FIFA is one of the bestselling video game franchises of all time. First hitting the shelves in 1993 on the Sega Mega Drive, it has since changed the genre completely. Prior to this, video games were arcadey and unlicensed.
FIFA made a genuine attempt to simulate the experience of a real-life football match. Over the years the series — which is now developed by Electronic Arts — has firmly established itself as the king of sports video games.
Since the 2000s, it has enjoyed a healthy rivalry with Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer. However, that seems set to change with PES rebranding itself as a free-to-play title called eFootball. That leaves FIFA 22 — due for release on 27th September 2021 for the Ultimate edition and 1st October for the main version — as the only paid-for football game on the market.
Not sure whether to splash the cash this season? Our in-depth guide to everything we know about FIFA 22 will help you decide whether it is worth purchasing the game or not.
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There are many reasons why FIFA has been so consistently popular with gamers over the past few decades. At the heart of its prominence is its extremely solid gameplay. FIFA excels in two areas. First and foremost, it offers players a genuinely realistic depiction of football. However, it makes a few tweaks to the pace of the game to make it more palatable to a video game audience.
It is not just the gameplay that makes a game as popular as FIFA, though. Another of its key strengths is variation. There are plenty of different game modes to try out on each iteration, including Career Mode.
Here, you can make your very own Premier League predictions, Championship predictions and much more by taking control of a team from that division and deciding everything. This includes tactics, player selection and even transfer.
FIFA’s headline mode in more recent times has been Ultimate Team. FUT is based on the trading card games of years gone by. Gamers are tasked with collecting player cards from teams across the world and putting out their favourite starting XI.
Online seasons are also popular, as is new feature Volta Football. The latter is influenced heavily by the global street football culture.
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FIFA 22 comes with bags of new features. The game is the first since the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 were released. Because of this, EA Sports have clearly pushed the boat out more than usual, after disappointing some players with a lack of progress in FIFA 21.
The developers have been keen to espouse the virtues of their new HyperMotion technology. They even included information on how it works in the release trailer.
Essentially, HyperMotion is set to bring players the most visually realistic game yet. All of FIFA 22’s animations have been captured using real-time motion capture suits. Real Madrid’s David Alaba and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe are just two of the superstars to have their unique movements uploaded onto the game.
EA are constantly tweaking their match engine to ensure the most realistic and entertaining gameplay possible.
Changes this year are numerous. They include improvements to the level of intelligence of the game’s goalkeeper. Realism has also been tweaked. Now, different goalkeepers will react to situations depending on their personality. For example, a more expansive goalkeeper like Bayern Munich and Germany’s Manuel Neuer is more likely to leave his penalty box, while more conservative stoppers will remain between the sticks.
Ball physics and sprinting have been altered as well, using real life data. In addition, FIFA should feel more tactical this time around. In particular, the final third will be more varied.
As it is such a money spinner, EA are always keen to push FUT forward every year. In FIFA 22, you can expect more legendary players to pop up under the FUT Heroes bracket. Mario Gomez, Tim Cahill and Clint Dempsey are just some of the football icons who can be purchased and packed in the game.
There is also expected to be a few tweaks to Division Rivals and FUT Champions to make both modes run smoother.
This is going to be a good year for Career Mode fans. After many seasons of neglect, EA finally looked like taking the mode seriously and made many changes for FIFA 21.
FIFA 22 seems set to continue this progress with a fleshed out Create a Club feature — complete with custom badges, kits and stadiums — on the way as well as an overhauled youth development system.
Pro Clubs will be getting a facelift as well in the form of increased customisation and improved matchmaking settings. Volta, on the other hand, is rumoured to be receiving new location and design settings.
FIFA 22 is a big game for EA. If eFootball proves to tempt enough players in, they could end up hemorrhaging players to Konami.
This seems unlikely, though, with a string of fresh features looking set to give the series a much-needed new lease of life. If you are hesitant about parting with your hard-earned money this year, don’t be.
Whether you prefer to play offline or online, there seems to be more than enough to justify your purchase.