The video game publisher had 22 players put on Xsens motion capture suits and then play competitive matches in Spain. All that data – more than 8.7 million frames of advanced match capture, EA Sports says – will be used to create real-time soccer gameplay animations as players mash controller buttons.
To bring more realism to “FIFA 22,” EA Sports went to extremes on the pitch – and brought inclusivity to its announcing team.
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And the game maker also is bringing its first female announcer to the game: Alex Scott, who played for the English national team and Arsenal of the Women’s Super League. “This is a big moment for FIFA, for football and women and girls across the world,” she said on Twitter and Instagram. “Whilst I am the first English-speaking female broadcaster to feature in FIFA, I will certainly not be the last.”
‘FIFA 22’ goes into HyperMotion
EA Sports has used motion capture for its games in the past. For soccer, typically one to three mocap-suited players would simulate plays, said Sam Rivera, lead gameplay producer for the game during an online video reveal of “FIFA 22.”
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The game maker created its own machine learning algorithm to crunch the game’s data and deliver lifelike game action, which it has dubbed HyperMotion. “There’s more intensity. The physicality is there and also a lot of behaviors that you don’t usually get with regular motion capture. Talking, pointing and directing people,” Rivera said.”You get all these little things, all these football behaviors now we have them and we can put them in the game which makes a more authentic version of FIFA.”
Only the newest video game consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X and S, and the Sony PlayStation 5 will get this data-rich upgrade when “FIFA 22” comes out Oct. 1. You can pre-order the game now ($69.99 for standard editions – $62.99 if you have an EA Play subscription – and $99.99 for the Ultimate Edition (EA Play price, $89.99; extra perks include current and previous generation versions and getting the game four days early). Standalone Xbox One and PS4 standard versions cost $59.99.
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Because the newer game systems crunch more data more quickly, the in-game players can make six times more decisions per second than players in previous games, said FIFA Gameplay producer Shaun Pejic. Your player will have improved control of the ball, compared to previous games. And teams will act more realistically with defenses defending as a unit. “It looks more like a real game when you are watching it on TV,” Pejic said.
And your player gets an explosive sprint in the new game. “When you press that right trigger at the right time you are going to get a bigger push and acceleration with the ball,” said FIFA gameplay director Kantcho Doskov. “Now this works both on dribbling and defending, so if you are trying to catch up with a dribbler who maybe got a step on you you are going to get that boost.” Kylian Mbappé , who plays for Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team, is a back-to-back ‘FIFA 22’ cover athlete.
Other new additions include an updated goalkeeping system, some new skill moves, more realistic soccer ball physics and team tactics you can select for each side of the pitch, perhaps playing a possession game on defense and a more attacking style on offense.
Add it all up and these improvements make the game, “look and feel more like football,” Rivera said. For more information on “FIFA 22,” go to the game’s website.