FIFA 22 opens on a close-up shot of a steaming-hot cup of coffee, before panning out to reveal that it’s David Beckham stirring the teaspoon. The former Galactico is enjoying some breakfast pancakes on a Parisian balcony, while a few doors down your avatar is being woken up by a friend telling them that they’re late. It’s a bizarre opening to a football game that also features Eric Cantona feeding pigeons, Thierry Henry and cover star Kylian Mbappe attempting to act on the Parc des Princes pitch, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos from boxing star Anthony Joshua and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton. What’s the point of all this, you might be asking? Well, it’s all for an elaborate tutorial, of course. This lavish opening might have more style than substance, but it ushers in what feels like a new era for FIFA, as next-gen technology and a shift in tempo combine to significantly improve the on-pitch action.
During the opening tutorial, you’ll learn how to sprint and dribble by darting past coffee tables on the streets of Paris, then cover the basics of attacking and defending under the guidance of both Henry and Mbappe. Running through these fundamentals will be useful for series newcomers, but it’s an odd way to kick off the latest version of FIFA for everyone else. That’s mainly because it only shows off one new feature: the ability to switch to a specific defender by pressing in both thumbsticks. Player switching has been overly cumbersome in the past, so it’s nice to have a reliable way to take control of the best-placed player without having to scroll through each backtracking defender until the cursor lands on the right one. The only problem with this is it’s still not quite fast enough in the most hectic moments and ends up feeling redundant as a result. The rest of the tutorial, meanwhile, consists of features that were introduced in last year’s game, like being able to influence AI runs by telling your teammates which direction to head in.
FIFA 22 doesn’t introduce any mechanical additions such as this, but that doesn’t mean it rests on its laurels and fails to move the series forward. Instead, it’s the inclusion of innovative new technology, and a more considered pace, that iterates and improves on the series’ core gameplay. HyperMotion is the fancy marketing term for this new technology, but it’s more than just simple jargon. By using Xsens MoCap suits, HyperMotion allows the developers to use motion capture on all 22 footballers in a real-life match. Previously, EA would utilize motion capture to record specific movements, whether it’s a player striking a ball or lunging in for a tackle. By capturing a full 11v11 match, all of that authentic movement is implemented and immediately palpable in FIFA 22, both at an individual and team level.
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Source: Game Spot Mashup