With one of the biggest changes to Formula 1 racing in over a decade coming this season, it’s no surprise that Codemaster’s F1 22 re-enactment focuses on the basic rules. It’s easy to look at this year’s entry in the F1 series and see only incremental improvements, with a clear focus on how fast cars handle around tight corners and transferring the authenticity of the new regulations to players in a tangible way. The focus on small but important tweaks means that, overall, the F1 22 feels a bit slimmer than last year’s version, but it’s still a worthwhile successor as it feels as good as at every corner in the new era of F1 racing.
If you’re not familiar with how real-life Formula 1 racing changes this season have played out, there are only a few points covering the big picture. This year, the heavier, minimum weight cars are lifted to accommodate a range of aerodynamic changes and rules, many of which focus on increasing power for racing. race closer without being affected by the loss of downforce (i.e. the amount of grip you have on a track) experienced when following other cars. Many of these changes are reflected in the underside of each vehicle, with the ground effect now drawing cars closer to the track when they’re hitting extreme speeds. This makes fast, swooping turns feel easier to navigate but also means deeper turns taken at slower speeds are more difficult.
In the same way that changes have made this Formula 1 season compelling as drivers find new limits of these cars around familiar circuits, F1 22 is a reset of its own understanding. you about racing in the game. Narrow covered sections of roads, such as the streets of Baku or the classic streets of Monte Carlo, are even more treacherous, with each slowing corner feeling like it’s asking too much. steering wheel from new chassis. In contrast, tracks with long and fast turns, such as the Maggotts and Becketts corners in Silverstone or the long straights of Monza, feel much more manageable. The changes are so severe that I often find myself having to adjust the opponent AI difficulty between each of these events to compensate for my incredibly varied performance where I can take a split second in a lane. race and then struggle to break out of the first session of qualifying on another.
In this way, the F1 22 can feel much more revolutionary than it seems. If you’re returning to the series after last year’s entry, this year’s driving model offers more than enough of the meaningful changes to make learning each track like a satisfying challenge once again. . That’s especially true if you’re used to racing around with many of the game’s aids, such as traction control. The heaviness of new cars and the temptation to reverse control from drivers below test your patience when hitting the gas, which makes even the medium-assist setting hard to come by. comfortable. F1 22 marks a re-creation of the challenges faced by real-world drivers with these regulatory changes.
The flip side of this new challenging driving model is the return of a plethora of settings that allow you to transform F1 22 into an experience you can enjoy regardless of your skill level. Multiple aids, such as steering and brake assist, traction control and ABS brakes, can greatly reduce the number of factors you need to think about when entering each corner. Having them all offered independently also means you can mix and match to find the perfect balance, while also varying the AI difficulty to keep things feeling authentic. New to this year’s entry is the addition of an adaptive AI setting, which helps keep other cars close enough to overtake if you’re less focused on nailing each round to keep the gap small.
Additional mechanics for pit formations and stops also give you more control during these crucial times. For example, you can tilt your car on the grid slightly to the side to give it an early corner advantage, or turn on the new broadcast mode to give a more cinematic feel to the lap. Pit stops get the same treatment, with the prompt button and your reaction speed determining how long (or lost) in the pit. Similarly, this can also be changed to an automatic broadcast-like sequence, requiring no input at all. Given the explosion in popularity that Formula 1 has experienced recently, these new mechanics and support settings (even if not entirely new) are even more important to an audience. New likely to come item this year.
One omission from last year is the iteration in the story mode, Braking Point. In F1 2021, this mode signifies the rise of a new racer in the sport, emulating a lot of the off-track drama and real-world decision-making abilities that have made the TV series so like Drive to Survive becomes fascinating. Without it, the F1 22 feels like it has significantly less content than last year’s entry. It still has two great, separate career modes, one where you’re only tasked with being a driver and the other where you have to manage a team, but they feel all too familiar. if you are hoping for something new. Some small tweaks are welcome, such as being able to start my Team career with a big enough budget to fight for a championship in the first place, but they are at best repetitive. There’s nothing wrong with either and I still prefer to budget to get the best technical advantages on the go with my own custom team. It’s just that Braking Point was a real step up from last year’s series, making its omission this year poignant.
With Braking Point gone, the only major addition to F1 22 is F1 Life, and it pales in comparison in most ways. F1 Life is a social space but more of a glorified menu backdrop, showcasing the classy lifestyle that so many F1 drivers enjoy by recreating it in a digital showroom of F1 Life. cars, trophies and expensive interiors. Other players you’ve met online will move in and out of this space, while you can manually check out your friends’ spaces by visiting them. However, the options for decorating these spaces are extremely limited, with only a handful of supercars that you can buy with in-game tokens (earned by completing distances in races). ) is displayed. F1 22 has a battle pass-like system for additional cosmetic items, from items in the F1 Life showroom to new clothes for your avatar, but many of the best parts of it are lost. Being stuck behind a paycheck feels too severe because there’s so little on offer for a full-priced game that already feels lacking in content compared to last year.
These same supercars are also replacements for the classic Formula 1 cars that have featured in previous entries, and the way you can race them is also severely limited. Supercars cannot be used in custom races, but only in special events such as one-off test laps or drift regional events. After experiencing the technically rigorous driving pattern of Formula 1 cars, these supercars, including a range of popular options from Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, never feel counter-intuitive. feedback or satisfaction while driving. Aside from the occasional special events that take place in each of the game’s career modes, I don’t find myself looking for more ways to experience these cars other than showing them off in a showroom, which makes the omission of classic Formula 1 cars all the more obvious.
It makes sense that, in a year where Formula 1 has changed so much, much of the focus on F1 22 has been on recreating the series of regulatory changes to deliver an authentic racing experience. as expected that this series was known. In that respect, F1 22 offers a challenging way to grapple with these extreme racing machines around every track on the Formula 1 calendar. It’s in the omissions and lackluster additions where F1 22 somewhat faltering, with less content than last year’s entry and a paid battle-like system that locks many cosmetic items behind a fee wall. consistently great in the long run, but thankfully it delivers high-octane action on the track where it matters most.