What’s new in the hood
Codemasters are probably the best developers when it comes to simulation racing and you can really see it in F1 2022. Along with the optional additions with big adjustments, F1 2022 feels like the best game in the series to date.
Revamping the handling, tires as well as the overall physics, F1 22 gives out the most realistic experience for the simulation racing genre. F1 22 will have both veteran sim players as well as completely new players be on the same footing as the strategies from the older F1 titles just won’t work within the new ecosystem found in F1 22.
The new ecosystem factors in a lot more enjoyable moments in terms of gameplay as compared to previous entries in the past when just hitting the brakes was commonplace and mistakes were relatively east to overcome, making some scenarios not as punishing as I would have preferred. But with F1 22, every little thing that you do feels like it matters a lot, which also adds into the realism that the game offers.
One of the features that F1 22 offers in this new installment is Adaptive AI which has been a highly requested feature that fans had asking for years. Adaptive AI is a brand new setting which makes the difficulty a lot more consistent. This feature makes sure that the AI will be smart enough to see how you’re doing during a race and will adapt its difficulty accordingly on the spot, all while maintaining a fair level of challenge, although this feature is not present in all of the modes.
The gameplay of F1 22 can either be complex or simple depending on your personal preferences. Players can choose to turn on the assist feature and make the game feel more like Forza Horizon, pairing that with the Adaptive AI, makes the game feel like an arcade racer.
There are still some features for simulation players too, like the ability to pick out a vehicle’s angle after a formation lap in order to pursue specific lines or even strict timing-based mini games on pit stops.
The opposing AI will also sometimes make little mistakes of their own to make the game feel more realistic rather than having it be a bit too robotic. The F1 series has never had a problem with snappiness or unresponsiveness, and that’s still stays true in F1 22.
Into the race track
Each of the tracks feels very distinct in its visual presentation as well as performances. The same also goes with the level of immersion through the unique details that can be found surrounding each tracks.
Not only do the tracks feel distinct and immersive, the vehicles are also excellent in F1 22 in terms of both looks as well as the booming sound design that the vehicles have. The attention to detail are especially fun when it comes with the inclusion of Supercars from McLaren, Mercedes, Aston Martin and other vehicles between the races as well as in F1 Life.
There are also new additions that includes broadcast-tier cutscenes for the pit stops, formation laps and even the safety car period. Players can choose between leaving these as simulations or even interacting with them, which will task players with navigating the moments giving a whole new and refreshing experience to see the standard camera angle cut to something worthy of a broadcast.
F1 Life is the life for me
The F1 Life is a social player hub with a standard lobby system where it allows users to interact with friends and other players while viewing cosmetics that are collected via the in-game trophy unlocks and through leveling the Podium Pass.
Players can acquire branded names for the attires from the in-game store and as well as with attires, players can also customise their avatars too. There’s also an in-game area for online qualification events and for those who don’t want to compete and just want to take it all in, there’s an option to view the events through the in-game hub.
Present in previous entries, the MyTeam feature gets more quality-of-life updates which can be found in other sports titles here. One of the most notable one being that players can now choose from one of the three different starting points to begin their careers in. And for those who don’t want to slog from the very bottom, underdog style, they can just pick the Front Runner to give them a head’s start.
Another feature that gets an upgrade is the Career Mode, which spans over a decade and still permits a co-op campaign with a friend. There’s also an RPG-feel to the team and vehicle management where working for unlocks is simple enough to welcome all players but carries complex enough elements that simulation lovers will stay engaged.
And as always, there are also plenty of other ways to play in one-off modes such as the time trials or quick mini-events like Average Speed Zone. And with the inclusion of things like hot laps with celebrities is a neat touch for more casual players coming into the F1 experience as the popularity of it is still at large.
Sprint races are also a welcomed addition to F1 22 too, as 100KM sprints after qualifying and before the race itself to cement the event’s starting grid adds in another layer to each of the event’s overall feel.
Another neat thing to note is that fitting its annual expansion feel, F1 22 also dips into VR on PC for the first time and the game runs in well as expected.
In my opinion, swapping out the narrative mode for the social hub for online activities can feel like a bold move for F1 22 as players have found their enjoyment for the narrative mode in previous installments of the F1 series.
But on the flip side, F1 22 offers one of the best career mode in any sports games in my opinion, and there’s a similar depth and enjoyment which could be found in the MyTeam mode. And while on the topic of online hubs, the game also offers arguably the best online hub and experiences of any other sports game.
To Codemasters credit, the on-track performances which mirrors real-life changes incredibly well. And with the continued smooth expansions to the overall game series mean an even broader appeal to both new and veteran simulation players alike which marks F1 22 to be one of the best game in the series.
|Super realistic visuals||The game feels like more of an update rather than a sequel|
|Really good online hub||Features introduced are new but not groundbreaking|
|More interactions to do while driving|