Talking about the gameplay, FIFA 22 still offers a depiction of what soccer looks like in the English Premier League, whereas PES, now eFootball, is striving to replicate the more tactical Italian Serie A. Matches don’t have phases where you are not supposed to be attacking or counterattacking, and you’ll notice that — especially while playing against other human players — the midfield is often ignored as playing on wingers is much more effective to reach the other side of the pitch.
Playmakers have new animations where you can see them clearly asking for the ball or indicating what your next move should be, but this dynamic hasn’t changed that much practically compared to the last few editions of the game.
Compared to FIFA 21, though, you’ll find smoother and much more fluid animations with a lot of variables that will make your playing experience feel “new” every time. Details such as ball control on the run or even a simple shot now depend on tens of variables you can’t predict right away, including the force applied on a pass or the angle of your touch.
Between the posts, you’ll instantly notice a significant update to how goalkeepers behave: now they’re more reliable, something the community has been constantly requesting for ages, but also less easy to read. This means they’ll be more prone to let the ball slip between their hands or make mistakes on shots they would have easily saved in the past.
In the middle of the pitch, you’ll also spot a few new mechanics, the most striking being Explosive Sprint. This sort of double run, which you can activate by pushing the R2 button twice, accelerates the process of reaching a player’s maximum speed, and this can grant you a great advantage if applied with the right timing.
We’ve played long hours ahead of FIFA 22’s release, and up until now, we’ve not seen this spammed by the CPU nor by other players online, unlike other new features implemented in previous years — which is good news.
Explosive sprint seems designed to counter a slower sprint this year, particularly with less athletic players. FIFA 22 is a tiny bit more realistic from this perspective and, without losing sight of its roots, tries and limits players “sliding” through the pitch when their pace parameter goes beyond 80-85.
On PS5, haptic feedback has been downscaled compared with FIFA 21’s support for DualSense. After applying the next-gen upgrade, last year’s game had the controller rumbling at every pass, while now it only does so for stronger passes through RT + X.
On top of that, you can also feel a more gentle rumble in the final ten minutes of a match, and stronger feedback when you hear the referee’s final whistle. Adaptive triggers are also in but, similarly to haptic feedback, it seems R2’s resistance when players lose most of their stamina has been downscaled a bit, too.