FIFA 22: We chatted with Sam Rivera, FIFA 22‘s gameplay-focused boss about the new playable elements of the title. FIFA 22 starts its particular preseason with the sample of all the playable news that it has in hand. Explosive sprint, new tactical AI, more than 4,000 animations with the new hypermotion system, reprogrammed goalkeepers… Endless changes that want to turn EA’s next game into a true Next Gen game. We were able to interview Sam Rivera, team leader focused on gameplay, to reel off some of the news and find out what changes we can expect from FIFA 21.
In the presentation of the game you spoke of up to six times more decisions and offensive options. Isn’t this going to unbalance the attack-defense more? In recent years it seems that more offensive tools have been added than non-defensive ones.
When we are developing something new, there is always a counterpart to consider. While we’re talking about new offensive tools, we’ve also made changes to the defensive inning system. And yes, I agree that in some years the great characteristics have been more of attack than defense, but we have heard feedback that complained about how easy it was to defend with the jockey (by pressing L2 / LT, the defender moves in lateral steps facing the ball, being able to cover and cover gaps without having to make an entrance), so we have changed the system.
What have you added? Because until now, the best thing was to hold on, cover gaps and wait.
We have rewritten the defensive AI, making everyone defend as a block, with a greater reaction from the companions who accompany us. During the closed beta we will analyze the problems that may exist, what will need more changes and what will not, but at the moment we are not worried that the defense is not up to par, because we have totally changed it.
Another common problem is seeing how the attackers get a lot of rebounds after good defensive innings …
One of the discussions we had with the community is that defensive blocks were very strong in the game: if a player goes head-on and crashes, he is going to stop. We have modified all this, because before with the blocks the contact with the ball was very exact, but now it can go in different directions, it can allow the attacker to continue after a touch between players … we have tried to balance this. But what we have changed are the innings so that there is more success rate in the defender.