Take Your Seat: F1 22 Review
F1 22 is EA’s newest version of their Formula 1 games, and my first introduction to the franchise. Let’s be honest, it was my first introduction to the sport. I have played racing games before, including Project Cars 2, but nothing like F1 22.
Going into any racing game, I am always concern about the struggles of playing with a controller. I do own a wheel and pedals, but it is a huge hassle to set up and not something I am well equipped to use. As a result, I played F1 22 entirely on controller, and I had a blast.
Unlike Project Cars 2 and many other racing games I have played, I didn’t feel limited while I was playing controller on the PS5. The game felt smooth, and I felt in total control of my car. I really enjoyed having a full turn radius, something that is awful in certain racing games. Obviously, the fine movements of braking and accelerating were not perfect, but I have yet to reach a level of skill in the game where I feel that is a major issue.
The gameplay itself is beautiful. Each of the 22 events feel and play different, and just like actual F1 racing, different tracks will be easier or harder for certain driving styles. The visuals of the cars and the track is incredible, and the level of detail in this game is awesome. If there is sun setting, and it falls in your field of view (FOV), you experience glare and a difficulty seeing the track. Rain also drastically impacts your ability to see clearly, with water accumulating as if your screen is your windshield. While these may not mean much to some people, and may even be a turnoff for other, it adds to the realistic feel F1 22 brings to the table.
Like I mentioned before, I had very little F1 knowledge coming into this game, but the career mode is so deep that I learned a ton. The large difference between tyre types, the impacts of cold versus warm tyres, even like race weekend regulations were a total mystery to me. All of these things and a ton more are explained fairly well, but it is also set up in a way that you can learn a ton just by playing the game.
The challenges of running a bottom level F1 team was really, really interesting, and it made the game about more than just driving. The different departments, the research, and handling a second driver gives players more to do in between race weekends. There was also some mini challenges with supercars and stuff, which sounds cool but I found it was just a hassle. It feels like Codemasters was trying to branch out to some new things, but I felt like it didn’t fit into the career mode all that well and should have stayed as a secondary mode.
F1 22 has quite a few assists options and different ways to personalize your car. From steering assists to a manual gearbox, there is a lot you can change to fit your skill level. As it should be, every assist you can remove will result in slightly faster lap times. This gives players a reason to remove the assists as they improve and challenge themselves .
The different customizations to race weekend were also quite helpful. You can change your practice length, your qualifying format, and the length of the race itself. Depending on how realistic you want the race to be, time-wise, or how much time you have available, you can adjust it to fit into your schedule. I played a different race weekend at each length and different qualifying formats, and they all had their pros and cons.
Short: The Short format is around a 10 minute race, and it felt quite quick. The race is very similar to spring you see at certain race weekends, and qualifying means a ton on this format. I didn’t love this format, but if you are short on time and looking for a quick race this one isn’t bad.
Medium: This was the format I played up for most of my first F1 season. It’s about 20 minutes, and it felt like the sweet spot in order to get through 22 races in a reasonable amount of time. Medium usually only also for 1 pit stop, but it is long enough to make some serious moves up the leaderboard.
Long: This was the best length in my opinion. It’s around 40 minutes, which is a little bit long, but you get to experience some true pit strategy, and there’s lots of time to make serious errors. It becomes challenging to keep racing fast and stay focused at that point in time, which added some challenge and entertainment to this format.
Full: This is the full format, representing the same amount of laps as the actual race. I really enjoyed this game, but racing for an hour and a half depending on the track was quite difficult. It was hard on the eyeballs and the brain to stay focused that long. It’s nothing like watching F1, but it was a fun challenge and something I’d recommend you try at least once.
Qualifying is either one-shot, short, or full. One-shot is a one lap qualifying session, which is very make or break but also quick. Short is a 1 session, so around 10 minutes, qualifying with no elimination. Full is 3 qualifying sessions, with the bottom 5 drivers being eliminated after each session. This was my favourite qualifying method as it felt more realistic, and it created more strategic challenges within your race weekend. I also qualified 22 the first time as I didn’t realize everyone else was going out last minute on softs after the rain, so there’s always some new situation to make the game really interesting to play.
The only downside I found with F1 22 was playability over more than an hour or two. I really struggled to sit down and play this game for 2 or 3 or 4 hours consecutively. The game was really fun to play, but I couldn’t stack more than 2 race weekends before having to go do something else for a while. It does take a lot of focus, so that could be a factor, but this wasn’t the kind of game where I sat down and played 8 straight hours.
My last point for F1 22 is that I loved this game. It is a ton of fun, and the career mode is quite deep. There so many different situations to experience, and the visuals are beautiful. The most shocking part is how much I have gotten into F1 since playing F1 22. Fifa has never made me want to watch soccer, and Madden isn’t the reason I can’t stop cheering for the Cowboys, but F1 22 has me watching Qualifying at 8am on a Saturday and the race on 7am on a Sunday. The game has done more than piqued my interest in Formula 1 and done exactly what a sports game from EA should do, create more actual fans of the sport.