In FIFA 23 you can perform an 'espaldinha' or even a butt pass
Technical Dribbling and AcceleRATE are two of the most prominent HyperMotion2 improvements, most of them thanks to full-match capture in Zaragoza.
When we published our first hands-on impressions with FIFA 23 last week after our visit to EA Vancouver, we told you that we couldn't delve deeper into the HyperMotion2 Technology powering its gameplay as of yet. Now, with the company publishing more details on what perhaps is the cornerstone of the last FIFA experience (it after all took the biggest portion of the 2+ hours presentation we attended), we can also share some of our most relevant notes on the tech and what it means on the pitch.
The key to the many more moves it adds and to how they feel better connected and more natural is that the game now has absorbed "twice as much capture footage". Specifically, the team went to Zaragoza, in Spain, at La Romareda stadium, to capture two full men and women matches plus training drills, in a partnership with Xsens 3D Motion Tracking company. This gave for 6,000 true-to-life animations, advanced 11v11 motion capture on the real pitch (more intensity, no need to use the limited studio), and most importantly, a pool of info for FIFA 23's machine learning system to pull from. To the point that there will be some players "fully-controlled by the algorithm", according to match experience line producer Sam Rivera.
With that in mind, these are some of the terms EA is using to define the new or tweaked gameplay features in FIFA 23:
HyperMotion2 Features (PS5, Xbox Series, PC, Stadia)
Full Team Authentic Motion, based on complete team's movement from the capture sessions in Zaragoza, a full animation refresh for more variety.
Powering the Women's Game, a training for FIFA 23's neural network with data from the girls' match.
Technical Dribbling, our favourite at Gamereactor and also Rivera's. Coming from good 'ol Active Touch System, this evolution affects dribbling. Players don't feel so "slidy" when moving, and now have a planned path and gain proper weight, as mentioned in our impressions. Perhaps the single most welcomed feature.
ML Jockey. Replaces all jockey animation with Machine Learning for players between the ball and the goal. Players are more aware of their positioning, and even hide their hands behind their back.
AcceleRATE. More variety and depth in terms of acceleration and agility, as sometimes they could be predictable about how fast they get to the ball. It's now based on archetypes (explosive, control, length). EA will make public which players are going to end up in each section.
Composed Ball Striking. Taking air ball dribbling movements to shooting or passing. For example, Haaland or Vinicius chest-controlling a ball to then perform a volley, involving tons of new animations.
Kinetic Goalkeeper vs Header. Last year was PvP air battles, "now we've captured the animations with them together, for example with corner kicks". "We know we had some problems in the past where these animations didn't look good".
New gameplay features (all platforms except Nintendo Switch)
If it wasn't enough, beyond HyperMotion 2 and thus also available on PS4 and Xbox One, game design director Kantcho Doskov described some of the new "multi-gen" features, including the very rewarding and eFootball-looking Power Shots (L1+R1, take a while to execute, direction is all manual), Redesigned Set Pieces (now with right stick aiming for elevation and curve), or Advanced Impact Physics where we could see limbs or fingers being impacted by the ball. There's also new Net interaction physics, Variety additions (including more aggressive tackles), or hundreds of new Shooting animations (downward volley, dipping shots, swirling shots, diving headers, backspin shots...).
Doskov also mentioned more humanised goalkeepers, tweaks based on feedback, signature run styles for many more well-known players or the additional left-footed tricks among the many new skill moves, but of course our favourite was the ability to pass with the back... or even with the butt, if needs be, as a fancy resort.