F1 22 Review: F1 Officially Begins
F1 22 is an iterative entry in the F1 series that focuses on an authentic recreation of a new era in the sport, with fantastic track results.
What Is Good?
- Beautifully rendered 2022 F1 cars
- New handling model
- Newbie friendly
- Supercars are fun to drift
- VR mode available
- Adaptive AI difficulty
What Is Bad?
- Dated physics engine
- F1 Life is tacky
- No major changes to career mode.
The future of the Formula One gaming franchise was highly disputed following Electronic Arts' acquisition of Codemasters early last year. The main question from fans was, 'Is EA going to transform it into another slot machine-esque game like FIFA, loaded with in-game purchases?' Surprisingly for an EA game, F1 21 was a surprisingly relaxing experience. There was the unnecessarily dramatic 'Braking Point' style, but it wasn't a money-making ploy. In some ways, it was a newborn EA baby.
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F1 22 is now available, and it is an adolescent EA child, with in-game purchases such as furniture (really), supercars, and tacky apparel from Puma and AntiSocialSocialClub. It also contains the most recent Formula 1 cars.
However, it makes logic. Formula One is investing heavily in marketing, as evidenced by the success of Netflix's Drive to Survive series, which attracted thousands of Gen-Z fans to the dying sport. It adhered to the accessibility and entertainment ethos in a passively consumed manner.
F1 22 is the active-consumption variant of the same. The supercars and glitzy 'F1 Life' mean very nothing to purists and long-term fans of the game, but for first-timers, this can be a decent stepping stone into the world of simcade racing. In this review, we'll look at how.
F1 22 Review: What’s new
A choice of furniture, supercars, and tacky clothing
The introduction of 'F1 Life' has been the most talked-about feature of F1 22. It's really a lifestyle simulator that allows you to customize your off-road look (with high-street brands), home (with buyable furniture), and even a garage. You may store your luxurious roadcars in your garage, exactly like F1 drivers. That was the aim, at least. In truth, the infantile, brand-obsessed attitude of this approach has disappointed many people. The furniture selection is out of place and nasty, and the clothing selection is quite tacky.
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The supercars are just amazing. In fact, the game forces you to select and race a supercar the first time you launch it, and it's not too horrible. You can race with up to ten Aston Martin, Ferrari, Mercedes AMG, and McLaren supercars in three modes: career events, Pirelli Hot Laps in the solo menu, and time trials.
The Pirelli Hot Laps mode is inspired by its real-life equivalent, and it has three sorts of races: autocross, drift, and duels. The races in this mode are too short and lack excitement, and we were done with them quickly.
Time trials, on the other hand, were a lot of fun. That's when we really began to appreciate supercars. We spent more time on full-fledged tracks perfecting our time with supercars than racing F1 cars. They maneuver like shopping carts, but activating the handbrake sends them into a tailspin. The steering and engine characteristics of each supercar vary.
When you think about it, this appears to be EA's attempt to bridge the gap between the worlds of fast-paced arcade racers like Need For Speed and technical racing in Formula 1.
The new formula
The 2022 Formula One season will see a change in regulations, with cars featuring streamlined front and rear wings, as well as a more rounded-off design to lessen turbulent airflow behind the car. They also bring back the 'ground effect,' which some Formula One teams used between 1978 and 1982. It is essentially a method of creating suction between the car's floor and the road in order to improve the cornering grip. All of this is done to bring the race closer.
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F1 22 features the new vehicles in all of their aerodynamic, ray-traced splendor, however, the ground effect is not available in the game. We've observed some drivers battle with a problem known as 'porpoising,' which is caused by the aforementioned ground effect. It occurs when cars bounce up and down on a straight, creating a loss of grip. While the handling model has been drastically altered, porpoising is no longer present.
In terms of handling, track surfaces are greatly improved since F1 21, and the game no longer glitches out important corners like the turn 4 and 5 chicanes at Monza, when a phantom bump on the curb would send your car flying into the gravel. The steering feels natural, and battling opponents is enjoyable. Traction control, on the other hand, has been made a little more complex. In F1 2021, medium traction control is akin to turning it off, and you must relearn throttle feathering.
It may be extremely frustrating for those using controllers, especially in cambered turns like Bahrain's turn 10 and the entire Red Bull Ring. The new cars also have more understeer due to their increased curb weight. As a result, you'll find yourself playing with automobile configurations more than ever before in order to get better handling out of vehicles. Keeping the traction control on Full will provide the most comfort for rookie players, but it will result in slower lap times.
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Miami is a totally new circuit! Racing on controllers on street circuits is difficult, but Miami is a wonderful track to race on. It's a short road with wide lanes and long straights. Furthermore, for the first time in three years, the game and the real season share the same tracks and advancement. Although Portimao and Shanghai are not on the calendar, they are included as bonus tracks in the game.
Granular controls in the pits & race start
Pit stops have been extremely boring since the advent of current F1 games because you simply have to sit and look after your car enters the pits. The time taken for pit stops was similarly erratic. F1 22 adds an element of skill to make it more engaging. You must now time your turns into the pit box to make a speedier pit stop. This takes some practice to master, but it can be decisive in a long race.
You can also now position your car in a grid slot. This isn't as elegant as it seems, because the game frequently resets your position due to the level of perfection necessary. The manual pit stop makes more sense to us because it can actually determine the outcome of a sweaty race. The latter appears to be a gimmick.
F1 22 includes adaptive AI, which learns your driving behaviors and adjusts to your level of difficulty, resulting in more realistic and exciting racing. In past editions of the game, 80 percent would have been our sweet spot, but due to the dynamic nature of F1 22, we had to lessen the complexity. It's the first time in the franchise's history that we've seen the AI conduct maneuvers like dive bombs, which caught us off guard.
However, even at lower difficulty settings, the AI drivers will brake early and park their cars on the racing line. AI may also race realistically, frequently three abreast. We prefer the manual pit stop because it can genuinely affect the outcome of a hot race. The latter appears to be a marketing ploy.
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F1 Sprint is here
Sprint races were introduced in the 2021 season, however, they did not appear in F1 games until this year. To be honest, it's not that big of a concern because you can lower sprint distance as well, which defeats the purpose of a sprint race. However, if you're looking for a true challenge, you may try a full-length sprint, although tire management is essential here or you'll find up sliding around in the latter moments of a race.
We were also pleased to see that the game no longer has a single audio theme. This is when the EA-fiction becomes apparent, as the menus now feature a catchy blend of electronic, R&B, and Hip-Hop tracks. F1 21's menu music was depressing, but this is a breath of fresh air.
F1 goes virtual
Also, this is the first F1 game to include built-in support for virtual reality headsets, and the game prompts you to pick between the standard and VR versions every time you launch it. We were unable to test it, but based on what we've seen on YouTube, it appears to be a nice little feature that adds to the realism of the game.
Jeff, the steadfast race engineer since the days of Codemasters, is no longer here to annoy you with poorly timed lines. Instead, we now have Marc Priestley, an ex-Mclaren mechanic who sounds far more natural. Natalie Pinkham and Alex Jacques make their debut as pundits in F1 22. You won't hear them all that much, but it's always wonderful to have additional folks.
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Gameplay and graphics
We played the game on a gaming laptop equipped with a Ryzen 7 6800H CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics, and 16GB of RAM.
Career game types such as My Team and Driver are nearly identical to those found in F1 21. The former places you in the role of a team boss-turned-driver, with the option of leading a well-funded squad or an up-and-coming team with a limited budget for added complexity. The latter mode places you as a Formula 1 driver working your way up the ranks. You can either begin your journey in F2 or end it in F1 with any team of your choice.
The cringe-fest Braking Point was canceled this year, but it is set to return in a few years.
The multiplayer lobby is based on F1 21, and the UI is very convoluted, with several tabs for casual and serious races. The best implementation of this was in F1 2020. They've fixed a number of server difficulties, and we haven't noticed any unusual session start glitches where the game would get stuck in either the load screen or the pre-garage sequence. Esports mode and F1 Events are also included, as we're in the previous two incarnations of the game.
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In terms of engine noises, F1 22 has lowered the high pitch whine of the turbo in the mix, allowing you to hear the engine's extremely wonderful low-end rumbling. This is especially noticeable in Alpine and Mercedes engines. In retrospect, the V6 noises have gone a long way since they sounded like vacuum cleaners in 2014.
Crash mechanics have been slightly modified this time, however, they are primarily based on F1 21. Aside from hitting the wings and tires, you can also damage the car's floor, which will have a substantial impact on the car's performance. While deflated tires are difficult to drive, they appear just as they did in F1 2012.
The car models look fantastic, especially when ray tracing is enabled. Cars with matte finish paints could have looked better, but the overall representations of the automobile are breathtaking.
In the Ego Engine 4, the racing overalls, drivers' hands on the wheel, and other aspects like spectators, clouds, and support cars appear obsolete. For the past seven years, the franchise has employed the same engine, and the ray-traced graphics and new handling models are only a layer of paint on the cracks of the Ego Engine 4. It's due for an update, and we hope EA releases a new engine soon.
F1 22 Review: Verdict
From the standpoint of newbies, F1 22 is incredibly appealing. It has supercars, the new F1 22 cars, mostly good graphics, a gorgeous handling model, a dated but completely fascinating career mode, and a fantastic multiplayer mode. Are the clothing and house decor appropriate for a racing game? We'll leave that up to you to decide.
The gaming engine also needs to be updated, but it appears to be running properly this year. The game is a touch pricey, as usual, at Rs. 2,999, but if you're a novice F1 lover, you'll appreciate it. The new regulation vehicles with official liveries have an attraction for veterans, but you'll find a much superior simulation experience in a more inexpensive and extremely moddable Assetto Corsa, which is now nearly a decade old.