F1 22 Review: Drive To Survive
From the paddock, to the track and beyond F1 22 races to a console and PC near you, is it as bold as last year's entry? My full review.
Formula 1 is one of the most popular motorsports in the world, and with good reason. The races are intense, the cars are beautiful, and the drivers are the best in class. Add all this excitement to Netflix's wildly popular Drive to Survive TV series and F1 is at the top of its game. It's no surprise that EA and Codemasters would want to bring the excitement of Formula 1 racing to a game console and PC near you.
Last year's entry into the franchise, F1 2021, was a bold one. It featured stunning graphics, tight gameplay, and an array of new features that made it one of the best racing games on the market. This year's entry, F1 22, is more of the same with a few standout features, but none as bold as the "Braking Point" story mode. The game looks great, handles well, but does it have enough new content to keep returning fans happy? Let's hit the track and see how this year's entry into the franchise fares.
F1 22 Details
Publisher(s): EA Sports
Genre: Racing Simulator
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
F1 22's story mode shifts to an "F1 Life"
F1 22's story mode looks very different and more paired down in comparison to last year's stellar story mode "Braking Point." Instead of 17 different gripping chapters of "Drive to Survive-esque" drama, this year Codemasters has opted for something different. This new experience, "F1 Life" is more focused on customizing your look on and off the track. From the F1 Life hub you can view supercars you've earned, visit a virtual showroom, check out your trophies and view on-track highlights.
It aims to capture some of the superstar lifestyle of F1 drivers, but I really missed the Braking Point drama. Thankfully, Codemasters has confirmed the next instalment of Braking Point will make a future return. You'll still be able to create your own avatar and race as them in both the career mode and online multiplayer, but you don't feel like you are progressing through a plot line. It's not a game breaker, but it does feel like a step back from last year's offering with so much personality.
F1 22's gameplay reflects the tectonic shift in real world Formula 1 rules
Thanks to the new F1 rules and regulations the vehicles and physics have completely changed, this year's gameplay feels much different. The cars are larger, and have bigger wheels, which will make you change your racing approach, much like the pro drivers have needed to. This will take some getting used to for those who played F1 2021 religiously, but it doesn't take long to get back into the swing of things. This isn't a bad thing, in fact, it's more reflective of the times.
It was a change for Formula 1 decades in the making, so I was happy to feel the difference on the virtual track, it's a testament to Codemasters dedication to remain as authentic to the motorsport as possible.
Updated track lists and Miami Grand Prix debut
F1 22 features an updated and expanded track list, including the revised layouts of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Albert Park Circuit for the Australian Grand Prix. In addition, the new Miami International Autodrome for the new Miami Grand Prix makes its debut this year.
Following the release of F1 22, two new circuits were also added in a major post-launch update: The Algarve International Circuit, which hosts the Portuguese Grand Prix, and the Shanghai International Circuit, for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Other notable changes in F1 22
This year also sees the addition of Adaptive AI, which adjusts in real-time to your skill level. This means if you're struggling the AI will back off a bit and if you are dominating, it will give you more of a challenge. This is a great feature for those who want to enjoy the race and are always looking for a challenge.
New racing format
The F1 Sprint format has been added to reflect the real world's on-track product. This addition sees you and your fellow drivers race 100km, with no pit stops to change tires. It's a shorter, more action-packed race that is perfect for those who don't have the time to commit to a full grand prix distance.
Virtual Reality has been added
VR has also been added this year, to the PC version of the game. You'll need a Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive VR headset to take advantage of this, but it's a great addition for those who want to be fully immersed in the race.
F1 22's Graphics and Performance
F1 22 is a great looking game, but it shares a lot of the visuals from last year's F1 2021. The car models, post-race replays and podium camera angles have seen the biggest upgrades this season. The damage and wear the car models take during the course of a race also helps to up the authenticity of the experience. The level of detail on the cars and tracks is incredible, and it really captures the feeling of being in an F1 pit lane. The lighting and weather effects are also top notch, making for some beautiful moments during a race.
F1 22 Final Thoughts - A podium finish
F1 22 is a great game that captures the feeling of being a Formula 1 driver. The new rules and regulations make for a more authentic experience, and the updated tracks and cars are a welcome addition. The career mode takes more of a step back in F1 22, and the new F1 Life modes doesn't offer that much new content. The VR support is a great inclusion for PC players, and I hope to see it in future instalments. If you're a fan of Formula 1, and have a keen eye for new on-track changes and details, then F1 22 is definitely worth picking up.
F1 22 PROS
+ Reflects plenty of new technical changes in Formula 1 this season
+ New tracks and Miami Grand Prix debut
+ F1 Sprints have been added
+ VR compatibility for PC players
F1 22 CONS
- Not much new content for career mode
- F1 Life modes feel like a step back
- Supercars feel unresponsive and lack road fx
Overall Rating: 32/40 (80%)
A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!
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