Picture Credit: Electronic Arts
Picture Credit: Electronic Arts

With the looming final months of the year comes once again, another instalment to the beloved FIFA series. With cover star Kylian Mbappé, an overhaul of gameplay that will challenge players more than before but, further reliance on making money from Ultimate Team loot boxes, FIFA 22 is, as expected, a mixed bag.

EA have thankfully cranked up the difficulty when it comes to finding success and hitting the back of the net, primarily overhauling their passing system so that players have to put in the work, in what can be an anxiety-inducing 90 game minutes of nail-biting near-misses and tactical offence.

Sure, you can turn the difficulty right down and send your score against your computer opponents into double digits, but after five or so minutes of laughing at how simple this game can be, the fun has drained completely from the experience.

What we absolutely have to talk about however, is the most popular mode in the FIFA series - FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT).

Everybody starts on an equal playing field when they join Rivals this year, which means those of us who are adequate when playing, but not hardcore, will inevitably come up against players who will tear us apart with what looks like minimal effort. Hopefully, as the season progresses, ranked play will allow for fairer battles, so that each and every match can be a close one, rather than quickly swaying left or right in the first few minutes.

Away from the gameplay is the return of the infamous FUT player packs.

Picture Credit: Electronic Arts
Picture Credit: Electronic Arts

In a bid to allow some sort of transparency, EA have now added probabilities to each of their packs, so that gamers can get some sort of idea of what they're likely to receive if they do part with more of their cash and take the gamble. It’s a welcome step, but a very small one; we’re basically left wondering exactly why these micro-transactions remain a part of the franchise, when so many other big titles have done away with them altogether.

"Kids should not be spending in our game," says EA Chief Experience Officer Chris Bruzzo, in a wildly honest interview with Eurogamer editor, Wesley Yin-Poole. But as we all know, they do and so in giving them that opportunity, EA are leaving an extremely sour taste in the mouths of players across the globe.

Not only this, but it does water down the experience for those who want to play the game competitively online, but don’t feel they should have to open up their wallet once again and ‘pay to win’. Skill of course comes into the result of these online match-ups, but there’s no denying that someone who has spent four figures and upwards on player packs will have a distinct advantage if their faster, more skilled players are on the pitch.

Sadly, no story mode made it into FIFA 22. It may not have proven to be too popular in the past, but it's definitely something more casual players have enjoyed powering through in recent years.

There is the small opening campaign, which puts you in the shoes of a player testing for Paris Saint-Germain, complete with star-studded inclusions such as David Beckham and of course, cover star Mbappé, but rather than scratching the itch of love some have for story mode, it leaves you wanting more.

Career Mode and Player Career Mode make their return of course, allowing you to create your own club from your unique crest down to how you want your stadium to look, but there isn't enough meat around these bones. Fortunately, Football Manager is right around the corner.

Graphical upgrades have been made but, they’re not quite reaching that next level that some would expect from the next-gen consoles. Animations have been improved and beloved players look better than ever, but our managers and fans are their usual, soulless selves.

Picture Credit: Electronic Arts
Picture Credit: Electronic Arts

FIFA 22 is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and in legacy form, on Nintendo Switch.

Female First were given a code for the game on PS5 in exchange for a fair and honest review.

RELATED: REVIEW - Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
find me on and follow me on