F1 2022 Review

This 2022 season brought with it more and better gameplay. Unlike the previous season, it wasn’t just coming in and dragging the Formula One world championship. The series developed by Codemasters brought an explicit interpretation of the long-awaited (new) regulation that had been delayed twice as a result of some delays in the development of the bases that would allow this change.

The title F1 2022 abandons the trendy “Braking point” mode that had been an implementation of the Codemasters for an alternative career mode that put the player on the skin of a young pilot who progressed in career with all that he has right — making justice to reality — and allowing a technical, social and sporting approach. The series changes (partially) so, once again, its course, at a time when Electronic Arts acquires Codemasters, but ensuring freedom in the development of its games.

The fear for the future of the series was widely shared by the community by the history of bad decisions by Electronic Arts, however, for now, fans can rest assured, because the work developed by Codemasters in the Formula 1 series deserves credit, even more, for having the full support of EA in the development of tools to improve the quality of what is introduced in the game — improving the expansion of the content of this type of games in the future.

Graphics and air conditioning

F1 2022 does not add much to the recreation of the scenic space or the textures in the game — rather consolidating what was the proposal of 2021 — and that even if it is not easily perceived, it is not indifferent to those who know the previous titles of the series. On PlayStation 5 (the platform we analyzed 2021 and 2022), the experience was consistent in this field, despite coexisting other problems that end up harming immersiveness recurringly (it will be further forward).

The amendment to the regulation — framed under the FIA proposal for new mono-places — brought an approach that is not new in the F1, the solo effect (“Ground Effect”) that was originally practiced in the 70s (after almost a decade of research and testing), but which would eventually be banned by the FIA for safety issues — in the face of the demeasured growth of turbo-engine accidents that made the “monocoques”

These changes implied that the models of the mono-places (which could be re-used in the previous generation) had to be re-made to assert themselves close to the real season. It is evident that these changes were confirmed in a timely manner that would allow Codemasters to adapt the powerful running machines in time of launch.

Having said and done, even more with the support of EA, and the new mono-places have gained a new life (and for it uses steering wheel, our arms gain new life with the absence of muscle memory for this new driving style).

Unlike what happened with F1 2021, the new title of the series (with the EA Sports emblem) does not suffer from problems as evident as in the sound system, in the gameplay in general and/or in the textures. Previously, the series negatively toasted us with problems of desynchronizing the sound of the monoplaces and their engines, bugs in the characters and textures of the paddock, however, except some appearances in the podium, we did not find problems that deserve even reference (although there is a frequent error that does not fall within these categories that we will talk further forward).

The “MyTeam” mode — the campaign for excellence!

In 2021, the campaign welcomed the “Braking Point” which joined the most conservative mode that provided it to run as any pilot in the F1 or F2 (with progression to the F1) and the “MyTeam” mode (which had arrived in the previous year, the year 2020) when it gave a new fog to a game that was becoming repetitive and without major news.

Offering the ability to personalize your single place, create a team, manage sponsorships and sponsors, this way puts us as the 11th candidate (to the title) on the starting grid and even two more riders (of a total of 22 riders) of which will be part of beyond the leadership of your team. It adds to this immersion, all the difficulties of financial, budget and staff management (in making important decisions) and also research decisions (by area and component).

In F1 2022, there are improvements to “MyTeam” (something that did not happen in 2021), namely at the beginning of the campaign, being able to select (in part of the difficulty the game) if you want to start as a top-field, mid-field or bottom-field team (large, medium or small team), knowing that when choosing one of the three you will have to deal with different difficulties.

Choosing a small team (as was our case), the financial difficulties of the first season were numerous (surpassed with withdrawals, strict budget and good decisions, fortunately) allowing the end of two seasons to be at the best of mid-field.

We do not know whether it was a coincidence or not, but we think that the regulation changes (after the first season) were faster. For example, in our case, we benefited from the change since we were able to accumulate some research points since we were a team with weaker infrastructures. When we learned that parts would be changed, it was easier to apply the necessary changes as opposed to teams like Mercedes or Redbull. Apart from this, there were no major changes to the way, which does not amaze us since “good kit, does not move”.

As well as in previous titles, the MyTeam Icons Pack which brings additional content of seven historical pilots, among them, Alain Prost, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Felipe Massa and David Coulthard brand presence and this time, for free. In addition to these, there are some “Bronze” category riders such as driver Nico Hulkenberg and other well-known of this automobile sport. All of these special riders can be hired to the team to take the championship lead.

Unfortunately, it seems that it has not yet been this that we have seen the changes in the mono-place design — we are not demanding, but even if it was to change to pre-defined or hypothetical hybrid designs (mixtures with existing solutions) — which were a great inclusion in a change of regulation season like 2022. Since there are constant changes in parts regulation (aerodynamics, chassis and reliability) and engines, it could be a different solution to deal with opponents.

Gameplay

It is notorious the experience of Codemasters in this kind of game. Practically irreproachable, as usual, the graphic engine corresponds to the expectations and as in the world of Formula 1 — with the new regulatoryly — the feeling of handling the monoplace wins new challenges, that is, it is almost mandatory to re-learn techniques and gain new muscle memory (for those who use steering), because the behavior of these new vehicles has changed.

Something I can assure you is that, unlike F1 2021, I had to quite often change the aerodynamic pressure, change the braking force (front to back) and lower the braking system pressure to recover some of the rhythm I had in the last title. This, say… no driving help, that’s the big problem. It was necessary to realize where it was possible to change (in the intended realism) the monoplace. Of course, if you choose to include some help, these problems are mitigated.

Regarding collisions and damage system, F1 2022 resumes the great work done in the previous title, ensuring greater accuracy of the damage that affect the vehicle. In fact, today it is easier to damage the soil than before… and why? As we have already mentioned, the new mono-places have a new way of generating traction or downforce (to be more accurate), the soil effect and for this, have a sophisticated floor (chassi in the mono-place) that generates aerodynamic pressure through small tunnels and effects in this “floor” that causes the air entry under the mono-place does not lift it, but rather, that pulls it against asphalt.

That being said, whenever the monoplace passes over a broker or gravel there is an increased risk of damaging this sophisticated chassis and thus losing aerodynamic capacity (airy points, as is now mentioned) and thus losing competitiveness.

The “direct drive” system — introduced in F1 2021 — brought improvements in vehicle sensitivity and much more accuracy in turning and helping to prevent understeering (“facing away”) or oversteering (“rear leak”). In F1 2022, this system is more than fundamental. I venture to say that if this implementation had not been done in 2021, the F1 2022 would not be the same at all! More complicated, less pleasurable and inaccurate.

On the other hand and on the contrary, of Assetto Corsa which included the famous “porpoising” in its graphic engine, Codemasters did not include this terrific event that has plagued both Ferrari and Mercedes in the 2022 F1 championship. But calm… don’t you know what porpoising is? For those who do not know or understand the event (because only the teams know), a “porpoise” is nothing more than a “boto” and porpoise “ing” is the action of acting as a dolphin (in the same movement). But what does this have to do with F1? Everything!

The adoption of the soil effect proved to be more complex than the teams anticipated, because it created such a vertical aerodynamic pressure at high speeds, making the mono places so close to the asphalt that at a certain point, the low-pressure air circulation under the vehicle is interrupted (momentally), the air continues to press, the front rises, the pressure causes the rear suspension to rise. This repeated effect is called porpoise and at high speed repeats so often that it looks like a dolphin in swim. This is so dramatic that allied to this, is the discomfort and instability of vehicle and pilot (causing pains, nausea and dismay).

F1 Life — a hub that embodies in the lifestyle of a pilot

The F1 Life seems to have been the new Codemasters bet with a touch of EA Sports that although it was not so a strong point, it did not, to the extent that it does not compromise the experience. This hub aims to approach that which is the life of a F1 pilot out of the races, his resting experience at home, where he can boast his luxurious high-end vehicles and even participate in experiences similar to those that riders experience before the race Sundays, a quicker turn or challenge with non-F1 vehicles (Mclaren’s, Aston Martin’s, Mercedes, Ferrari’s, etc…).

This mode mainly allows you to customize your space with more (or less) funny items within your style. It is noted that it is mainly a form of Codemasters and EA to monetize the podium pass without going through tighter paths. Betting exclusively on cosmetics (because it couldn’t be otherwise) without ruining the game, but giving these little privileges to interested players (which will exist for sure) to customize a little more your hub and your character.

Verdict

This F1 2022, even though not perfect, is a title that demonstrates a much more mature series than in previous stages. It is interesting to see the result of the acquisition of Codemasters by Electronic Arts and the possible fruits that may arise from this strategic partnership and what will be to come to the future of this incredible series that portray the Formula One World Championship. In a year of change of regulation — especially difficult for teams (in reality) and, probably in the game — it was evident that the Codemasters teams showed to be up to the challenge.

It is more a game that we are not able to leave with ease, because it brought the experience that we are used to seeing on TV for “our hands” and with all the merit that can be graced. It is clear that we are not facing something life changing or anything that seems, but we are facing something much more solid and up-to-date to the reality of this year — which should be sufficient for what is expected of a series associated with F1.

It is with some pity that we see disappearing the Portimão circuit that was part of the 2020 world championship calendar and 2021 (during pandemic) and that marked the return of the F1 in Portugal. The output of this F1 calendar circuit was expected for multiple reasons that it is not worth mentioning, above all, because it is not part of the “compulsory” circuits of Formula 1. In any case, you can always enjoy the changes made to the usual circuits and that put them in parity with what has been done in reality.

F1 2021 is available on and through Origin (on Instant Gaming) for €48.99, on Steam (PC) for €59.99; the “Champions Edition” for €79.99 on PC (or for €1099); on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles the game is available for €69.99 and the Series S|X and PS5 editions for €79.99. For those interested, the Champions Edition can be purchased for 89.99€ (on consoles).

This game was analyzed on a PlayStation 5, having played with the edition “Champions” and used by piloting the mono-places a Thrustmaster T300 Ferrari Integral Alcantara Edition. Finally, we could not fail to thank Playnxt for providing us with the opportunity to receive in advance the title for analysis and future publication of our free opinion on this game.

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