Review | F1 22 is the beginning of a new, more “social” era for franchise games

F1 22 is the first game in the franchise to be led by EA Sports after the company acquired Codemasters.. When the purchase was made, the previous game was practically ready, so it still didn’t have the “EA face” except for the launch price.

It’s been a while since F1 22 came out, and doing this analysis late allowed us to take advantage of all the updates so far, including the extra tracks. With the season practically over – at least Max Verstappen’s title is now assured – it’s time to check out the hits and misses of this edition.

Do you favor the more casual players, especially newcomers discovering Formula 1 in recent years, or do you prefer the heavy hitters who have been with the franchise for a long time? F1 22 tries to do both and does it relatively well, which is not to say that the game is the ultimate experience.

F1 as a way of life

The first news that attracts attention in the game is F1 life. The idea here is to turn the drivers’ career mode into a lifestyle, meaning more than just racing and making decisions about the car’s engine, you have to go further and “manage” the driver’s life off the tracks. For this, EA creates a kind of metaversion in which you create your avatar and acquire items that represent your lifestyle.

The idea is interesting and will work better in future editions if well developed. Here we see the embryo of this, still with strange situations. For example, when you win a race, your prize for the account could be a sofa to be used to decorate your lounge. Of course, it is possible to buy these things, only cosmetics.

The problem here is that this customization, which is considered a core element, seems like a mere add-on, at least for now. Your space in F1 Life does more than just display what you’ve earned. Mastery is synonymous with Formula 1 and in this respect the idea fits well with the concept of the category. However, better development is clearly needed for the next editions.

The game is updated upon launch

Unlike last season, when some new schemes were introduced to the game within months of launch, here the core lineup was available from day one. Miami’s new International Speedway is even featured, which is a great sign.

However, not all are “100% up to date”. In Spain, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, the latest circuit changes were applied, but there was no update at the Belgian GP. This doesn’t detract from the gameplay, but fans will notice that there are some differences between the “real” experience and the game version.

More faithful gameplay: a game changer

Anyone who follows Formula 1 knows that the cars have become more difficult to drive for the 2022 season. Cars are bigger, rockier and require more skill from drivers. Some teams, such as Mercedes, have not been able to adapt throughout the season, while others, such as Red Bull and Ferrari, have done well in the changes. The fact is: changes have happened.

The good news is that these changes have been implemented in the game: it is more difficult to drive the car in corners and exits, for example, and you get the impression that the difference between the car’s configuration settings is more noticeable. If, on the one hand, this is great news for those who want to configure all the details of the car, on the other hand, it can scare new players because it increases the learning curve.

This is not only a dilemma for F1 22, but for the entire history of the franchise: to embrace the most realistic simulation and focus on the niche market with fewer players, or allow yourself to be more “arcade” and attract more customers. Again, F1 is trying to appeal to both audiences, but given the current outlook of Formula 1 as a category – whose success has grown enormously in recent years – it’s likely that future developments will favor casual entertainment rather than simulation.

Passenger car mode makes no sense

Also new to this version is ‘Pirelli Fast Laps’, a mode where you drive passenger cars around Formula 1 circuits. Winning certain challenges earns you points, which can be valuable for seasonal item achievements. Again, a good idea, but very poorly executed.

The graphical polish of passenger cars falls far short of F1 cars.

The graphical polish of passenger cars falls far short of F1 cars. A quick glance at the car’s dashboard is enough to notice that it looks out of place in context. The handling of these vehicles is also different and learning them entirely does not benefit the player. At heart, it’s more like an excuse to highlight sponsor tires and some expensive cars than anything else.

Story mode has been discontinued. While this was a fun addition, let’s face it, it got pretty repetitive since it hasn’t changed much in recent years. Since this is a less attractive mode, EA decided to leave it instead of investing in improvements. It’s understandable, but it’s sad.

Pit coins: the currency of F1’s future

If there’s one thing EA specializes in, it’s monetizing its games – for better or for worse. In F1 22 we again see the blessing of the game’s virtual currency “pit coins”. It makes even more sense now that the items available for purchase have expanded. In addition to cosmetics such as overalls, hats, gloves or car paint, we also have everyday lifestyle clothing, art and even sofas to shop.

The trend is to expand this world from now on. You can earn Pit Coins by completing a wide variety of level challenges; Or you can just buy with cash and exchange for the item you want.

Graphical innovation? Just a refinement

We don’t expect any major changes in F1 22’s graphics compared to F1 2021. In general, the game is practically the same in this respect, only with refinements in certain aspects. In fact, this should be a trend maintained by EA management: selling the “same game” every year, but with updates and improvements.

It’s a business model that many users don’t like, but it makes commercial sense, especially considering it’s the only F1 game on the market. [o F1 Manager 22 não cabe nessa comparação, pois são propostas diferentes].

We don’t expect any major changes in F1 22’s graphics compared to F1 2021. In general, the game is practically the same in this respect, only with refinements in certain aspects.

It is online that everyone meets

After exploring all the tracks in time-outs and racing against the computer, using all available F1 (2021 and 2022 season) and Formula 2 (2022 season) cars, the place to go is online. More and more F1 is built around online matches, and here the results are more positive for those looking for casual entertainment.

The word that defines the F1 22 is ‘experience’. EA Sports clearly wants to sell players an experience, a moment that’s fun and enjoyable, and because of that, it’s focusing on online, leaving solo modes in the background, so to speak. They are certainly there, but they quickly become charming due to the lack of appeal – which is not the case online.

Another great news is the Crossplay franchise: you can compete with competitors from other consoles or PC. It’s also worth noting that it’s optional, and you can choose not to compete against players from a certain console or PC, like if you’re on a PS5.

F1 22: Is it worth it?

F1 22 is fun and offers an enjoyable racing experience. For those who follow the game year after year, there is always the frustration of feeling like “the same game at full price again”. There is no prospect of that changing anytime soon.

Therefore, a “worth it” game should take your type of player into account. If you follow Formula 1, want to change car settings and want to be guaranteed to find an online mode available to a large number of users, then F1 22 is a good choice. There’s fun to be had throughout the season, and even the steeper learning curve of adapting to the new cars won’t be a problem once you’re used to diving into it.

On the other hand, if you consider yourself more casual, you may be disappointed. It’s more “hard” to learn how to get the best out of a car in F1 22, and the differences in this version are more focused on those who spend more time playing the game. In other words, if you play casually and have F1 2021 in your library, you can rely on it and it won’t make much of a difference.

Now, if you don’t have F1 games, it’s a good place to start. F1 22 seems to have taken the first step towards what will be the foundation of the franchise for years to come, and starting to understand this world now can provide a greater experience and better results.

F1 22 was provided by EA Sports for this review.

do you recommend
Yes
F1 22 offers an enjoyable racing experience, although the learning curve has increased.
ᐑᐑᲗᐦ
The gaming experience remains one of the best

Updated vehicles and all circuits are available at launch

F1 Life mode looks promising

cons
It made no sense to include light vehicles

End of story mode

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