So we’ve touched upon the reveal trailer and the information relating to what was showcased here. With the new AI-based approach, it appears that EA is dedicated to improving the mental side of the game. With the graphics and all things presentation already represented well on next-gen systems it’s time to take a look at some more FIFA 22 gameplay related information EA dropped on us this past Sunday.
FIFA 22 Gameplay Breakdown (So Far)
Goalkeepers in FIFA 21 are a mixed bag. The way keepers go from superhuman to utterly useless within the same match can be incredibly frustrating at times. It seems as if the sim community was not the only ones noticing this as EA touts a complete “Goalkeeper Rewrite” for FIFA 22.
Being a keeper isn’t solely about reaction times and athletic ability. It’s a very mental position in that you have to use your brain to read the game and also be a little mental to stand in front of someone kicking the ball at you. While you can’t replicate the mentality required to be a keeper, you can certainly address positioning, something FIFA 21 did with mixed reviews. Near-post goals were far too common these past two years so hopefully better positioning will lead to keepers being able to stop shots sneaking by them at the near-post.
Perhaps the new motion-capture Xsens suits will provide new animations as EA claims, “goalkeeper positioning personality replicates the different styles of keepers throughout the game.” Reading that leads me to believe that we’ll see different keeper styles, which is a nice addition, even if it’s a few years behind the “sweeper keeper” trend made famous by Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. If shooting and shooting animations have been touched upon, then it’s only right that keepers have been improved to achieve maximum balance.
True Ball Physics
We’ve heard this before from EA when it comes to ball physics, so maybe the company is serious this time. FIFA is a game where when the players are at a standstill it looks beautiful. However, once in motion you can quickly make out the video-game likeness, partly due to ridiculously bad ball physics. Everything from clearances that magically fall to the feet of the AI to the infatuation with shots hitting the posts look as bad as it feels when you’re on the wrong end of things.
Now I’m not quite sure how real-life data will play a part, but perhaps even the ball will have sensors on it allowing EA to capture “speed, swerve, air drag, air resistance, ground friction, and rolling friction.” EA mentions here that it will “mean every touch, trap, shot, volley, pass, and dribble will look, move, and fly like the real thing.” EA mentioned a new first touch control system at one point, and that’s not possible without improvements to ball physics. Personally, I’ve always wanted the ball to be heavier but that’s a personal preference that might not appeal to everyone.
I love everything about this new gameplay feature from EA. I’ve always liked the flick of the right stick as a way to push the ball out in front of you, but it lacked something, namely an explosive way to sprint after it. YouTube and Twitter are littered with enough rabona flicks to make Ronaldinho sick. It’s time to give some love to those dribblers who use explosive changes of direction to ditch defenders, wrong-footing them in the process while you burst past them. It will be interesting to see how the adaptive triggers EA rolled out last year for PS5 will play a part in this, but the early impressions sound promising.
New Attacking Tactics
If I had to choose between FIFA‘s tactics or PES‘ tactics, I’d choose FIFA‘s every day. Not only are there more of them, but the way the AI players don’t strictly adhere to FIFA‘s preset tactics is much better overall. Sure there’s always room for improvement, which if I’m reading this right sounds exactly like what we’ll get. Although EA does not go into great detail in this blurb, new attacking styles should offer more variety for both offline and online players. As we find out more information in this one area of the game, I’m definitely looking forward to breaking it down further.
Although EA didn’t provide a deep dive into these four gameplay areas, there’s enough to here to build some hype for the FIFA 22 gameplay. As the developers have done in the past with their Pitch Notes series, here’s to hoping that EA blesses us with more information as we get closer to FIFA 22‘s release date. One thing’s for sure though, we’ll have you covered here on OS for all things FIFA!
Which of these gameplay features has you most intrigued?