F1 22 Review
Genre(s): Racing, Simulator
Age Rating: Pegi 3
Release Date: 1st July 2022
A code was provided for review purposes
F1: Going Through Some Changes
Welcome to F1 22, a chance for the biggest changes in F1 history to finally make their mark on this prestigious motorsport, after global events caused many delays across the past 18 months. This game also marks Codemasters 12th year at the helm of developing F1 games across the latest generation of consoles and the 4th year that Rapid Reviews have had the opportunity to review the latest iteration.
This year feels very different, and unless you’re a die hard Formula 1 fan, you may not understand why. So let’s break it down.
Cars this year have been forced to implement a number of changes to their design that have a clear focus on safety, sustainability and environmental impact. For example F1 cars have a redesigned Front Wing, that creates a smoother airflow for the car driving behind you. Less disrupting to the flow and safer passage for the competing driver, which should allow sleeker overtaking out on the track. There are also similar aerodynamic enhancements to the rear wing that create a higher passage for air that aims distribution vertically above the car behind you.
Redesigned Floors and significantly larger wheels do their part to help the cars stay stickier to the track. As well as brand new fuel requirements which mean that 10% of Fuel content must be of a bio component that’s manufactured sustainably. This is probably the biggest change required by each team, with many having to fully redesign much of their engine fabrication and assembly.
With so many changes in place this year, and for those that follow the F1 results, it’s all landed with very mixed results and a few surprises already so far this Season.
Codemasters have done an absolutely sensational job of translating all of these changes into the actual feel of driving these cars. Each teams car has such a distinctive feel about it, if you stripped all of the branding I could absolutely still point out these differences. Ferrari feels fierce and responsive, though has a loose backend coming out of the corners. Oracle Red Bull Racing feels balanced, less nimble comparatively off the mark, but really excels on the straights. I suppose the only one I would question is just how good Mercedes-AMG Petronas performs. It often easily feels the superior car on the track when the reality in the real world is very different right now. I wonder if this may see a patch and a change in the weeks or months ahead. Either way right now there is nothing lost by heading into the Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton, and seeking revenge for the epic climax to the 2021 Season.
Visually the game is stunning on the PS5, cabin textures are sharper and detailed. Codemasters of course deliver on their exceptional weather effects systems. For those that have been around long enough you will have come to expect this. The game is only ever really let down by its sweeping visuals of tracks and scenery at the start and end of races. Often there is a lack of wow factor here. No lens flare, no warm and inviting sunsets and often the buildings and designs are a long way from the near photo realistic production of the cars and drivers.
Exceptions in mind, there are some really incredible additions this year to the circuits available to race in Grand Prix mode. The Miami International Autodrome steals the show with its vibrant sunshine, track design and Hard Rock Stadium standing gloriously in the background. Other track layout changes in Yas Marina UAE and Melbourne also help to keep things fresh and different this year.
Some interesting new experiences add to the variety on offer this year, and as always the game can steal hours from you in the blink of an eye. Pirelli Hot Laps allows you to trade in your F1 car for a variety of supercars, almost adding a Forza like variety to this racing experience. There are around 10 Supercars on offer as well as a chance to drive the two safety cars. Think less sim more fun and despite these being solo challenges it’s a welcome distraction to break up the intensity.
For me there are some less welcome additions, with F1 Life. This takes the supercar collection to the next level and almost blends this Racing Sim with actual “The Sims”. You are provided your own personal hub space. Think trophy cabinets and fancy shelving, which is fine. However layer on furnishings, designer sofas, branded clothing and general clobber and it all feels a little pretentious and gross.
This is also the point at which Micro transactions make their way into the series. With a smaller amount of in-game currency provided gratis it will help to get you started. However you quickly will need to put your real hand into your real pocket and spend real cash. That is if you want to truly experience the champagne lifestyle of an F1 driver. I don’t know that many players are here for this kind of functionality but hey, The Sims has sold a lot of DLC over the years. We know if there’s a gap to exploit in the fan base you can be sure it will be.
Sound & Commentary
An immersive and teeth clenching audio experience is now part and parcel from racing sims and F1 22 absolutely delivers in ways even I wasn’t expecting. The 3D audio experience I was able to enjoy through my 3D pulse Headset was truly exceptional. It provides a sense of each of the four wheels offering differing audio input throughout the race. With one wheel off the track I could feel the different input in sound and vibration but most importantly, just this wheel. The rest maintained its smooth, rubber to track like screech. It’s so impressive to have such layers of audio on offer. The supporting cast is again superb with the addition of Sky F1’s Natalie Pinkham taking quite the lead from a commentary standpoint. Still alongside the old faithful contributions from David Croft and Anthony Davidson. It’s nothing less than the immersive experience of Race Day.
If It Ain’t Broke
F1 22 is more incremental in its changes this year, with a hugely similar experience from My Team and Driver Career modes. This isn’t such a bad thing, with a genuine feeling that codemasters have put a relentless effort and care into the raw driving experience. You can see it, you can feel it and when it comes to sitting behind the wheel its an unrivalled experience. It balances a driving simulating mechanic with a fun and effortless arcade style. It can be as difficult or as simple as you would like. As deep and immersive or as pick up and playable as you want, and this is where it truly shines. Bringing die hard fans and newcomers alike to the screen to enjoy the very best of Formula 1 through your next gen console.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
F1 22 is available now and can be purchased from the Playstation Store by clicking here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.