FIFA 22 review: a stunning next-gen upgrade
The FIFA franchise fully enters the realm of next-gen console games with FIFA 22. Yes, last year’s edition ended up coming out on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, but the game came out before consoles and the only real difference was a slight upgrade in graphics and gameplay. FIFA 22 it looks like it was designed for next-gen consoles and it certainly shows. While there are still a few small hiccups from AI and frustrating microtransactions from previous years, FIFA 22 is a smoother and more beautiful experience than ever, setting a new visual standard for sports games.
A rise in the graphics department is expected for each franchise launching a new game on next-generation consoles. FIFA 22 went a little further than its EA counterpart crazy 22, however, focusing on the small details like hair, facial expressions, hands and feet. When you combine the fine-tuning of these little things with the overall upgrade provided by next-gen engines, you get absolutely stunning gaming, especially in 4K.
The graphics update isn’t enough to justify buying a new sports game, especially with the rising prices of next-gen games, and that’s where Hypermotion comes in. FIFA 22 uses revolutionary Hypermotion technology to make all player movements and actions smoother and much more realistic. Instead of recording a few real players on a field performing different kicks and tackles, Hypermotion made it possible FIFA to record animations and full game data at 11v11. The developers have claimed that this technology has resulted in over 4,000 new animations in the game and honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if this estimate were too conservative. Slippery tackles look natural pretty much every time. The passes are less rigid. Hypermotion has really made a huge difference.
The actual games and options in FIFA 22 are largely the same as last year, although the focus on Volta made the experience even more exciting. Career modes can be a little frustrating at times, but they’re not bogged down by sloppy stories or poorly animated cutscenes like other sports games. These modes are only for football, nothing else. That said, the intro to the game itself does offer a bit of history and it’s done very well. It’s enough to show how beautiful the game is and provide something interesting outside of a menu that players can see when they first launch it.
If you’re a big Ultimate Team player, you’re probably always going to be bothered by microtransactions. FIFA, like every other sports game on the market, has yet to do anything about the pay-to-win mechanics that cut down on Ultimate modes. It is disappointing to say the least. But that’s just a game mode, and it certainly hasn’t backed off this year.
If you are playing on current generation systems, FIFA 22 may be a bit more difficult to sell. The game itself is largely the same as last year, it’s the next-gen graphics and gameplay that really make the game stand out. On the next-gen this is a must-have for a long time to come. FIFA players. For everyone, it’s more of a personal choice. You certainly won’t miss out on much if you wait a bit.
Rating: 4 out of 5
FIFA 22 is now available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A digital review code was provided by the publisher, and it has been reviewed on a PlayStation 5.