In the test, F1 22 proves to be a visually impressive racing game that captures the formula atmosphere in a grandiose way. Away from the tracks, however, the title is weakening. Supercars and the "F1 Life" seem artificial and partly unnecessary. Is the Formula 1 racing game any good?
Codemasters have set their sights on a kind of smooth relaunch of the F1 racing game series. The story mode flew out, there were supercars and with the new "F1 Life" a social mode. By no means everything has been successful with F1 22 - that can now be determined accurately. As soon as the speedsters are on the track and the rubber is allowed to smoke, the title really blossoms. The developers have understood how races work – but many other things remain questionable. Nevertheless, fans will only be happy to use F1 22, because despite its weaknesses, it is not a game with a better racing feeling.
F1 Life: What is this?
The idea sounds good in principle: Players should be able to continue to enjoy the life of a racing driver off the track. In the “F1 Life” social mode, Codemasters let fans let off steam in a lifestyle hub: you can buy smart clothes for the driver, including all sorts of swanky equipment from luxury wristwatches to gold-plated aviator glasses. But that's not all: Even expensive recreational racing cars can be stacked and displayed in the private garage. And because as a Formula 1 professional you obviously don't know what to do with your money, the pennies can also be spent on furnishing the living room. In any case, F1 Life does not offer any added value in terms of play - the part could just as easily have been left out without damaging the fun rating.
In fact, the opposite is true: because Electronic Arts and Codemasters want to monetize the player's lifestyle hub, the content available for free dwindles to almost nothing. If you want the really cool clothes, sunglasses and sneakers, you have to pay. In principle, this is also completely fine without coercion. However, microtransactions should then at least be embedded in a meaningful environment that then at least has added value for generous players. You look for it at F1 Life without in vain and against the background of raking in money even more. Spend money? Nobody will probably do that, because it's purely playful. F1 Life is a vicious cycle of nonsense and more nonsense - ultimately not worthy of a game with an expensive F1 license.
After all, there are also some positives to be found: the supercars are not just collectibles, but can even be used to master challenges. Sitting in his Mercedes AMG and Co and driving the vehicles on the F1 tracks, for example in time challenges, is actually fun. Here, at least in part, there is a link between the lifestyle approach and a gameplay idea. Especially since the cars are great to drive due to the developers' experience. What is incomprehensible, however, is the fact why you can't also race with the supercars? Once you've done the challenges, you've done the idea of supercars - it's pretty easy.
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You understand one thing pretty quickly with F1 22: As soon as it goes to the race track, the racing game shows its qualities. Away from the tracks, there is a lot of catching up to do. It starts with the look: tracks and cars are great, driver faces are a flop. The new route in Miami - around the Hard Rock Stadium of the Miami Dolphins - is a great success. The same applies to the revisions of the tracks in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona and Melbourne. In total you drive on 22 F1 tracks - and this is where it finally starts to be really fun.
The developers capture the driving behavior of the racing cars perfectly, instead of the lead foot, it's about feeling. The corners are pushed and blocked, tight turns are always a challenge, especially for players who crank up the realism and turn down the traction control. Breaks out the cars what it usually does. The sometimes over-aggressive opponents also make life difficult. As in other racing games, just push and press, which of course doesn't work in F1 22 due to the rules. So you don't just drive, you do tactics with your racing car. It's about the right positioning before, during and in the curves, about overtaking attempts, full speed on the straights. F1 22 feels pretty close to what you know from TV broadcasts.
You should always keep an eye on the route and the car. The following applies to F1 22: knowledge of the route is immensely important. You have to have a feel for the details. When can I push the pedal to the limit? When to exercise caution? Where can curbs be touched, where better not? It's all about the little things, and the developers also take care of that. They have accurately implemented the season's adjusted set of rules, even as far as the behavior of fresh tires is concerned. The tires of the cars can be preheated to 70 instead of 100 degrees, so the grip on the track is much lower when you come to the pit lane.
The degree of realism can be adjusted, which is of particular benefit to fans of less complicated racing games and beginners. The latter also benefit from the new adaptive AI at F1 22. Basically, this means nothing other than opponent behavior adapted to your own abilities.
The opponents therefore do not consistently punish driving errors, but rather give them a second chance. Anyone who spins or gets stuck on the track can rely on the opponents slowing down their pace until you can get back into the race yourself. Here, too, the help can be adjusted, so you don't have to play in "Easy mode", but you can design your gaming experience pretty much yourself, especially as a beginner. Chapeau, Codemasters! What sounds like a simple rubberbanding concept is much more than that - and it makes the new entry in the F1 series more beginner-friendly than ever.
What you have to do without in F1 22 is the story mode. Incomprehension, because in sports games the youngest basic tenor is actually the expansion of these game components driven by narrative threads. Be that as it may: you can also let off steam in career mode and in “My Team”, although there are hardly any innovations this year. Where does the idea of the omission of the story and the stagnation of the other similar modes come from? This is unclear and also incomprehensible. In any case, it damages the game again – albeit off the tracks again. What is there is still fun. Jumping into the cockpit of real F1 teams and racing for the championship is fun - and in My Team you can even do it in your own specially created team.
Overall, Codemasters only adjusts details. At the start you can decide on the budget by choosing as an entry-level team or an established racecourse, and there is a little more that can be done with the design of the liveries - the latter mini-novelty, however, one definitely wants to see again in F1 23! There are also adjustments to the training options, which the developers have pointed out a little more. But it's not going to be really innovative. For the next edition of the game, the developers should be careful not to fall asleep, because then it will cost points.
Number of players: 1 (up to 8 in co-op)
Age: from 18 years
Playtime: 40+ hours
Long-term motivation: high
Genre: racing game
Subgenre: Racing Game Simulation (F1)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2022
Platform (Test system): PC Steam, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Cost: 70 Euro
Now it might sound like F1 22 is a foregone conclusion. This is by no means the case: It is THE racing simulation par excellence, especially for experts, when it comes to capturing the F1 feeling, Codemasters is and remains at the top. With games from the F1 series, you look particularly closely due to the consistently high basic quality - and small mistakes are then simply noticed. The F1 22 is therefore also recommended without any compromises.
Nevertheless, some design decisions leave a lot of perplexity. no story? The incredibly useless F1 Life mode? The lack of visual improvements away from the racetracks? The great supercars that can hardly be driven out? Apparently the developers have a lot of work to do with the next edition of the racing game. And they should actually use the time not only to consolidate their place at the top of racing simulations, but to expand them. Otherwise it happens, as it often happens in game series: at some point the air is out like the tires of a Mercedes that has been flown off the track. Even die-hard fans will eventually think about doing without a racing game part if the developers are too stingy with innovations - you know it from other sports games. Not true, FIFA-Row?
Nevertheless, Codemasters and Electronic Arts do some things right: F1 22 is beginner-friendly, convincing on the racetracks and an atmospheric hit there. Cars and routes should look the same, the rich engine noises let it thump pleasantly in the sound boxes. In terms of gameplay, the current F1 part is also a must-buy. When it comes to gameplay, however, you have to be able to accept at least the extremely aggressive ones: they are sometimes really tough in the corner fights, sometimes that's a bit too good. However, the fact that computer opponents sometimes react as unpredictably as human opponents is simply terrific.
Despite a few points of criticism, F1 22 remains an excellent complete racing game package. This year, however, this is combined with the clear announcement that the series will continue to be developed consistently for the coming year and not rely on experiments - which can go wrong, as in the case of F1 Life.
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Last updated on 9.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API