FIFA 22: Has the next generation finally delivered on the promise of real football?

FIFA 22 makes big promises. But does it deliver?


FIFA 22 was released a few weeks ago. It’s not a surprise that Electronic Arts is going to release another installment of its profitable annual saga based on the world’s most popular sport. Nor is it surprising that gamers have received the announcement with skepticism thinking it will be a little more of the same.

This year, Electronic Arts has bet on the new generation and the possibilities it offers with a new technology called HyperMotion. In advances and communications this new installment promises to look and feel like a step forward, but will it? Are there improvements this year to get excited about or is it pure blah blah?


There’s no doubt that what HyperMotion offers sounds good and promises a lot. However, illusions mean little if, at the time of playing, FIFA 22 feels like more than what we saw in years past. Fans will be happy to know that there is a perceived evolution in the new generation version, although it is not at a point where it can be considered a revolution.

Soccer is a sport of contact and a lot of movement. This means that animations are important  when transporting this sport to the virtual world. If the players’ moves are stiff, then the experience will suffer. The opposite will happen if the animation systems are fluid, since it will feel more real and that will be reflected in the way you play. In FIFA 22 the new animations deliver football matches that look cleaner with fluid and more natural animations. This applies even to duels in the area during corner kicks or free kicks, which are usually a perfect place for past FIFA deliveries to surprise us with clumsy animations and chaotic collisions.

But exactly where can we see the change of animations? An example is the movements of players when making a pass. In past FIFA installments, EA Sports gave full priority to gameplay, so the animation of the passes was short and simple: receive the ball, leave it to the partner and that’s it. Now, the technology delivers more complex animations, but maintaining the rhythm of the game. In this way you will see that your player receives the ball with a first touch, turns to see its surroundings, settles down and then kicks the ball to give it to a teammate who found space between the defenders.

The innovative animations can also be noticed in that players react even when they don’t have the ball. If you pay attention you will see that players will move their hands to throw instructions at their teammates or even exchange words with the opponent while waiting for a corner kick. It is a purely aesthetic change, but it helps what happens inside the field feel organic.

Goalkeepers have been one of the most criticized points of FIFA 22 in recent years. If you expected changes in this section you will be happy to know that EA Sports claims that it rewrote the goalkeeper systems completely. The difference is clear to the naked eye and is that goalkeepers are now able to make more reliable stops, in addition to having a greater number of animations that lead to epic moments when they do their job.

Finally, they also worked to better reflect his personality in the field. In the Beta I only had access to elite teams like Liverpool or Manchester City, so it’s hard to know how much these will be noticed in Liga MX or England’s third division matches. However, with the teams I played, I noticed different behaviors in the goalkeepers. While some were well disciplined and stayed in their line, others surprised me by being much more aggressive when going out to take the ball with intensity. 

I think there are still adjustments to be made before we can say that FIFA reached that state of realistic football that the community has been asking for for years. What I think will leave many happy is to know that now it seems to be on its way to finding it thanks to a more fluid and natural experience. The advances that are possible thanks to the new generation of consoles and the HyperMotion system are palpable in FIFA 22. The football experience feels better than its closest predecessors and the new animations make it look great. While the immediate future looks good for FIFA,  what really excites me is what the team will be able to achieve in the coming years if they continue to build on the foundations of this new installment. While in this text I concentrated on the next-generation version, it is important that you know that FIFA 22 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will not be a Legacy Edition. Electronic Arts promises that it will have several improvements (such as the new doorman system), so you should expect differences. That said, I just got my hands on the next-gen version, so I can only talk about it.

FIFA 22 will debut on October 1 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.