released on Jul 01, 2022
by EA Sports
Race the stunning, new cars of the Formula 1 2022 season with the authentic lineup of all 20 drivers and 10 teams, and take control of your race experience with new immersive or cinematic race sequences. Test your skills around the new Miami International Autodrome, and get a taste of the glitz and glamour in F1 Life. Create a team and take them to the front of the grid with new depth in the acclaimed My Team career mode, race head-to-head in split-screen or multiplayer, or change the pace by taking supercars from some of the sport’s biggest names to the track.
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I mainly play this series in co-op career and it's fun, but so many random and annoying bugs just keep cropping up - not being able to setup the car for a grand prix, AI overtaking the safety car without penalty, end of race classifications which don't match the timings, cars DNFing but staying on the circuit for the whole race and slowly moving across the track (and in Monaco to add to the mayhem). And this happens every single year, it's getting a bit tiring.
And then there's the addition of Supercars which isn't bad, just completely unnecessary when there's other things that people buying focusing on open-wheel racing would much prefer they work on.
Basically just the same as the past few year's games
How did this even happen? I never liked any sports games, nor racing games that have 'sim'-like elements (let alone actual racing sims), and I never cared for F1 as a sport either.
Yet 2 and a half months ago I tried an F1 game and got addicted very quickly, logging in almost 200 hours across 6 F1 games I now have on steam and instantly became a fan of the sport and its history alongside starting to follow the current season and watching the races live.
For the record this isn't the F1 game that started it for me but it's the most recent one and the one I put most time into so I'm just gonna review this one, this review will be more for the series as a whole instead of this iteration specifically.
On the driving side, the cars feel fantastic and smooth to drive, the controls are great, it’s the best so far for wet races in my experience and adjusting your setups can help a lot (just google setups for each race like I and most people do though cuz most of us have no idea how to setup cars otherwise).
On keyboard however you NEED the traction control assist to max otherwise you’ll be constantly spinning, I know these games aren’t made for keyboards but I’m doing well on them personally and can win against 60-70% AI, not to flex my non existent “skill” but rather say that it’s not as bad as people say, just change the keybinds to something that…makes sense (arrow keys turn and A to accelerate what???) and you’re set.
But there’s more to what makes F1 games great and it took a bit to really understand what grabbed me so much about this game series but I think it comes down to the career mode and how addicting and engaging it is.
There's 2 main modes, the My Team mode introduced in 2020 and the My Driver mode which is in every F1 game (besides 2015 for some reason).
Let's look at both. My Driver is the one where you get to be a driver in any of the current F1 teams and My Team is the one where you make your own team and drive for it, alongside managing it.
In My Driver your objective is more to meet the expectations of your team and get good results with what you're given. You go to a team like Red Bull or Ferrari and you're expected to get a podium and/or win every race, you go to a shitbox team like a Haas and simply scoring a few points is enough whereas a midfield team like Alpine is the middle ground where you're expected to do well but not to the point where you get fired if you don't win every race.
It's a pretty fun mode, this was more for my playthrough in 2018 but it applies to all the games, it's very fun to take a shitbox or midfield team and bring them to the top, it's one thing to win in a Red Bull when you're faster all the time and another to do it in a Williams which is a team that has been stuck to the back for almost a decade and hasn't been great in close to 3. It's more satisfying and harder. Makes you do the practice sessions more and try to get all the points you can for upgrades.
Wait...practice sessions? Now who the fuck wants to practice in a racing game? Just go fast and win the race.
Well it's different in F1, here it's in a way more like a competitive shooter where map knowledge (or circuit knowledge) is just as important as how good you actually are and a good strategy can go a long way. You have little practice minigames to help you prepare for the race. They range from tire, fuel and ers management (in short ers is basically your cars power and you can press a button to burn a lot of it very fast, there’s a limit on how much you use during a single lap and it recharges a little bit when you’re going slow or taking a corner) and also one’s for taking the corners better which is the hardest, also a qualifying one where you just have to do the best lap you can and it calculates where you’ll end up when you actually do the qualifying (one lap that decides where you start the race from), and one that calculates a more accurate race strategy for your playstyle.
These aren't 3 lap races (you can go for 5 lap races though they make the game a lot shorter and more boring), but can go up to an hour if you go for 100% length (can’t recommend unless you get really into it) and even in a 25% length which last around 20-25 minutes, timing a pitstop well can save a lot of time.
Go in early and try to make up time with your new and faster tires or go in after everyone in the hopes you can make up a 20-25 second lead by the time you come in so you can still leave in first at the risk of your tires becoming too slow and if not careful, actually ending up losing a lot of time. You can even go for a more aggressive strategy and choose to do more stops but with faster tires each time, this way you're always the fastest and can make up time but they're the most risky in my experience, being essentially suicide in anything below 50% distance.
These strategies are done before the race but can be altered, how big your pit window is matters a lot, if it's 2 laps you don't have much of a choice, just go in when it says, in 25% races this is fine. But in the longer ones you can gain a lot if the pit window is longer since you can time it with the drivers you're fighting and one thing I've noticed is that the AI will recognize that you're staying out more and then themselves will stay out for longer to chase you down, if their tires are doing well at least though they are usually.
In My Driver you also have to negotiate your contract halfway through the season and at the end, you can be fired if you've done terribly badly but you aren't gonna do that really unless you go to a top team and put the difficulty too high too soon.
You can get bonuses for yourself if you've done well and if let's say you're in a bad team and winning races, you can even switch teams though this is a bit hard as you also have to be good enough for the other team to not just take you win, but also throw out the driver you're replacing. Easier to just stick with your starting team in the first season and worry about team changes only if you choose to do a 2nd season of My Driver.
As for My Team, this one’s a more complex version of My Driver, love this mode, instead of you yourself negotiating for a better contract, you’re the one doing the contract now, since you have to manage your teammate, you can hire drivers either from other F1 teams or from F2 which I think is awesome, I ended up going for this guy called Oscar Piastri who was in F2 last year and is in F1 this year.
Besides that you also choose sponsors which give you objectives and you get extra cash for completing the objectives, sponsors change every couple of races, there’s also a main sponsor for the whole season that supplies you with the most money and has a goal that goes for the whole season and you get the bonus at the end. The money you get goes into the salary of your other driver and upgrading the facilities that make your upgrades, these basically make your upgrades cheaper, faster, with less chances to fail, stuff like that.
There’s also little activities that you can do between races, “do” might be pushing it, you select them and they just sorta happen, you’re just choosing what bonuses you want, usually it’s between training your teammate and getting some sort of bonus for your team or facilities.
That’s most of what you’ll be doing outside of races, right ofc there’s also the R&D tree where you select upgrades and stuff, easy to understand, Power Train is about speed, Chassis is about the weight of the car, Aerodynamics are for downforce (how well you take corners and the likes) and Durability speaks for itself. Both your team and all the other teams will be developing their cars throughout the season, this is why doing the practices is important since these grand you most points, though for 50% and 100% races, I recommend doing the quick practices instead, basically there you have the time the practice lasts for and you choose which practice to do and there’s a % there n stuff, you click on it and then it’s just done, these can fail but rarely if you go for the 75% and 100% ones all the time. Very convenient for 2nd playthroughs and so on.
The AI in the game is pretty good but also way too aggressive in this game, in the older F1 games they aren't aggressive enough and simply putting yourself in front of them when you see them closing in is enough to make them drop back but here these assholes will just drive you off the damn road, though that happens mostly in multiplayer sessions in my experience, lots of races where me and my friends got destroyed by the AI just hating us and sending it in at turn 1. It is a bit funny there but when it happens in career it's a lot more annoying, thankfully you have infinite rewinds (or flashbacks in this game) so the game never becomes an extreme sweat fest where any mistake will cost you a lot. You can limit the flashbacks if you want but I don't recommend it, this is F1, points matter a lot actually and if you end every race dead last you won’t really have fun now would you? You can redo races but only right after, once you click on continue and hit the loading screen you can't anymore and whatever you did is set in stone.
This makes the races more tense, just like in real life one bad race can ruin your chances at the championship (or 22 bad races if you're Ferrari). One thing I like is how you tend to make rivalries as you play the game, there’s the actual ones in game with the rivalry system but also ones in your mind. You end up remembering the drivers as you play and know which are to be taken seriously and which aren't.
Ofc they all should be taken seriously (Latifi aside) but what I mean is, if you're P2 and in front of you is Max Verstappen (the guy who won the last 2 seasons and will prb win this year too), it's a lot more serious then if Esteban Ocon somehow ends up P1, because you know you won't be seeing him up there for many more races. Also when you see a driver you've been fighting with for half the season suddenly have an engine failure and retire it's a bit of a sign of relief knowing you can extend your lead over them (or close the gap on them if you're behind in the championship).
Safety cars are also interesting, can help or screw you over (if you active them, I do personally cuz it makes the races more interesting), basically if there's a crash where a car (or more) gets destroyed these come in and sorta guide the cars for a lap or 2 (or more if that's the case though that only happens irl I think) as the wreckage is being cleared up, during this time you can pit for new tires which is basically a free pit stop or it can help you close the gap on a car that's got a big lead as everyone is suddenly less than a second apart (you can see how this can also work against you, or ruin your race if it happens right after you enter the pit).
Idk this is the most engaged I’ve felt playing a racing game ever. Everything on and off track is great fun. Even the broken multiplayer is fun with friends.
AGHHH but EA kinda fucked it a lil bit with the stuff outside of the main modes. First of all there’s supercars…yeah supercars in the formula one game…and the handling is atrocious and the cars feel extremely slow in comparison so these just suck ass and should be ignored at all costs unless you want to get all the achievements or are desperate for a little extra cash in the my team mode. You can skip 'em though at least.
There’s also F1 Life which is basically you customizing your fucking main menu…lame. Buying sofas n shit in an F1 game, c’mon now…
Outside of those 2 it’s just things that are missing. Classic tracks and cars for one (classic cars are so much fun in former F1 games like c’mon just add em back), scenario modes too and I wish they let you make a custom F1 calendar where you can choose the order of the tracks, you can exclude tracks and choose between 10 16 and full (22) race calendars but that's about it, the order stays the same, so if you let Bahrain in, it’s always the first race.
Red flags would be interesting too, basically when there’s a red flag that means that a crash happened that was so bad they had to stop the race to clean it up (or if the conditions are not safe at all, ex: too much rain), imagine how tense races would be if a red flag went out and you had a standing start with just 3 laps to go, everyone just going at it to try and snatch a victory…Like in literally the Australian race this year, that was a gigantic mess but it made for a fun watch. What are they gonna do with that race in this game since the games these days also simulate the actual results afaik. Yeah red flags are a must for the next game.
Also the story mode from F1 21 didn’t make a return, unfortunate but I mean that mode was sorta boring from what I’ve heard and the story is pretty generic. Still there’s a lot that can be done with a story mode in these games, especially with the My Team mode, just make a story mode that revolves around a new team, this way you don’t have to exclude real life drivers from your story mode like in F1 21.
F3 could be a cool inclusion too but I doubt anybody even plays the F2 mode so what chances does F3 have? These modes are more fun in retrospect when you see which drivers made the move up to F1 more than anything which I assume is why the games launch with the F2 season of the previous year then add in the current year later on.
I want more former F1 drivers as selectable teammates, imagine being able to get drivers out of retirement like Sebbastian Vettel that just retired at the end of last year, these could mirror the real life comeback of the legendary Michael Schumacher to F1 in 2010-2012 with the at the time new Mercedes team.
Also I think it would be cool to be able to manage your own team whilst not driving yourself but hiring both drivers and choosing which to race as.
Are any of these gonna make it into the next game? Probably not, both codemasters and EA are greedy bastards and they’ll do the bare minimum when it comes to improvements and only add in things fans want when one of their games underperforms badly.
Still, while F1 22 is not the best in the series, it’s still a great game at it’s core and while some of the new stuff they’ve added is trash, at least it’s not pushed down your throat and can be ignored.
F1 2020 is probably the best one but since its removal from steam the price for it has gone up and it’s not worth it, so just buy this one on sale if you want to try an F1 game (usually 9 bucks on sale) or buy F1 2018 from a key seller for like 3 bucks. Either way when it comes to F1 games you can still get, this is the best you can get for a fair price. Mainly I’m just biased because this is my first current F1 game but I don’t see what’s so awful about this one, I enjoyed it just as much as the others and I’m looking forward to playing it more until 23 comes out.
Graphics looks much better than previous games however the gameplay is bad. F1 2020 >
fortnite but formula 1?
i have 60+ hours on it though
Definitely giving too much credit for not really that much change but Ego Engine is still superb and the Team Career mode is easily my favorite career mode consistently in sports gaming. Feels masterful on the PS5 DualSense, too!