FIFA 22 is the first installment in the popular soccer franchise entirely designed for a true next-gen experience. The sheer power of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S has resulted in advances for the EA Canada team that will delight devoted fans of the franchise. With the new Hypermotion technology (exclusive to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, and Stadia versions), FIFA 22’s gameplay feels much tighter this year on a visual and analogue level. I had some hands-on time trying out these new features and was impressed with the new immersiveness.
First things first, what is Hypermotion Gameplay Technology? Perhaps you’ve seen the trailer above and still aren’t sure how it will change the FIFA formula. Instead of capturing lifelike soccer maneuvers with optical means – going into the studio and using conventional mocap methods with only a few players at the same time on the field – Hypermotion enables EA Canada to implement a so-called “Advanced 11v11 Match Capture”. “And” Machine Learning “. For the first time ever, FIFA’s physics and fluidity are directly influenced by motion capture from 22 professional footballers playing intense, real-time, unadulterated games. State-of-the-art computers use the data from these games to mimic player movements and create new animations in no time – and there are over 4,000 new animations! That’s three times more than previous titles.
How is this translated in the game? I only had access to classic kick-off mode, but after selecting a team and stepping onto the pitch, I immediately noticed that FIFA 21’s stiff movements were less frequent. In fact, every footballer looked and felt more human. Players go in passes and readjust depending on where the ball hits their feet. Additionally, those weird ragdoll entanglements that appear in aerial fights or sudden attacks are nowhere to be seen. In FIFA 22, the smaller interactions go really far. Players are arguing with each other (although this animation was hard to see with the camera zoomed out by default) and you might even catch someone wiping the sweat off their forehead. This seems minimal, but each interaction adds more nuance to the matches.
I’ve never been a particularly skilled player, but the “Tactical AI” in FIFA 21 offers more challenges and is accordingly more rewarding. The defense moves as a unit, which has been a little robotic at times. Opponents will join your position and narrow the passing lanes as often as possible. This also makes it difficult to race against defenders, which is a nice touch as the FIFA series (and many other sports series) prioritize high speed stats. Sprinting across the field on the offensive is also a great time. Softer transitions allow you to be more explosive. Praise and passages are more natural when the attacking footballer slows down to seemingly assess the ball’s trajectory and prepare accordingly. And since the defense is pressuring you as much as possible, it is better to do agile dribbles or fakes to get to the top.
My time with the game was short, but the moment-to-moment action feels way ahead of its predecessor. The new animations and realism go a long way in making the fights more atmospheric and visceral. Outside of gameplay, EA Canada is working on fine-tuning the other modes of FIFA 22, but for now, polishing up the physics on the field has emerged as the main goal for the developer. one for fans to notice when the game releases later this year.