I’ve already spent hours playing EA Sports F1 2022 thanks to the two previews I was fortunate enough to take part in, and each time I was left impressed by how authentic and, quite frankly, how damn sexy it is. Sinking even more time into it, my opinion hasn’t changed; this is a beast of a racer. I’m not going to lie, though. There’s a definite gap where a follow up to last year’s Braking Point may have fitted in. The story mode was one of the best features of F1 2021, and something similar would have been welcomed with open arms.
F1 2022 in no way feels bare, but that stand out mode is certainly missing. In its place is F1 Life, a social hub where you get to pimp out the décor for your living space with modern furniture and bays of owned supercars. You can also buy new clothes to change the appearance of your avatar to essentially create your own brand. Pitcoins, F1 2022’s currency, will get you fancier means to decorate and improve your look, and players from around the world can come and visit. It’s by no means a stellar feature, but the chance to show off all your hard work does add to the satisfaction of consistent progress and having a way to showcase it.
F1 2022: Super supercars
With the inclusion of supercars, it’s not just about throwing them in for the way they look. You can also participate in Pirelli Hot Laps with them: a series of challenges that show off each one’s feel behind the wheel. As they aren’t designed specifically for formula one, these cars from the ten manufacturers featured throw in plenty of challenges and distract you from the gruelling process of climbing the rankings of both F1 and F2. It’s not a feature I was that fond of, but some will welcome the different feel of the cars, especially as they aren’t as fast or as easy to control as those seen in the two formulas.
Over the last few years, the driving has been honed time and time again to match the real-life adjustments to the rules. Once again, with the changes to aero rules and car design improvements, EA Sports has done a fantastic job of adapting. The racing in F1 2022 is about as close to real as you’re ever going to get. Cars feel weightier when at slow speeds, forcing you to focus on controlling through tight bends and heavily populated corners. When tearing away from challenging bends, there’s a beautiful feel to how much control you have at high speeds. In this sense, there is a fair amount of change to last year, but the quality in its development consistently shows its cards, giving you complete control while at the same time giving drivers of any skill level the chance to improve.
Drive to survive
The career is in-depth and filled with all the drama of the race weekends. You can completely customise your experience, from certain racing assists to the actual structure of how the weekend plays out. Again, to adapt to how these two-day spectaculars have changed, the addition of Sprint Races add a little extra to what players were used to from last year, and give you a chance to pick up extra points. You can also now choose whether pit stop breaks and formation laps play out, allowing you to either watch them unfold or control them manually. It may not feel like much, but these tweaks further immerse you into each competition. If you’re playing through the career, you’ll also be able to take part in the debut of new circuit, the Miami International Autodrome.
Codemasters has captured the realism to every minute detail, and like every course in the game, it’s staggering just how good Miami looks. From the scenery scattered around the Hard Rock Stadium to the way each part of the track matches the real-life counterpart, it’s hard not to be left in awe of how much work has been put in. That’s basically what adds another layer of the enjoyment F1 2022 offers. It’s so stylish, and on Xbox Series X, the level of detail in each circuit, the dynamic weather patterns, the presentation, and the car designs will no doubt leave you speechless as it all comes together in one gorgeous package.
F1 2022: All racers welcome
One thing F1 2022 does very well is make players of all skill levels feel welcome. One of the new changes adapts the AI to match with a players skill level. If you’re struggling in a race, the AI may slow down to give you a fighting chance. Alternatively, if you’re doing well, it’ll bolster the skill level of computer controlled racers to push you to compete at a higher challenge. Pair this with all the assists on offer, and you’re given every opportunity to customise your racing experience without playing victim to poorly balanced AI.
F1 2022 does a fantastic job of keeping up to date with the sport, managing to tweak the rules and feel of the cars, and in turn giving returning players an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the all new season. The absence of a story mode like last year’s Braking Point is felt, and if you enjoyed what it offered, there’s nothing in the same vein. F1 Life is a decent inclusion, but if you’re not fussed about the social aspects or customisation options, it’ll likely be a throwaway mode. There’s plenty to love about F1 2022, though. It’s amazing just how good it looks and how well it plays. Fans of the sport will lap up (sorry) the tweaks to race weekends, and those coming in fresh are given all the support they need to enjoy everything the game has to offer.
Smart tweaks to AI
Presentation of race weekends is incredible
No Braking Point
Supercar inclusion is hit and miss