable players from the past such as Clint Dempsey, Tim Cahill, Mario Gomez, Fernando Morientes and Diego Milito.
FUT Heroes have unique league-specific chemistry which is tied to their specific hero moment, providing a green Club link to any player within the same league as well as the usual nation link, giving you new ways to build your dream squad and recreate some of football's most famous moments in FUT 22.
You can read more about the new FUT Heroes and ICONS in our blog post.
What new mode updates have been added in FIFA 22
FIFA 22 will see previous game modes receive various updates to coincide with the new release, including the likes of Pro Clubs, Ultimate Team and VOLTA Football. Career Mode is one of the commonly used modes that players have been requesting needs some TLC, and fortunately for those asking, EA has listened.
The upcoming FIFA Career Mode will allow players to create a club and lead them from relegation candidates to global giants, similar to features included in the FIFA Manager games in the early 2000s. In addition, the Player Career mode has had an overhaul, giving you more ways to progress, achieve, and immerse yourself in your Pro's journey through the game.
What new gameplay features have been added to FIFA 22
Another FIFA instalment brings fresh changes (football seems to change more than we've had hot dinners!). The confirmed major gameplay features that you can expect to see in FIFA 22 include:
FIFA 22 will feature a brand new goalkeeper system that is said to bring a new level of intelligence to the last line of defence, unlocking more reliable shot-stopping and smarter decision-making between the posts. Goalkeeper positioning personality replicates the different styles of keepers throughout the game - to represent the lightning-fast reflexes of world-class shot stoppers.
'True Ball' physics
That circular thing that everyone kicks around? It just got more real! The real-world data imported into FIFA 22 is said to takes the game's ball physics to a new level of realism. Tuned parameters including speed, swerve, air drag, air resistance, ground friction, and rolling friction mean every touch, trap, shot, volley, pass, and dribble will look, move, and fly like the real thing.
Like Sonic the Hedgehog (okay maybe not that fast) the Explosive Sprint feature is a new gameplay mechanic that changes the dynamic of one-on-one situations. This will give you more control over acceleration when dribbling or defending - lure opponents in and choose when to unleash your full speed to get away from the defender as you drive your team forward in attack.
New attacking options
Football coach Steve Bruce once said "I'm not really into tactics..." - but take it from us, good tactics will set your team up, especially on the attack. In FIFA 22, you can set up your team up with different styles in each half of the pitch with new attacking tactics that give you more control over how you play. You can choose to keep the ball in your half and explode into attack with fast build up in the opponent’s, play direct from box to box, or line up in your own unique style.