While the new Formula 1 season offers us a duel between the teams Red Bull and Ferrari, advantage to the first and Verstappen, EA Sports and Codemasters have chosen the month of July to release their annual iteration of the world championship. F1 22 did not promise a revolution, but welcome adjustments for the multiplayer aspect of the license. Enough to convince completely?
A title change for a fresh start? The Codemasters saga, bought from the edition by EA Sports two seasons ago, decided to refine its title (no F1 2022 to follow the previous games, but a sober F1 22) but not its formula. And fortunately, so the license manages to easily absorb the new public of Formula 1, often conquered by the famous Netflix series Drive to Survive. The challenge therefore arises this year more than ever with an F1 2021 without excess last season: managing to keep the flame alive among regulars of the genre. And with small clever adjustments, it’s a successful bet.
Test conditions, without VR judgment
This test currently concerns the next-gen version of the title (PS5, Xbox Series X) and not the PC version. Important clarification because the PC version includes VR compatibility (with Valve Index, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR headsets).
Who says new season of the Formula 1 world championship, often says new circuits and tracks. This is indeed the case this season, with several returns after the cancellations linked to the Covid (circuits of Canada, Australia, Japan and Singapore) but to our dismay several departures (Qatar, Portugal…). We would have liked the possibility of having the grand prizes of previous seasons, but it is clear that it is a long season with 22 rounds and that Codemasters has respected the modification of certain routes (Spain, Australia, Abu Dhabi) and above all added the totally new circuit of Miami right from the start.. The latter bypasses the gigantic Hard Rock Stadium and offers an intermediate difficulty that we appreciated in the race, a little less difficult than Baku, a little more than Yas Marina to give an idea to purists. With Miami-Austin and Imola-Monza, the United States join Italy in the nations most represented on the 22 circuits of the opus, all very faithfully transcribed.
New start for stops
Modeling of the same ilk as those of the official pilots. The 20 holders of the world championship are all without exception perfectly modeled. And even if the rare times we see them are the moments in the pits or during the celebrations, it must be said that this gives a lot of character to the title, especially since the Formula 2 drivers (lower category) including the Frenchman Théo Pourchaire are also graphically neat. 9 historic drivers are also in the game (usable in the My Team mode if you have taken the additional content) including Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Webber, Massa or even Jacques Villeneuve, also in the commentary of the races with Julien Fébreau when not is not Jean-Eric Vergne.
The new rules announced by the FIA were not present for the previous opus, this is the case this season with reworked physics at the tire level. Hardcore fans of the saga will feel the difference, but will complain about the absence of the concern that has affected several teams this season: porpoising defect, bouncing the car back and forth. We would have appreciated the wink, but this oversight does not mask the studio’s efforts to bring realism to the gameplay. To start with the overhaul of the pit stop in the race. You now have to press the bottom button (cross on PS5, A on Xbox) at the right time so that the stop is shorter to get back on the track quickly after changing your tires or correcting a technical problem. If there is always a part of randomness in the stopping speed and if it depends on the power of the team, it is a little more engaging idea without forgetting that the animations of the technicians have been reworked.
Besides that, it is possible when you select the option to participate in the formation lap (before the official start) without overtaking your opponent in front of you and choosing your position on the grid. On the side to be aggressive and overtake, towards the first corner if you want to defend your position… Another clever addition besides sprint races. This is a race that takes place over a limited period of time, and its starting order is set by a classic qualifying session, to determine the starting grid for the upcoming grand prix in addition to giving bonus points for the more efficient. Usually in three laps, after qualifying races in Austria, Italy (Imola) and Brazil as planned for the real world championship, but F1 22 offers the possibility of sprint races for the other grands prix. A godsend for online tournament organizers. The latter will happily understand that this new opus is undoubtedly the best in terms of gameplay possibilities to engage in the most beautiful battles.
Live my life in a Supercar
Unfortunately, F1 retains some annoying downsides, such as being too stingy on racing incidents. Seeing two computer-controlled opponents collide is still as rare as ever, as are abandonments and that’s a shame. The appearance of the Safety car (car that regulates the speed of the race in the event of an incident) during the post-race slowdowns, a novelty announced by EA and Codemasters is therefore a bit restricted, it’s a shame. Speaking of safety cars, these cars are controllable in F1 22 via several events to gain reputation in Career or My Team modes, and even in a dedicated solo mode. Single-seaters are no longer the only vehicle in the game, and you can now collect medals by performing challenges (slips, duels, time trials) at the wheel of several large cars (Mercedes AMG GT, McLaren 720S, etc.). ).
These cars are even unlockable via Supercars tokens, which are obtained by completing rather simple challenges during F1 races. But to serve what? This is where we come to F1 Life, which is not a new mode, but rather a new space for the license. Each player has a driver’s residence, with a customizable living room (parquet, sofa, painting, library…) in addition to adding their Supercars to the heart of their residence. He can then invite friends to admire the different vehicles, take advantage of the virtual Showroom to find out more about the single-seaters present in the game, watch replays… But also personalize his outfit by unlocking cosmetic elements via the Podium Pass (system combat pass by completing challenges) or via the store and virtual currency. A novelty really made in EA Sports, which did not necessarily convince us : it is too easy to obtain Supercars, and the thing gives too much the impression of being a pretext to heat the credit card.
A part too superficial to mark the identity of the title, which does not offer a scripted mode this season, after the Breaking Point part of F1 2021. An absence due to the choice to offer only one adventure every two years. We will therefore wait for F1 23 with the hope of having one worthy of the name, but also a little more depth in the career and team modes, always on top, but unchanged from the last title except gameplay bonuses and Supercars events.
Pre-order F1 22 on PC at Amazon
- Full stable and career modes…
- …with two player play and Supercars events
- Impeccable in driving and feeling
- Configurable according to the level of play
- New rules and sprint races on the menu
- The 22 circuits of 2022 very faithful and updated
- A successful new pit entry system
- VR compatible on PC
- The F1 Life part too superficial for its release
- Too few technical problems and abandonments in the AI
- FPS drop during cutscenes
- We expect even more from the main modes
- No story mode with a scenario this season
With a second rolling start on PS5 and Xbox Series X, F1 22 has put some oil in its engine. A little more animation during the celebrations and on the track with the arrival of the safety car in the race, the addition of events with Supercars to drive and drops in FPS during less significant cutscenes than in 2021, the standing of the latest generation of consoles is finally respected. Codemasters succeeded in placing this new title as a reference for multiplayer games with the adjustment to the new rules, the addition of sprint races and a new pit entry system. We will just grumble about the too superficial F1 Life space and the lack of inspiration on the content, but F1 22 is well worth it for new motorsport fans and multiplayer enthusiasts.
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