EA Sports and Codemasters have released the new iteration of the official Formula 1 video game. The nomenclature is changing, since it is now called F1 22, in order to stick to the other sports franchises published by Electronic Arts.
It is the first official game developed entirely under the guidance of the video game giant, which marks the beginning of a new era for the franchise. This obviously joins F1 itself, which has also opened a new regulatory era this season.
The introduction puts us more than ever in the F1 spirit, with the same introduction that can be seen before the Grands Prix. The menus do not change at all, but EA includes, as in each of its titles, a real playlist. Goodbye instrumental pieces composed for the game, hello playlist with many popular titles.
The gameplay evolves with the new F1s
This year, ground effect cars have replaced those with a majority of downforce coming from the ailerons. Also, the 13-inch wheels gave way to new 18-inch Pirelli tires.
It is this last point that we feel the most in the gameplay, with a rigidity well transcribed by the game. The single-seaters take less vibration, especially on certain circuits like Imola or Abu Dhabi.
We can deplore a game that is almost impossible on the controller – at least on Xbox One – without traction control. It is certainly the handling of the traction of the 18-inch wheels in the game code that causes this, but it is very difficult not to spin in these conditions.
Apart from that, we are also not totally out of place by this F1 22 in terms of gameplay when we are used to the franchise.
Usual but effective game modes
Among the game modes are the classics, namely solo (Grand Prix, Time Trial), Career mode (as a pilot or in My Team mode), and multiplayer, for the main ones.
This provides a nice range of proofing and a natural lifespan to the game which is always important. Career mode does not evolve, but you always quickly get caught up in the game, especially in My Team mode (My Stable), with R&D, marketing management, the creation of a livery, and the progression of your own structure among the ten existing teams.
In My Team mode, it is also one of the FOM models, the one seen at Silverstone in 2021, which serves as the chassis used by the 11th team that we lead. This game mode remains very classic, with also the management of mechanical parts to limit penalties.
What is the F1 Life game mode worth?
The great novelty of this F1 22 is the F1 Life mode, which adds to the title an aspect close to Forza Horizon, or even the Sims. Indeed, it is thus possible to fully customize your avatar, with outfits, but also your house.
Quite futile additions that are still seen regularly, since the house appears in the menu. You can change the furniture, floors and walls, and install supercars.
Indeed, the addition of road cars in this F1 22 is another of the great novelties of the franchise. It is now possible to drive sports cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, the Aston Martin Vantage, or even the McLaren 720S.
These cars come with a series of challenges using the Pirelli Hot Laps license. The latter are demonstrations that Formula 1 drivers offer to stars or VIPs during Grands Prix, on one or more laps of the circuit. The positive point of this mode is the rather fun aspect of the supercars to drive.
This is clearly not the business of the EA Sports franchise, but it allows an additional experience, also with F2. The latter only offers the 2021 season for the moment, and the 2022 drivers and single-seaters should arrive after the summer, as every year.
We almost come back to regret that there is no F3 license, like the official MotoGP game, which offers Moto2 and Moto3 in the career mode.
Circuits (finally) updated!
Big frustration from F1 2021 last year, the long-awaited circuit update finally fits into the title. Thus, we find the Melbourne circuit in its 2022 configuration, with fewer chicanes and more open corners.
Abu Dhabi also presents itself in its 2021 configuration, which is much smoother and much more interesting to drive. Similarly, the Barcelona circuit sports the real turn 10, and no longer the old hairpin.
The Miami circuit is entering the calendar, as in real life, and we see the disappearance of Sochi, and therefore of the Russian Grand Prix. Codemasters will also have to work on the single-seaters, since the Aston Martin and the Alpine do not feature the latest developments.
What is the F1 22 video game worth?
If it is gradually entering an Electronic Arts era, the F1 video game franchise is not making its revolution either. The F1 Life mode is not enough to make it a must, but we do take a lot of pleasure in finally driving these brand new – and magnificent, in our opinion – F1 2022.
We hope in the future for an overhaul of the graphics engine, which is slowly beginning to show the weight of the years. But the whole is still satisfactory for Formula 1 aficionados.
The contribution of the Champions edition remains to be measured, since it above all allows us to play with legendary drivers (in particular Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost) in our team in Career mode.
Exit : July 1, 2022
Platforms: PC (via Origin and Steam), PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One.