FIFA 22 release date, cover star & big Career Mode changes: Five things we learned this week

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 23:09, 16 July 2021 | Updated: 17:00, 12 August 2021

It’s not long to go now before EA Sports releases the latest edition of their best-selling video game series.

FIFA 22 is set to go on sale this autumn and developers are promising game-changing features. Understandably the hype is unrelenting, so here are five things we learned about the upcoming game this week.

1. The release date for FIFA 22

Anticipation for the latest edition of EA Sports’ most successful game is palpable and the powers that be have announced that FIFA 22 will be released on October 1, 2021 (for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Google Stadia), subsequently following a longstanding trend dating back to 2003, where the game goes on sale either in the last week of September or the first week of October. FIFA 22 also comes two editions: Standard and Ultimate. The latter houses a host of extra features, including four-day early access.

2. Cover star announced

For a second consecutive edition, Kylian Mbappé will be the cover athlete. The 22-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward is an avid follower of the gaming series, so you can imagine he will see it as an honour to be chosen again. Mbappé succeeded Eden Hazard as the face of the franchise, but he’s got a long way to go to break Wayne Rooney’s record for most cover appearances. Manchester United’s record goalscorer was plastered on the cover of every game from FIFA 06 to FIFA 12.

3. Trailer dropped

As with any good entertainment product, you need to show the consumer what they will be getting and EA Sports did not disappoint by dropping a reveal trailer. Actual gameplay footage took a back seat and instead we see (among others) cover athlete Mbappé and his PSG teammates wearing the latest in motion-capture technology, showcasing the computer learning and complex data algorithms that go into what the games producers hope will be their most realistic football simulation yet. It has no doubt generated buzz ahead of October.

4. Career Mode is getting a shake-up

The reveal trailer was light on specific information. Instead, EA chose to dump all of that on their website. Most notably they’ve confirmed big news about some new features which gamers can expect to see for FIFA 22’s Career Mode, with the most tantalising so far being ‘Create a Club’, which allows players to establish their own clubs and build its stadium.

The prospect of starting from the bottom and rising up the ranks before winning everything in sight is something that whet the appetite and the official FIFA 22 page on EA’s website states: “Live out your football dreams in FIFA 22 Career Mode as you create a club and lead them from relegation candidates to global giants, and enjoy an overhauled Player Career experience that gives you more ways to progress, achieve, and immerse yourself in your Pro’s journey through the game.”

If this sounds familiar, it’s understandable as rival game PES has offered customisable clubs for a while with its Master League mode.

After three years of The Journey, Story Mode continued over the last two editions in Volta Football, and it looks like Story Mode could be arriving in Career Mode. There will be more changes to the Player Career feature, but EA have so far been vague on that front: “Enjoy an overhauled Player Career experience that gives you more ways to progress, achieve, and immerse yourself in your Pro’s journey through the game.”

However, in what would be a highly significant change, it is being reported that gamers will be able to create female players for the first time.

5. HyperMotion Technology

Arguably the biggest detail we’ve learned that will permeate the entirety of the FIFA 22 experience is the introduction of what EA is calling ‘HyperMotion Technology’.

It is billed as a brand-new way of capturing the real-life traits of players to enable a more realistic football gameplay experience. It seems partly evolution, as the main improvements to FIFA over the years has been to take realism to the next level, but EA also dropped the R word by promising a “revolution in football gameplay.”

“Powered by HyperMotion, FIFA 22 combines Advanced 11v11 Match Capture and proprietary machine learning technology to deliver the most realistic, fluid and responsive football experience for next-gen consoles and Stadia, unlocking the raw emotion, passion and physicality of the world’s game,” EA’s statement reads.

“HyperMotion technology enabled the integration of the first-ever motion capture of 22 professional footballers playing at high intensity. Additionally, EA’s proprietary machine learning algorithm learns from more than 8.7 million frames of advanced match capture, then writes new animations in real time to create organic football movement across a variety of interactions on the pitch. Whether it’s a shot, pass or cross, HyperMotion transforms how players move on and off the ball.”