FIFA 22 Comes with Balanced, Slower Play
FIFA 21 has been characterized by many as a goal fest, where trick mastery meant filling the net, and solid positional play meant…well, sometimes never being rewarded for playing soccer the way it’s done in the pros. But with a few gameplay updates to FIFA 22, goal fest is over, and a more balanced experience is shinning through, one that emphasizes positional play and crisp, accurate passing, as opposed to flipping balls over people’s heads, nutmegging them, and more.
The lack of goal scoring actually boils down to more solid goalkeeping, which is both a plus when on the defensive end, but also a negative when on offense, when the perfect passing play is parried away by the keeper, sometimes with relative ease. I also noticed more reactionary saves than in the past. So often in FIFA 21, a volleyed strike from inside the 6-yard box, even when directly towards the keeper, would sail through their hands and into the back of the net. While this still happens, more and more often I noticed keepers getting a hand up to deflect that ball over the net – and it seems that the reactionary stat on the keepers themselves actually does matter.
I’ve noticed a change to 1-on-1 play as well. Driving into the box to power home a shot into the corner is not always a viable option either. If you are able to defeat your defender – and a players pace is quite important here – there is still no guarantee you’ll beat the much improved keepers. More often than not, yes, but not always. And even getting past that last defender isn’t a peace of cake either.
So, prepare for a slower, perhaps more boring FIFA experience this year. One that will reward accurate passing, playing balls to the wings, and either magnificent crosses into the 18, or deft movements to cut back and slide that finesse shot form distance into the corner. Your call, but don’t expect FIFA 21 this year.