F1 22 review: Still fascinating, despite EA’s short-lived influence



There is something about starting a new Formula 1 video game that is very reassuring. The new challenges ahead, the plethora of new additions, and the hope of virtual driving nirvana. New, but also familiar.

F1 2022 is the 13ththe successive official game created by the Codemasters outpost in Birmingham. For the most part, you know what to expect: a driving video game with all the stars, tracks and cars of real world F1 that is authentic and accessible.

Except this time, it’s not called F1 2022, but EA SPORTS F1 22, and there’s an electronic dance music soundtrack, Oakley sunglasses and Ferrari road cars. With the development studio bought by Redwood City-based publishing giant Electronic Arts last year for $1.2 billion, this is the season where the change in ownership has clearly taken hold.

F1 22 F1 Game of Life

EA’s influence predominantly takes the form of F1 Life. In essence, a stylish living room where you can modify the look of wallpaper and furniture, before creating your own avatar with brand-name clothing, more of which can be purchased with in-game currency, either earned or purchased with real world money. O Joy.

This forms the backdrop for the main menu, but also a waiting area before an online race. You can also display a collection of supercars, earned by completing driving benchmarks. This is very reminiscent of the Basement from Hot Wheels Unleashed, except it doesn’t have a compelling use case.

It’s like your parents suddenly bought some Yeezys and visited a Harry Styles concert. They’re still the caretakers you know and love, but they’re trying way too hard to appeal to a TikTok generation.

F1 22 game McLaren Artura

Vehicles aren’t just for show, though, as you can take them through a series of 40 challenges. The aim is to replicate F1 Pirelli’s Hot Laps, where invited dignitaries are given laps by passengers during grand prix weekends.

In action, the range of Aston Martins, Mercedes-AMGs, Ferraris and McLarens are amazingly detailed, including the interiors, and luckily you can enjoy taking them for a spin. The handling is benign, though the scraping sound of the tires is a bit annoying.

Ultimately, the inability to compete with these against computer controller rivals or online competitors makes this a largely disposable addition once the initial novelty has worn off.

F1 22 game Ferrari F8 Tribute

This is F1 22 trying to appeal to a younger, digitally native audience that enjoys the lifestyle represented by the F1 Instagram account. I appreciate that this approach will almost certainly broaden the appeal of the title, but I can’t help but feel it’s the wrong priority after last year’s removal of historic cars.

Far from attention-grabbing nonsense, F1 22’s long-term appeal rests solely on the representation of the core sport, which now includes the latest car specifications, the new Miami International Speedway and revised handling characteristics.

Things don’t start well. At the time of this writing, the PC version of the game used for testing (on three different combinations of hardware, I must say) repeatedly crashes, slows down, wobbles, and is generally unstable. It stutters after a flashback, the new feature of being able to position your car on the grid sometimes fails, and the force feedback settings on the multi-wheel peripherals require constant fine-tuning.

F1 22 F1 game grid start, new feature

I’m still waiting for a patch to the game to remedy these ills, as I posted this review and couldn’t test the game on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, which are hopefully more refined. While I trust the creators will smooth things over, it’s frustrating that last year’s F1 2021 felt in better condition right now.

While the new additions add an attention-grabbing shine, don’t forget what didn’t get updated as well. The tracks have received new signs, curbs and asphalt colouring, while the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Circuit de Yas Marina and the Circuit de Albert Park shine with their new layouts.

But the rest of the representations of the place continue to lag behind contemporary simulation platforms, with imprecise corner angles and bumps.

F1 22 alpine game Yas Marina Ocon

While the on-track visuals, post-race animations, and slick presentation (Natalie Pinkham, Alex Jacques, Jacques Villeneuve, and Jean-Éric Vergne are now part of the voice roster) belie the game’s internal aging, the detail of the track is a sign that the base technology is advancing a bit.

So far, we’ve got some punchy beats, fun but non-essential road cars, brand name clothing optional, and instability. At this point, he was concerned about the longstanding reputation of the F1 gaming franchise: 12 years later.

In search of redeeming qualities, I started an individual sprint format race at Imola with Daniel Riccardo. The length of the event was set at 50 percent and qualifying was reduced to just one fastest lap, which I quickly screwed up.

F1 22 F1 Game, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, rain

Gripping my steering wheel with ever-tightening aggressiveness, I was in the zone, working with my race engineer, now with the naturist voice of ex-McLaren F1 mechanic Marc Priestley, reviewing laps, monitoring my strategy and pulling off last-minute overtakes. second.

the result was 10the from the back of the grid at the start of the sprint. The computer-controlled rivals felt more natural than ever, jockeying for position in the early laps, strategically using their Energy Recovery System to attack and defend, and sometimes crashing into each other.

This was a vivid reminder of just how fascinating F1 games can be. With the pre-release focused on brilliant new features, including an excellent VR implementation for PC controllers, don’t overlook what lies below: brilliant driving gameplay.

F1 22 game mode My Team

This year’s handling is happier with the tail, managing oversteer coming out of corners in short gears is sometimes essential. Once you’ve acclimatised, the new approach makes for a more rewarding driving experience, especially in combination with the way the cars negotiate curbs with more flexibility.

Achieving a physics system that manages to be both manageable when using a gamepad, thanks to some genre-leading assists, and still provide an extra level of feedback with a wheel is no mean feat.

Neither is My Team’s managerial career, where you lead your fictional character and squad through a developmental curve toward championship glory.

F1 Circuit 22 My Team Jeddah Corniche

There are only surface-level tweaks to F1 22 compared to its predecessors, but it’s still the best single-player campaign in any racing game. Similarly, there are a host of ranked or unranked online career modes and cross-platform play, so those on PC, PlayStation and Xbox can race together for the first time, appearing as a post-launch update.

Attempting to add a level of glitz and glamor to the game will further alienate a crowd of sim-focused purists. If the supercars and cosmetic customizations appeal to a new audience, chances are even they too will realize that these features are mostly window dressing.

No, let’s not forget that while this game series is ready for a complete rebuild from the ground up, it still offers one of the most comprehensive and compelling packages in sim racing. F1 22 carries on that excellent tradition, even if it sometimes floats.

The Traxion.GG Review Verdict: Wish List
developer Codemasters, EA
Release date July 1, 2022 (June 28 Early Access)
Available platforms PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
tested version personal computer
best played with Steering wheel

Full disclosure: The publisher provided code for the game for review purposes. This is our review policy.