A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Games and news elements in career mode focus on athletic play, competitive good sporting conduct in matches, and promoting national pride for squads playing international matches.
Positive Role Models
Characters look like their real-life counterparts, and are generally positive role models. There are some moments where players express their dismay at missing goals or losing games, but these cutscenes are expressed without dialogue.
Players include a wide variety of racial and gender diversity for various modes in the game. The Volta mode allows for intergender squad matches for players to participate in, and players can define their team for street competitions.
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Ease of Play
FIFA 22's controls are easy to pick up and play, although the challenge comes in knowing the best time to perform a trick move to fake out an opponent, lead a teammate to a well-timed pass, or the best shot to make with swarming defenders in your path. Players will also want to learn the strengths of their players to use them to their best potential on the pitch. There are multiple difficulty levels to give players a challenge.
Violence & Scariness
Some players may tackle others, potentially leading to an injury, but no blood or gore is shown, players are penalized for these actions.
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Online chat isn't moderated, which could expose some players to inappropriate language.
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Products & Purchases
This is the latest chapter in the long running FIFA franchise. Players are covered in logos for various companies and products depending on the kit they wear. Gamers can also buy gear with football club names or from brand names like Adidas. Stadiums are also frequently broadcasting ads on the sidelines. Players can earn credits for the Ultimate Team squads by playing matches, or can pay real money for new gear, players, and items. There are two versions, each offering varying degrees of content for the game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that FIFA 22 is the latest chapter in the long-running soccer franchise for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and Windows PCs. Similar to the most recent installments of the game, there's a split focus on both street soccer and on professional league play, along with a fantasy team element that has become the formula for the series. Players will find a significant amount of advertising in the game, as player kits are emblazoned with business logos, billboards in arenas continually rotate ads, and player gear sponsors clubs or brand names like Adidas. While players may tackle other players on the field, there's a possibility that they'll receive a penalty for their actions, and that isn't the focus of the game itself. Any injuries that result as part of a tackle happen without blood or gore being shown. While easy to control, the challenge in the gameplay is knowing the players on your team to best use their talents to be successful, as well as when to use trick moves or timing to score goals. Multiplayer is unmoderated, possibly exposing players to inappropriate content.
Is It Any Good?
Refining this year's gameplay highlights just how similar it is to the past two years' titles, even though the adjustments do make this installment a tighter experience overall. FIFA 22 has a number of adjustments on the pitch, mainly to the ball physics so it reacts in a more natural and realistic way. Fighting for headers feels more dynamic and unpredictable, and it's possible to actually accelerate past your opponent if you time your run toward the goal and get the pass in stride. While last year's game felt like it had more of an offensive bent to it, this year's defense feels a bit more responsive to closing down open lanes to the goal, especially on higher difficulty levels. That being said, there are still some odd moments in the gameplay, with players on both teams still running offsides more than they should, and strange hesitations where AI controlled players hold onto the ball for a second or two before choosing to make a move or pass the ball to a squadmate. It doesn't make sense, and feels like the new animations are fighting with older code to determine what animation should be played on a situational basis.
Fortunately, the modes have gotten varying degrees of content, some of which are more successful than others. Volta has jettisoned the weaker storyline surrounding Volta in favor of a faster paced leap into street courts around the world. Since this mode was always more arcade-like than the other game modes, it makes much more sense that the score multiplier and signature abilities are included to make play on these courts much flashier and more action packed. This is somewhat contrasted to the inclusion of the Volta Arcades, which are restricted solely to weekends, although the downside here isn't so much that there are mini-games like Tennis, Team Keepaway, and a corner scramble to knock balls into goals. Instead, it's the fact that few people are playing this mode, and its limited availability means fewer people are going to pay attention to it even more. Career mode does have better adjustments, by contrast, particularly when it comes to hopping in as an athlete. The addition of perks, which allows you to passively give your athlete or your team a bonus in set situations, and the options to further specify your player's growth through multiple skill trees and archetypes means that you have a better chance at making your athlete more unique than anyone on the pitch at your position. The addition of match objectives is a nice touch, because it provides more goals to accomplish than simply winning the game. But if you're spending any time in FUT, which is where many people play FIFA, the tweak on divisional play is a nice bonus – you at least feel like you're making progress against players with similar skill to your own, rather than having an inconsistent set of opponents that you might walk over or be crushed by. It might not seem like a big deal, but the checkpointing system also reduces a lot of frustration that would arise from trying to climb the ranks, only to tumble when you ran into a stronger opponent. Similarly, the inclusion of previewing packs to decide whether or not you want to spend coins or points on the content in a deck in the store goes a long way towards minimizing the long-hated impacts of loot boxes. It may not be a massive leap over the previous titles in the past few years, but the adjustments made to FIFA 22 improve the play on the virtual pitch to make it a stronger experience overall.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.