You may recall in last weeks post, and the subsequent comments since, I remarked that I was struggling to get to grip with, and actually the FIFA22 game play, this issue carried on throughout the weeks play sessions, with frustration reaching the point where I felt I had to try the OS (Operation Sports) sliders, which usually does a good enough job of tightening up the gameplay and adding a bit more realism over and above EA’s standard. default game play.
I still did not find it changed the feel of the game enough, and was still experiencing a less than enjoyable time with the game, I even considered writing FIFA 22 off as a dud and going back to the superbly pimped up PC version of PES 21 at one point.
Let me explain, Obviously you all know by now that I am no newbie to FIFA, I haven’t just moved across from PES and am unused to the game play, I have been playing FIFA and PES side by side for many years, often opting to spend 6 months of each football gaming year on each title, and in previous years, FIFA, usually with the OS sliders in place has been more than satisfactory, so it was frustrating as to why it just wasn’t clicking for me this year, and the issue is because FIFA is designed, this year more than any other, with a total online-centric focused game play, meaning its fast, frantic, ultra responsive, and a goal-fest, maybe great for online FUT players, but not so great for the sim-minded offline Career mode player.
My matches in English league one felt, just ‘wrong’, my average team OVR is 65, not great, and the average OVR of my subs bench was 55, yet my players, but more so the CPU players were all able to dribble, jink, fire off rocket shots from 30 yards, play one touch tika taka style passing and generally all play like elite level teams, so every match felt the same, and absolutely not what you’d expect from Fleetwood Town or Oxford Utd in League One.
The main issue with FIFA’s core game play is a complete lack of freedom of the ball within space, the ball feels magnetised and stuck to players feet, they can go from a standing start, or walking pace to full on sprint, whilst the ball remains stuck to their feet, they can turn instantly, on a sixpence, play one touch passes, all regardless of stats, or ability. First touches are clean, and instant, any player can bring down a 50 yard driven pass with pinpoint accuracy, all lending itself to making every game feel the same.
So one day I was browsing YouTube and saw ‘SpoonyPizzas’ a guy that is well known for producing PES content, who has ironically moved across to FIFA, after years of slamming it for poor gameplay, even he, along with TTB (The True Brits) have both been forced to play FIFA, all because Konami have killed off PES, with the abomination that they call eFootball not resembling PES in any way shape or form, but that’s all another discussion, the point being is that SpoonyPizzas, wanted to try to recreate the PES game play feel within FIFA 22, using sliders, and he did a pretty fantastic job for the first test set of slider values.
I tested his slider settings, using Liverpool v Man Utd, and it was an enthralling, enjoyable and unpredictable match, with passes of play representing what you would see on the tv from two elite level sides, it was the first match in FIFA 22 I had truly enjoyed, the problem was, as the global slider settings are intrinsically linked to each individual players ratings in each area, the slider values didn’t translate well to the lower league sides, it made the game unplayable, as players become too poor to do anything of note with, so I fiddled with them and after testing have settled on a set of slider values, which in my opinion, totally revolutionise the feel and enjoyment of the game.
The slider settings change the core basics, such as increasing pass and shot error, and slightly reducing the shot and pass speeds, but most importantly, and the key thing here, is the settings for acceleration are ramped right up high.
What this increase in acceleration, not to be confused with Sprint Speed, does, is that it actually should be called inertia, or momentum, as it affects the speed in which a player can build up to their max running speed, and as a result, forces the player to push the ball out further ahead of them, in order to gain acceleration, this creates a space, and freedom between the player and ball, so the ball is no longer magnetized or stuck to the players foot.
As a result, the players individual stats come into play more, because players with a higher first touch accuracy, dribbling technique, agility, balance, passing accuracy etc stand out more, increasing player individuality.
EA also shot themselves in the foot, because their new Hypermotion* engine, which is a machine learning mechanic that is able to read new situations in game and create new specific animations on the fly, is practically redundant, and invisible when the game is played on EA’s own standard default settings, because there’s never enough freedom of the ball to lead to unpredictable situations that the Hypermotion engine was designed to accommodate, so you don’t notice it, but with the new slider settings and the increased freedom of the ball, it becomes quite noticeable and results in some lovely looking, realistic passages of play.
*Hypermotion engine is only in the next gen versions – PS5 & XBOX Series X.
So, excuse the long preamble above but felt it important to share some background behind my play sessions, and how the game is now, for me, playing beautifully, and that I am now very much enjoying it.
Now that’s all said and done, lets talk Career mode, and with the new revamped game play, this really is taking on a classic ‘Master League’ style journey – players I’ve never heard of, who are awful, a limited budget, struggling to hack results together, tense, fiery matches, transfer market wheelin’ & dealin’, the need to develop youth, attempting to take my fictional home town team up the rankings, but all with the added intensity of board expectations, and the possibility of relegation and the sack, none of which was possible in a PES ML.
To summarise, with the new game play, the game is harder, for the better, so I have moved to professional level, and its still bloody hard, still a struggle, the only way to improve, is to recruit better quality players, but how!? We have no transfer kitty, of note, and whilst at the bottom of League one, we wont attract any decent players, it will be interesting to see how this goes.
Although we did manage to sign a CDM, signed blind in desperation as cover without scouting, Jama, 63 OVR, who was no better than what we already have, so was a wasted £300k, and one decent signing was a 66 OVR rated Rm from Oxford Utd, who, importantly has bags of pace.
Our league position is a worry, second bottom, having played more games, results need to improve, and fast, if we are to snatch the probably, 15pts or so, that would be needed to steer ourselves out of the relegation zone, if we can avoid relegation, and get a little sum of money to invest in players then next season we can build, if I still have a job of course.
Was quite surprised to see though, that despite our poor form, our two CF’s both feature in the top scorers chart with very healthy returns, on the flip side though, it’s never good to have all of your goals come from just one or two players, injuries are a thing in this game.
Will finish off with a few goals scored from my last few play sessions, note in the first goal shown, the freedom of the ball within space, this goal would never have happened if it had stuck to the players foot, without custom sliders. Also proof that fouls do exist in the game, and are more consistent with these sliders as there’s increased opportunity for mis-control, and lunged tackles.