In some ways, F1 22 feels like quite a different game compared to its predecessor, though that's not a huge surprise. The current season brought with it some serious regulation changes, not to mention a drastically altered car model, so Codemasters had its work cut out in order to echo all that in this year's racing sim. On the whole, it's done a great job, presenting fans with yet another frenetic F1 experience.
First impressions are strong: you can tell the budget's gone up a smidge thanks to EA, with slick presentation that now includes licensed music throughout the menus. You can disable this if you want, but it does give the off-track game a little more flavour, which is appreciated. You're also immediately shown F1 Life, one of the big, back-of-the-box new features. It's a flashy hub that gives the home menu a bit more flair, and you can customise it to suit your tastes. You can dress your driver in casual and race wear outfits, alter the look of your abode, and unlock and then display supercars.
It's a decent idea, but feels a little lacking. Customisation options are relatively slim; you can visit other players' F1 Life areas, but they'll all look basically the same. We didn't get attached to our hub at all; we only really used it in order to drive our unlocked supercars. As you progress in the game, you'll be given tokens which can be exchanged for your choice of supercars. These can then be put on display and taken out on track in either time trials or Pirelli Hot Laps, which we'll get to in a bit.
It's quite a novelty to drive these supercars around the F1 circuits. The handling model in these games is of course specific to those open-wheel monsters, so naturally, these road-legal vehicles feel vastly different to drive. Even though you're still travelling at high speeds, they provide a nice change of pace from the breakneck intensity of F1 races, and are especially welcome during the course of career mode.
Both Driver Career and My Team return, and they remain just as in-depth as you expect. Whether you replace one of the real drivers and join an established constructor, or you join the pack with your very own team, the career modes are the real meat of the game, letting you get into the nitty-gritty. All 22 official rounds are included, but you can also get into choosing upgrades for your car, hiring your second driver, managing budgets, and much more.
Pirelli Hot Laps will appear at certain times throughout a season, letting you take to the track in a supercar to tackle a challenge. You might need to race another driver, achieve the highest average speed in a sector, or beat a time while passing through gates — there are a handful of objectives to master, and you can play them during your career or separately.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about F1 22 is its flexibility. Whatever experience you want from it, you're given a lot of room to bend the game to your liking. It's not like you can turn it into Mario Kart, but the sheer amount of options you have is very welcome, allowing newer fans to enjoy the game just as much as the most dedicated F1 followers. This applies to the handling as well as race weekends; you can shorten things to one-shot qualifying and a five-lap race, or go the whole hog. You can participate in events like pit stops and safety car incidents, or you can have these presented to you broadcast style and concentrate on the real action. It's impressively easy-going. The lack of a story mode is a shame, as it's a great starting point for casual players, although it's reportedly coming back next year.
The F1 car's handling in general does feel different from 2021, and it should. With chunkier wheels, adjusted wings, and altered body design, among others things, the cars are heavier and more prone to understeer. Compared to the previous game, getting around a circuit — especially more technical tracks like Monaco and Azerbaijan — feels slower to us, because there's more a sense of wrestling for control. Having said that, F1 22 is still ultra-fast, highly intense racing that feels incredibly rewarding when you thread the needle just right.
Out on the track, the game looks excellent, with good car models and track detail. Unfortunately, when you're not behind the wheel, the visuals start to falter. Human NPCs are behind the curve, and sequences like the podium scene or opening shots of a circuit are prone to screen tearing, and they have a reduced frame rate — a bit jarring when you've been driving at a flawless 60 frames-per-second. We also had to endure one or two game crashes, and spotted a handful of unusual visual glitches, although this was prior to any day-one patches. It can feel a bit sloppy, in other words; the focus is on the cars and the racing, as it should be, but it can feel like the remainder of the game isn't given the same attention.
Overall, F1 22 is another high quality simulation of the motorsport, with great handling and detailed, engrossing career modes. While the presentation is strong and the game generally looks and sounds great, some aspects like character models just aren't quite where they should be, and F1 Life doesn't add all that much to the experience. We encountered more bugs than expected, too, although we expect patches will iron those out in due course. It's got it where it really counts, then, but some extra polish would put it higher on the grid.
By the sounds of it doing my usual wait for a sale with annual should mean less bugs when I buy it
Good review good game.
So EA have basically done with F1 what theyve been doing to FIFA for years?
Kind of a pet peeve but I get irrationally triggered when stuff like this and Gran Turismo are referred to as simulators.
F1 themselves have spoken about their desire to have a sim alongside this game, something along the lines of RFactor or iRacing.
For me story mode was a heavily scripted allbeit nice piece of content, but Im not sure I'll enjoy it again. This is a motorsport game replicating a real life championship. Ill take improvements there instead of another story mode.
How's research and development, still the same repetitive task over and over again? That needs fixing if anything and my biggest gripe of the f1 games.
Its funny, you can do shorter races and qualy but had to do full 3 fp sessions with monotonous tasks to do. ?!
Meh. F1 Manager 22 is where it's at for me this year!
I've pre-ordered this but will wait until a few bug fixes have been released before playing it.
Playing on the PS has got somewhat like Windows - have to wait until Service Pack 1 until it's useable.
Did you review this on a wheel or the pad because there's a world of difference to handling between the 2. I'd imagine you used a pad to give the most general overview possible but it would be nice if you could include impressions of the game when played with a wheel because it makes racing games far better if implemented well, and I need to know if that's the case.
The boys on the cover kinda being done dirty by the four Champions being on the 'Champions' edition cover. Use to be that it was an honour, now it feels like being second-best.
I know I probably shouldn't, but I can't help and pick this up on launch. Between this and the manager game, it's hundreds of hours of playtime.
How is the tutorial here? I tried ‘20 and ‘21 and was disappointed that they don’t bother to properly introduce a newcomer to F1. All they have is text manuals (or at least I could not found anything else). ‘12 (my previous game) had an excellent intro, styled as a series of tasks to get f1 license. It explained how to do turns properly (finding apex, braking accelerating), drs, kers, other important concepts on track, not via text.
For the last few years I’ve bought the F1 games on Xbox, but have decided to get this one on PS5 for the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Also Amazon have it for £55, a saving of £15.
@Vovander There isn't really a tutorial, it's similar to the previous games. I will say that last year's story mode was a good in-road for new players, but that's not here this time.
@riceNpea Reviewed using a DualSense (the haptics and triggers implementation is fine but not mind-blowing, in case anyone is wondering). Totally hear you with regards to a wheel, though! We may have something on that front soon.
@Quintumply that'd be great, thanks.
@Quintumply thanks! That’s a shame. I think this really limits the appeal to newcomers…
Do wish they'd have an option to turn all the baggage off.
Anything other than being sat in an F1 car I would bet 95% of the buyers just aren't interested in.
Typically with EA I think said baggage will get worse every year. We will have XP next, with each glorious XP moment being recognised with an on screen rainbow as an XP balloon rises in to the sky.
So, no crossplay?
Like I’ve done for the last few years. I just wait for the games to go EA play on Game Pass. I love F1 but I done care about playing the latest game. I’m still happily playing F1 ‘21.
Don't you mean ...(v)room for improvement?
...Sorry. Had to.
Uff... wanted to buy this but SCREEN TEARING is a no go for me. I am very sensitive to such things and I also think this has not to occur in new releases anymore. Hope for a patch in the nex few months. If they cannot sort that I am out. Thanks Pushsquare for the review. You spared me some trouble here.
For me as a more hardcore racer, They need to fix the physics and make a more hardcore mode selectable if you want it as a player and have some serious E sports intergration , they are more than capable and have in the past with Toca, dirt rally and so on. I'm sure the guys at codemasters have some talented engineering guys on the team. Then pay some f1 drivers to say it's the most realistic F1 Sim out there, and then count the money.
Some more strategy would be nice instead of just grinding upgrades make players make decisions that actually mater over the course of several seasons.
@Peach64 considering GT does simulate car physics, weather, tyre modelling & lighting & even paint (the latter two it does better than all the current hardcore sims), I’m pretty sure it can be regarded as a sim of some sorts.
It may not be on the level of iRacing, AMS2 or ACC when it comes to car handling, FFB or AI, but it does do some things better than those games. It even does a better job of simulating how I can’t afford the same Supercars in real life!
@Rjak I think they've confirmed crossplay is coming at some point post-launch.
@Quintumply Nice, hopefully soon then.
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