As an international powerhouse released every year, almost every little reveal FIFA trots out about the newest installment in a series tends to go viral.
Take FIFA 22, for example. The official gameplay reveal trailer released about a month ago already has 2.5 million views on YouTube alone as of this writing.
It sure doesn't hurt that this is the first year the series really leverages the power of next-generation consoles to change gameplay as players know it, but it's hardly an anomaly. The official overall game reveal trailer from two months back? A gigantic 4.4 million views.
This sort of trend extends to the most beloved game modes. And this year, one stands triumphant among the rest: Career mode.
A quick look:
More solo-oriented players will find a lot to love in that quick-hitter of a video.
Players who want to take an overarching view and control of a club are free to create one as realistic or fictional to their heart's desire. Deep design customization systems for crests, kits and stadiums mean a personal touch that most sports games don't boast with similar modes.
After that, the video touches on the extensive goal options for a club. Players can choose to start the journey from the bowels of the sport and work their way up or just jump right into the fray as a world-renowned contender. Either way, the suite of options, goals and rewards seems robust.
Keep in mind that's just one half of Career mode; the other is a solo-player-slanted journey.
As the video stresses, a revamped set of match goals for a player's created avatar spurs progression. There's an overhauled, deeper-looking system here that rewards players for time invested both on the pitch during games, as well as practice sessions. A robust skill tree looks like it will present players with a variety of build options, giving a distinct feel and role for different created avatars.
The topper to the whole video? It even dives a bit into the presentation side of things, revealing new cinematics in the locker room and on the pitch, alongside fitting commentary, based on the status of the player's career. It's a little thing, but it goes a long way for the immersion, and it's clear this is something that needed a little extra juice from the power of next-generation consoles.
Some of the things the video doesn't touch on will be of great interest to Career mode players, too. For example, a developer diary touches on the differing board goals based on where a player chooses to position a freshly created club:
"Note that domestic and regional priorities will be influenced by your team's star rating as well. For example, if you start a career with a 3 star club in LaLiga and a High Priority Domestic objective, you will have an objective to avoid relegation in the first season, given that your team is one of the weakest rated teams in the league, and a long term objective for a top 4 finish in 4 years."
Board expectations will fuel club growth and potential as a player takes control after the creation process. Modifying those goals will be an intensely individual experience for each player, which is just one example of the depth presented in this mode.
Over in the player-oriented Career mode, one of the specifics the video didn't hit on was the how behind the game automatically generating some player-based goals each match. According to the same diary, it's generated based on three factors: position, quality of teams on the pitch and formations.
A deeper look at that third and final point:
"If you’re a striker facing a strong defensive force in a 5-4-1 formation you can have a harder time scoring compared to a 3-4-3 formation, and FIFA 22 acknowledges that. The game also acknowledges your squad’s formation. If you’re the lone forward in the squad without a striker partner, you won’t receive any objectives to make assists."
So, if it all works properly, there should be a deep, simulation feel to the goals a player has to tackle on a match-to-match basis. That makes the initial decision to start as a sub off the bench or straight-up superstar during the creation process even more important, plus it makes the whole experience feel even more natural.
Keep in mind this only dials in and focuses on one game mode in a robust-looking FIFA 22 release. The online competitive side, arcade-styled showdowns in Volta football and the collector's dream mode FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) all get significant upgrades this year in addition to dramatic gameplay overhauls.
From the sound of it, though, the two versions of Career mode have the feel of an experience with deep systems that will again provide one of the best sports simulations out there. Players can find out for themselves when the game launches on October 1.