Spoiler: FIFA 22 is an annually-released sports game.
The purpose of that smart-assed open? To eliminate the obvious right out of the gate and cool expectations. EA's team has had some time to tinker with next-gen systems like PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, but 12 more months was never going to enable them to produce something built totally from the ground up.
Cynics will wonder why they should be bothered then. The good news is that the latest FIFA gets more right than it does wrong - gameplay has been significantly improved by just a few key tweaks, and it finally looks like the developers give a toss about Career Mode again. No, the feature won't become EA's priority so long as Ultimate Team rakes in millions, but it's not the barren wasteland it once was, and the future looks bright.
Other, once-proud EA IPs like Madden have become clunky, glitch-riddled messes. FIFA, meanwhile, is starting to fly the flag for"real" football again. The complete absence of in-the-box retail competition was a worry when Konami announced they were taking eFootball the free-to-play route, but FIFA 22 is an upgrade on 21. That should alleviate some concerns.
Here's everything you need to know before buying...