A football hater asks a football lover five questions about FIFA 22
You either love FIFA games or you hate FIFA games. This is a story about both.
FIFA 22 recently launched on PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch, and chances are if you're a huge FIFA fan, then you've either already bought it or you've added it to your Christmas list.
I'll be honest, I don't like soccer, and I don't like soccer games, so my interest in FIFA games is at absolute zero. But instead of just letting the game pass me by, I tried to understand what it is about FIFA games that wins over soccer lovers year in, year out.
So I passed FIFA 22 along to fellow JOE employee and verified FIFA and soccer-lover Paul Donegan, and asked him five simple questions about the new game.
What is your favourite thing about the FIFA games in general? Over other soccer games.
Honestly, it is the aesthetics. Dare I say, certain other football games feel more real, but having officially licensed jerseys, stadiums, players, managers, etc. That is the draw for me.
What is the biggest improvement you've noticed in FIFA 22?
The biggest improvements I've noticed are the AI player movements. In the past, the AI players were very predictable and once you nailed down your style of play, you could beat them on nearly every run. So now they're more intelligent and they keep you guessing.
Other improvements I want to give a shout out to are the ball control is better, and the on-pitch player communication is very good. You can tell players to run to certain areas or tell them to hold back or what have you.
What is the biggest disappointment you've noticed in FIFA 22?
It looks the exact same as last year, and the year before that. This is in terms of player-in-game graphics. If you score a goal and the "camera" gets a close up, then there, yes, they look better. But when it comes to just playing the game, there have been slight improvements like jersey folds or you can really see the players sweating when they're playing now, but overall it feels like another copy and paste job. I could play FIFA 21 and FIFA 22 side-by-side and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
For those who don't know and don't play and say FIFA's yearly game is barely changed from the previous, just with different players in different jerseys, is that a fair criticism?
I think it is a very fair criticism. I don't see why they don't take on a free-to-play model, called FIFA Football, for example, with in-game purchases and they can update the squads and aesthetics and stuff yearly. This year, like most years, the only noticeable difference is within the gameplay itself. And I guess that's thanks to the newly introduced Hyper Motion technology that EA keep mentioning. It is a little more noticeable this year because of that, but overall I think a free-to-play model would be a good way to take it. Like they do with Call of Duty Warzone or Apex Legends.
Do you think it is critical for a gamer to love soccer in order to love playing a FIFA game?
Absolutely. I think the fun would run out very quickly if you'd no interest in football. One of my favourite things to do in FIFA is to play an old mode called Be A Pro, and it is where I create myself and play alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford, winning major trophies. That means nothing to non-footie fans. I'd imagine it would get very, very boring very, very soon if you're not a footie fan.
Clips via EA SPORTS FIFA