This 2022 edition has been highly anticipated by car racing fans of all kinds, especially with the new technical rules imposed in the Formula 1 world championship. Expectations were high for Codemasters and Electronic Arts. The question on everyone’s lips: Does the game fulfill the objectives?
Image credit: Codemasters
Important note: the game was tested on the PC (Steam) version with simulation peripherals (steering wheel, pedals). VR (virtual reality) mode, console versions and controller driving have not been tested.
Let’s go back to the promised news
The new cars of the current era are presented with the changes to the technical regulations made this season (originally planned for last year but postponed). You can see a good difference in driving. The understeer when entering corners is evident and the car is much more responsive under acceleration. If you drive with the joystick, you should consider the power assist option. Even with a precise crankset, you feel a huge difference between 15% and 25% pressure on the accelerator.
Also, you can follow your opponents more closely without suffering too much. Recall that last year it was very difficult to follow an opponent in the second, which this year does not happen.
The sprint race format was added this year. Everything is suitably presented for the designated competitions (Emilia-Romagna, Austria and Brazil). However, this option can be used for any multiplayer format track. The duration of the sprint race will always be one third of the duration of the main selected events, as required by the sporting regulations.
Melbourne, Abu Dhabi and Barcelona have received some tweaks to follow the changes made to the real life routes. The addition of the Miami layout will appeal to avid lovers of modern circuits. On the other hand, although the game offers all traces of the current calendar, the notable absence of some traces from previous years, such as Portimao and Hanoi that were present in previous versions, will certainly leave purists with an appetite.
Graphically, the renders are worthy of what a modern game can offer. The very high level of detail is enough to be the envy of many other great simulators. Performance-wise, the game is stable despite a relatively low number of frames per second (FPS) for some, depending on your computer’s configuration. Nothing alarming for the general public, but it should be borne in mind that for the drivers of the electronic championship (F1 eSports) the frames per second are essential for piloting precision.
The difficulties of virtual reality
It is impossible to talk about the graphics without touching the delicate addition of VR support to the game.Although it has not been tested here, several reviews on Steam seem to indicate that the game engine does not react easily to this technical novelty which would have everything to please the lovers of emotions. and immersion. This is an important issue for a modern platform, since most of the competitors in terms of simulation have already taken this step in previous years.
Immersion and artificial intelligence
Among the promises, the game introduces two novelties before and during the races. You can manually position your car on the grid during the formation lap. However, it is rather disappointing that this feature is not enabled by default. It’s a small addition, but one that will be passed on by the vast majority of those who have devoted significant hours to the game.
Another addition, the entrance to the pits now sees the driver controlling his access to his team. A feature that, for a user of the steering wheel, seemed completely welcome, right up to the moment of a first stop. This function, controlled by a button and not a flick of the steering wheel, is not welcomed by those looking to reproduce an immersive driving experience. However, for the features announced in the promotional video, there was room to do better.
Another subtly delivered extra addition: the new practice programs. Training is important in virtual racing, adding new features here seemed very cool, but again fails. In addition to a revamped interface, these are the same programs offered in previous editions of the game.
New high performance vehicles
The addition of high performance cars (Supercars) is a strange touch. An F1 game is definitely the right place to tease the racing enthusiast with magnificent cars. However, an offer limited to a dozen cars from the brands Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, as well as relatively poor handling, means this novelty is completely flat. Is it F1 22, Gran Turismo or Forza? The last two offerings certainly have the advantage in terms of car variety.
You can test these luxury vehicles in “Challenge” mode on a variety of tracks in five different contexts: drift, medium speed, checkpoint challenge, autocross and flying lap. The replayability of this function is there, with modest goals to be achieved. The collector in you will appreciate unlocking the different models available. However, for single-seater enthusiasts, this is a novelty that allows manufacturers to draw attention to their real models, nothing more.
Electronic Arts promised a display mode that would be innovative. Let’s say everything moderately meets expectations. As in the 2021 edition, it is possible to play with two cameras and get details that are displayed on the screen such as the rubber of the tires, the interval between the cars and the times made by the drivers. However, nothing shiny as a webcast model, which will disappoint the various leagues, especially since these groups are an important aspect of the community in the game environment, it remains to be seen if this will be a novelty that we will be able to see at work with the few leagues. of Quebec when they decide to switch to the new opera.
My LIFE F1 (MY LIFE F1) or The Sims 5?
This is perhaps the aspect of the game that will be the most debated in the 2022 edition. From now on, you have your home that incorporates your online and individual career into the game, that is, the more you drive in either mode, the more tokens and new sets you will unlock for your driver or even your custom F1 22 car.
In this new house you will find a showroom where you will find all your won trophies. These trophies are basically in your individual career. Players can also decide the look of their home and decide the location of the unlocked high-performance cars. Without following four paths, this section of the game could have been found for an extension of EA’s The Sims series. The influence of this function in FIFA (now FC) games cannot be eliminated.
For some team members, it feels like rediscovering the mundane allure that exists in Formula 1. A celebrity look that gives access to a side of appearance that is truly irrelevant in a racing car where the main idea is to drive. .
The pilot, in his “everyday” look, is limited to t-shirts, hoodies and other promotional underwear. Knowing the breadth and variety of customization offered in other EA titles from the past, the amount of options is low and every indication is that exciting new features will be hidden behind the paywall.
For us this aspect is a negative element, especially since in order to do it EA had to remove several beneficial elements to do so, including the “Breaking Point” scenario mode which allowed a better immersion in the reality of the Formula 1 paddocks.
Conclusion and final evaluation
All in all, from the perspective of a mainstream game, F1 22 offers Formula 1 fans an interesting, accessible and comprehensive experience. This is always a rather delicate criticism because, as fans of virtual racing simulation, our expectations of such a game are often excessive. Keep in mind that this game does not aim for the same goals as a simulator.
What leaves something to be desired is that several promised features haven’t really produced a compelling result compared to what was removed to introduce them. Future updates may be able to correct some shortcomings, including shortcomings in VR, but the added features remain fun.
If for the general public this is a very accessible game, you may need to start asking yourself serious questions about the use of this opus for the Formula 1 electronic sports championship. About a year ago there was controversy in the community while talking behind the wings of the creation of two divisions in the game, only one of which would be eligible for F1 eSport drivers. This did not satisfy the many championships on the game and, above all, many drivers in the electronic championship, who saw it as an affront to regular players by preventing them from playing with drivers registered in the electronic championship.