Published on August 11th, 2022 | by Daniel
F1 2022 PS5 Review!
Summary: F1 2022 retains most of what made the previous game had, adding just enough to to satisfy most fans. With more time in the oven, it could have been nearly perfect. Still, the fear of EA control lingers.
Formula One, twenty four of the worlds’ best drivers, driving for 12 of the best teams in the world. Racing some of the fastest machines, in the most prestigious racing series in the world. These drivers and their teams are famous all over the world, F1 is the pinnacle of motorsports, steeped in a long, rich history. Many legends and champions have raced in Formula One, it’s a cut throat sport that thousands of racers have dreamed to race form. Do you think you have what it takes? To outlast, out strategise and out drive the world’s best drivers to be a Formula One World Driver’s Champion? Strap in, start your engine and get ready for lights out!
Well, thankfully you don’t have to race against the real drivers of the Formula One grid, because like me and many other average drivers who’ve likely never traveled above 110km/ph on some country roads, you’d probably never make the cut. Luckily, we have yearly releases for the series as a video game for this very reason. If you’ve played one game in the yearly series, then you’ve basically played them all. The only true differences are graphical updates and some small feature changes, but the core of the game remains the same. Set the fastest time in qualifying, win races, get trophies, become World Champion.
F1 2022 updates on the previous game with all the new cars from the 2022 season, complete with all the new regulations, restrictions, tracks, drivers and team changes. With a slightly expanded F2 season built as your entry into Formula One proper. You can choose whatever team in F2 you’d like to race for as well as what academy, leading into which team you’ll end up contracted to for your inevitable promotion to Formula One.
In a normal review, I’d talk about some of the elements of a games’ story and if we were back playing the previous installment, this is exactly where I’d talk about Breaking Point, the then story mode of the previous game. However, for reasons unknown, it has not been featured in this years’ release. Breaking Point, was a short story where upon you bounced between controlling the two drivers at an F1 team. Friction develops between the new rookie and the well respected veteran, you as the play got to control them at pivotal moments in the season and dictate their response until it all came to a head at the end. It was a cheesy, cliche story to be sure, bit I quite enjoyed it and was somewhat disappointed it wasn’t expanded upon here, instead it was dropped entirely.
What we did get in its place, is a more robust, fleshed out Career mode. As always, you can choose between F2 and F1 from the the get go. You can choose your preferred team and driver academy (F2 only), or you can even create your own team. Choosing the budget the team has, each option with either place you at the back of the grid as a few new team. In the heat of the midfield where you’ll fight to be best of the rest. Or a top team, wherein you’ll be fighting against the best for the chance to become World Drivers Champion. The online co-op career has been further expanded, to now include a split screen mode! This was something I very much looked forward to personally as now I can have my good friend over and we can play the career together like some of the good old days when LAN parties still existed..Ahh those were the days.
The usual suspects make a return, online multiplayer for single or multiple races, time trials and other events. But the game also brings in some new features, Supercars; some of the fastest supercars have now been added to the game and are also playable to drive for certain events, these include sector heat, drifting and hot laps. They boil down to completing a relatively simple, but potentially challenging task to earn a gold, silver, or bronze rank. These events, when completed as part of the career mode, earn you acclaim points, these go towards how esteemed you’re perceived as a driver, earning to the ability to purchase perks, and negotiate better deals between teams, including your own.
Some more new features that were added or improved upon include; Safety cars, the game’s AI still has a hard time figuring out just how hard an accident needs to be before deploying the safety car or implementing a red flag. But it definitely feels like they’re making improvements on it, the latter having not featured in a mainstream F1 game for several years. Formation laps have now been added in, I can definitely say with confidence that I found it quite fun completing those first few formation laps and lining up on the grid next to digital representations of some of my heroes. But after the first few races the feeling dies off as you just want to get right into the action, though it is nice sometimes to go back and do a formation lap on some occasions.
F1 22 is a gorgeous game, filled with vibrance and life.
Adaptive AI expands on the difficulty in the game, there are now so many options to set the difficulty exactly how you want it. Or you can set it to remain within the adaptive AIs standard setting, as the name suggests, the game learns from your skill over time, adapting AI behaviour base on how you race. This is a great concept that is still in its early phases, so it’s very easy to exploit, but I definitely approve of the team giving us such a varied potential for challenge setup. Though, if I do have one or two issues, it would have to lie herein the AI settings. Something I noticed of many of my races is the differences between active laps and inactive laps. During my practice or qualifying sessions, if I was approaching a car on a warm up or cool down lap while I was on a hot lap, they would be given blue flags and they would automatically move out of your way asap.
However, during a race on the other hand, even if you’re over-lapping another driver, they simply don’t move out of the way. As you might imagine this can be frustrating, especially when locked in a tight three-way battle for the lead of the race. It would please me greatly if this could be rectified in a future patch.
F1 Life is like a mini social hub, here you can change the look and feel of your apartment and customise your character, display trophies, supercars and really style the space to suit your individual tastes. Whilst this isn’t a quality of life change, nor is it necessarily a sought after addition. I found it very relaxing sometimes when first getting onto the game, or just winding down as I’m logging off for the day to take a moment and browse the F1 hub and see what new cosmetic items I can customise my space with. Formula One sprint races also make an appearance in the game, they’re fun little short stint races, but whilst the format seems very different in the real world, it doesn’t do much to change how it feels to drive it. It’s a nice addition, more content is always welcome but it isn’t really a groundbreaking one.
F1 22 is visually stunning, except for one thing that it’s always seemed to struggle with, but I’ll get to that later. On start up, you’re treated to the the Formula One intro, that iconic theme plays as all the drivers are shown one by one. It’s literally the exact footage they play at the start of each sessions’ real world live television showing. It’s a welcome touch, the game then opens to a vibrant and lively home screen, showcasing everything the game offers in clear, well organised displays, the menus are easy to navigate and many of them have shortcuts within them to take you to the other menus without having to backtrack to the home screen and scroll through the options. Just clean, simple layouts that work brilliantly.
The race tracks are marvelous, immaculately recreated, bright, colourful and full of life. It’s never been an issue of the previous games to recreate these famous circuits, however previous versions have not been able to encapsulate the life around these locations from around the world. Often times the tracks would look grey and blank, with minimal signage, low resolution crowds and little to now scenery surrounding them. I can’t say whether it was an issue of budget, timeline or lack of licences to feature the real world sponsors on these tracks, but whatever it is, this was an area severely lacking in previous iterations.
If F1 2022, these locations feel very fleshed out, they feel alive and boy does the game show it off. At the start of every weekend session, you’re greeted with wide, open aerial views of the circuits. From the streets of Monaco, steeped in rich history with classical styled architecture to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with it’s beautiful rolling hills and thick green forest of the Ardennes. The game has really taken these locations to heart, bringing you as close to the real thing as possible. The 2022 cars, oh boy, these are the icing on the cake. The details are captured impeccably well and even the custom liveries you can make for your own car/team, whilst being a bit cheesy as they do not let you use real world sponsors, they put a decent amount of options to make them more unique. The ability to view all the in game models is an added bonus, just the way that light bends off the reflective paint or is absorbed into a matte finish, it’s minute details like these that impress me.
Even the custom character creator, which was previously garbage, has had an almost complete make-over. Are there still really terrible examples of custom characters? Yes. Are you still locked in choosing a face, instead of customising all aspects of the players face? Yes. But now there are a bunch of new faces and I’m happy to say there are some decently real looking faces finally. But there is a downside, the real world drivers themselves. Some of them got pretty lucky, scoring about a six or seven out of ten for my scale of accuracy, others? Well let’s just say that at least you can tell who is who. I don’t know if the team got to spend time with the actual drivers to get their likeness, or if they generated it using pictures of them, but some of the models just don’t look very good, yet another small issue I hope gets rectified in future.
For the first time in a long time, likely due to EA’s acquisition of Codemasters, we now have licensed music in the series. Featuring tracks from Meduza, Deamau5 and even Australia’s own DJ Brux. I do think it brings a new life to the Formula One franchise and puts the usual menu musics and their unremarkable, almost shopping mall feel, to shame. It’s an addition I welcome, though I don’t think it was entirely necessary either. I would have preferred them focus on some of the games’ issues, or player requested additions.
The rest of the audio in F1 22 retains that unremarkable, yet impeccable accuracy. Yes, I’m one of the pre-hybrid era Formula One fans. Back in the glory days of the loud and proud V10 era, where the sound of the cars could be heard from several kilometers surrounding the track. The sound that gave many a city resident a headache with its ear splitting roar and lead to several noise complaints which almost lost Victoria the Australian GP.
Ambience is there and so is everything else; engines roar, tyres screech and drills whir. All of the sound effects join together to make a solid case of good audio all round. But the best piece of it all, commentators. This year they not only got Martin Brundle, but also Natalie Pinkham and Antony Davidson and well as F2 commentators too, an excellent roster. I know that some of these guys featured on previous games, but it’s always good to hear official voices when you’re playing the official games. And for them to have expanded to pick up a few extra VIPs in the sport can only be considered a good thing.
F1 2022 is a solid game as always. At its heart, is a solid foundation of good racing. It’s not perfect, there can always be improvements and of course with EA now at the helm, I have my doubts and my concerns. But F1 22 does its job and it does it well, with some of the additions, I remain hopeful that the team at Codemasters will be given every bit of freedom to continue giving the franchise its full love and support.
My hope for the foreseeable future is that the sport and the games’ franchise will only continue to grow. Is it a game worth the steep price of Triple A games? No, I don’t think there are many games truly worth the price that these Triple A juggernauts are charging. Especially when I want more game for my buck. But as long as I love Formula One as a sport and that’s a love that can never die, then I’ll keep playing the yearly releases as they come.
Game Genre – Racing, Simulation
Developers – Codemasters
Publisher – EA Sports
Rating – General
Year of Release – 2022
Platforms – PS4, PS5, PC, XB1, XB Series X
Mode(s) of Play – Single, Co-Op, Multiplayer
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