SportF1F1 22 review: a worthy update, but it has...

F1 22 review: a worthy update, but it has excesses

F1 22 is the 13th consecutive official game created by Codemasters headquarters in Birmingham. For the most part, the player knows what to expect: a driving video game featuring all the stars, tracks, and cars of real-world Formula 1, that is both authentic and accessible.

Except this time, it’s not called F1 2022, it’s called EA SPORTS F1 22 , and there’s an electronic dance music soundtrack, Oakley sunglasses, and several road-going Ferraris. Following Redwood City publishing giant Electronic Arts ‘ purchase of the development studio last year for $1.2 billion, this is the season where the change in ownership has made a clear statement. act of presence

EA’s influence primarily takes the form of F1 Life . Primarily, it’s a stylish living room where you can modify the look of wallpaper and furniture, before creating your own avatar with branded clothing, which can be purchased with in-game currency, either earned or purchased. with real world money.

This is the setting for the main menu, but it’s also a waiting room before an online race. Additionally, you can deploy a collection of supercars, earned by completing driving achievements. This is very reminiscent of the basement from Hot Wheels Unleashed , just without a compelling purpose.

It’s like your parents suddenly bought some Adidas Yeezys and went to a Harry Styles concert. They’re still the gatekeepers you know and love, but they’re trying way too hard to appeal to the TikTok generation.

However, the vehicles are not just decoration, as you can take them to the track for a series of 40 challenges. The aim is to replicate F1’s Pirelli Hot Laps , in which invited dignitaries are circled around the track as passengers during grand prix weekends.

In action, the range of cars from Aston Martin, Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari and McLaren are incredibly detailed, including the interiors, and luckily you can enjoy them all for a spin. The handling is pleasant, although the sound of the tires rubbing can be a bit tiring.

Ultimately, the inability to compete with AI-controlled rivals or online rivals makes it a largely disposable add-on, once the initial novelty has worn off.

F1 22 is trying to appeal to a younger, digitally-native audience that enjoys the lifestyle portrayed by the top-flight motorsports Instagram account. This approach will certainly broaden the appeal of the title, but I can’t help but feel it’s the wrong priority after the removal of the historic cars last year.

Regardless of the attention-grabbing embellishments, the long-term appeal of F1 22 lies solely in the portrayal of the sport, which now includes the latest car specifications , the new Miami International Speedway and revised driving characteristics.

Things don’t start well. At the time of writing, the PC version of the game used for testing – on three different combinations of hardware, I must say – crashes repeatedly, slows down, is intermittent, and is generally unstable. It wobbles after using a flashback, sometimes the new feature of being able to position your car on the grid fails, and the force feedback setting on multiple outlying wheels requires constant adjustment.

We’re still awaiting a patch to the game to remedy these ills at the time of publishing this review, and we haven’t been able to test the game on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, which we hope will be more refined. Although we trust the creators to smooth things over, it’s frustrating as last year’s F1 2021 felt in better condition at this stage.

Although the new additions add an attention-grabbing shine, don’t forget what hasn’t been updated. The circuits have received new flags, curbs and asphalt colouring, while the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Yas Marina and Albert Park shine with their new configurations.

But the rest of the track renderings still lag behind contemporary simulation platforms, with inaccurate corner angles and bumps.

While the visual effects on the circuits, the post-race animations and the careful presentation – Natalie Pinkham, Alex Jacques, Jacques Villeneuve and Jean-Éric Vergne are now part of the voice list – belie the internal aging of the game, the track details is a sign that the underlying technology is aging.

So so far we have some sound beats, fun but non-essential street cars, optional branded clothing, and instability. At this point, we were concerned about the reputation of the F1 game franchise, which has been around for 12 years.

In search of redeeming qualities, we started a single race in the sprint format at Imola with Daniel Ricciardo. The duration of the test was set at 50% and qualifying was reduced to a single fastest lap, which we promptly screwed up.

Gripping the wheel with ever-tense aggressiveness, we were focused, working with the race engineer – now in the natural voice of ex-McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley – controlling laps, supervising strategy and making last-second overtakes.

The result was a 10th place after starting from the bottom of the grid at the beginning of the sprint. The AI-controlled rivals seemed more natural than ever, battling for position in the early laps, strategically using their energy recovery system to attack and defend, and sometimes crashing into each other.

This was a vivid reminder of how absorbing F1 games can be. With the pre-launch focus on brilliant new features, including an excellent VR implementation for PC gamers, don’t overlook what falls short: a brilliant driving game.

The handling of this year’s car is quicker, and controlling oversteer coming out of corners by changing gears earlier is sometimes essential. Once you’ve acclimatised, the new approach makes for a more rewarding driving experience, especially when combined with the way cars flex around curbs and curbs with more flexibility.

Making a physics system manageable both with a traditional game console controller , thanks to class-leading assists, and offering an extra level of responsiveness with a steering wheel is not easy to do.

Neither is the MyTeam game mode manager career, where you lead your fictional character and team through a developmental curve toward championship glory.

In F1 22 , only superficial changes have been made compared to its predecessors, but it’s still the best single-player campaign of any racing game. There are also plenty of online race modes, ranked or unranked, and cross-platform play – so PC, PlayStation and Xbox users can race together for the first time – will make an appearance as a post-launch update.

Attempting to add a level of luxury and glamor to the game will further alienate a group of purists who are focused on simulation. If supercars and cosmetic customization appeal to a new audience, chances are they, too, will realize that these features are mostly decoration.

Let’s not forget that while this game series is poised for a complete rebuild from the ground up, it still offers one of the most comprehensive and compelling packages in racing simulation. F1 22 continues that good tradition, even if it sometimes stops halfway.

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