FIFA 22 preview: Putting something new on the pitch

EA gave us an early look at gameplay changes coming in FIFA 22.

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It’s about time for the annual sports sim video games to start launching, and that includes the recently announced FIFA 22. Though a new iteration of the game hits shelves every year, 2021 is a bit special, as it will be the first FIFA game to launch following the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This has played a major factor in the game’s development, and EA took us behind closed doors to share what’s new in FIFA 22.

FIFA 22 gameplay changes

EA gave us a presentation on all of the gameplay changes that fans can expect to see when FIFA 22 launches this fall. With this game being the first title fully developed for the new line of consoles, the developers had the opportunity to make some much-needed improvements and address some longtime concerns.

One of the biggest new additions in FIFA 22 is HyperMotion. This new technology allows for pinpoint accurate motion capture, and is how much of the new animations in FIFA 22 came to be. While developing the game, the developers had a full 11v11 match featuring soccer pros, all wearing Xsens motion capture suits. They used the capture from the game to create new and unique gameplay animations for this year’s FIFA.

While developers putting athletes in motion capture suits for sports games is far from a new concept, EA took a different approach with things this year. Typically, the developers would put an athlete in a motion capture suit and then order them to do different maneuvers, such as dribble the ball or shoot at a goal. The issue is, these events were done in an isolated and controlled setting, meaning they weren’t as authentic as what would actually happen in a game. Recording capture from a full-length match will hopefully make for much more realistic motions.

Animation changes

During the presentation, EA also detailed new animation changes coming to FIFA 22. One in particular has to do with the way players gear up to strike a ball, whether it be to pass the ball or take a shot. When a player is dribbling the ball and decides to shoot, their will often be an awkward moment where their foot unrealistically slides as the game transitions between animations. In FIFA 22, players will take smaller half-steps, just like how a real player would when getting themself in position to strike the ball.

EA has also changed its approach to animations overall in FIFA 22. Previously, the company usually stuck with shorter character animations, so that when players switched behaviors, the change would seem natural. Now, FIFA 22 will feature several new, much longer, more unique character animations. The developers are confident this won’t cause any issues as there will be cleaner transitions between all animations.

Something fresh for the pitch

FIFA 22 is the first game in the series built fully for the new generation of consoles. With that, EA Sports is making some big changes to both the gameplay and animations. FIFA 22 launches for Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC on October 1, 2021.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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