EA Sports F1 22 Review

Richard Walker

Formula One cars are well fast. Accelerating from 0-60 inside of three seconds flat, a 2022 F1 car is capable of speeds over 220mph, engine and aerodynamics combining to create head-spinning velocity. F1 22 (or EA Sports F1 22, to give it its full name) does a stellar job in communicating that incredible sense of speed, the action running at quite a lick, your reaction times put to the ultimate test as trackside scenery rushes by in a blur. No wonder developer Codemasters has had those sanity-preserving 'flashbacks' in the game for so many years – a single lapse in concentration means an unceremonious meeting with the nearest tyre wall or an unwanted diversion into a gravel trap. It's nice to have the option to rewind and try again, but, then, that's almost always been an option in the F1 series. Don't worry, there are a few new things in this one, too.


I do like the look of those new cars with their big wheels.

One such new thing for this year's outing is the 'F1 Life' hub, a place to call home, available to decorate and use as a museum for your collection of supercars. Other players can then visit your pad and take a look around, if they so wish. It's also somewhere to access the brand shop, where you can spend real money on 'pitcoin' bundles, to then spend on licensed clothing and accessories. I found the lure of the brand shop incredibly easy to resist, given the wealth of modes and features on offer in F1 22, including the 'Pirelli Hot Lap' mode, where you can use the handful of supercars from Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes-Benz to throw around a racetrack, in various challenges. I can't say I felt the need to adorn my avatar with headphones for a few thousand pitcoin.

F1 Life and its drivable supercars have seemingly been added in lieu of the absent 'Braking Point' story mode from F1 2021, which you might have expected to continue for at least a couple of years, like FIFA's The Journey. Regrettably, F1 2021 might have been the first and only time we'll see Aiden Jackson, Casper Akkerman, and Devon Butler battling it out. Classic cars and related content has also been left in the pits again this year, with only a cursory nod to F1 of yesteryear, care of the legendary drivers you can enlist to your constructor in the My Team career mode. It's high time Codies brought back classic cars, F1 2020 being the last time we were able to drive around as Nigel Mansell in his Williams, Ayrton Senna in his McLaren, or Michael Schumacher in his Benetton. Why classic content hasn't become an annual mainstay for the series by now is beyond us.

Not that there's a dearth of content in F1 22 – far from it. My Team and the Driver Career provide countless hours of in-depth race weekend shenanigans, from the usual R&D management to full-on practice sessions and qualifying, whether it's traditional, one-shot, or sprint qualification. You can tinker with upgrades for your car, keeping an eye on the budget, sponsors, and allocation of time to your calendar between races. Of course, you won't get too far without chalking up some results, and you can choose to start your career from one of three paths, be it as an established 'Frontrunner' team like Ferrari, Red Bull, or Mercedes, a mid-tier 'Challenger' fighting for points like McLaren, Alpine, or AlphaTauri, or a 'Newcomer' team like Haas, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, or Williams. You can set the level of challenge and intricacy to exactly where you like, whether it's the full-fat season or a more truncated one. All of the rules and changes are present and correct, as are the brand-new car models, the range of circuit alterations, and the addition of the Miami Grand Prix to the calendar.


Still, there's an air of familiarity to My Team, and, if you've played through a full season on previous occasions, you'll find little that's completely new or innovative here, beyond the addition of those aforementioned Pirelli Hot Lap supercar events peppered throughout the racing calendar, and intermittent 'Department Events', which present you with choices to make. Nonetheless, F1 22's career mode offerings are deep and involving, nicely encompassing every major aspect of the Formula One season, including strategies, pit stops, and the myriad other trappings that come with the world's most popular motorsport. Casual fans, meanwhile, can dip their toe into single Grand Prix races, with numerous settings to toggle; rope a friend in for a bout of two-player split-screen; go online for a quick race; or maybe something more sprawling, like an online league or weekly event.

Regardless of what your poison is in F1 22, you'll be greeted with another fantastically robust and authentic handling model, with optional tyre wear, fuel management, damage, DRS deployment, and other simulated factors to take into account, for anyone craving the full Formula One experience. Anyone turned off by something so uncompromisingly realistic and detailed will be pleased to know that you can, as ever, tailor the simulation to your liking, turning on steering and braking assists, automatic DRS, and so on. Then, as your confidence and aptitude grow, you can start doing away with assists, until you can take on the best of them. Few things beat mastering a tight hairpin, or deftly threading your car through a tricky chicane, and the revamped physics and other minor handling tweaks make for an eminently playable, and remarkably moreish, racer.


Why not take a Ferrari supercar for a quick spin?

An F2 career mode, the returning Two Player Career mode (with competitive and co-op options), and various Time Trial and multiplayer options flesh out an all-encompassing Formula One game, which, once again, sets out to embrace racing fans of all kinds with assists, accessibility features, and a plethora of other sliders and settings to adjust or toggle on and off as you see fit. New Adaptive AI also aims to keep things competitive, without alienating newcomers or failing to provide a stern, realistic challenge for veterans, and it seems to work very well indeed. As always, Codemasters F1 series continues to be all things to all Formula One fans, and F1 22 is no exception.

EA Sports F1 22

While the new F1 Life hub and the addition of supercars are no substitute for last year's story mode or 2020's classic cars, F1 22 is nonetheless another superlative Formula One game, and a damn fine racing experience in its own right.

Form widget
85%
Audio
80%

Crofty is back on pre and post-race commentary duties once more, and all of the sound effects and team radio talk make for an authentic race day soundscape. The licensed soundtrack isn't really my cup of tea, but it's fine.

Visuals
90%

Stunning and detailed as always, F1 22 looks particularly impressive on Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, running as smooth as butter at 60fps.

Playability
90%

Tight, responsive handling, and speed that will keep you at the edge of your seat, F1 22 plays like an absolute dream. There's not really much, if anything, to fault here.

Delivery
80%

As ever, there's no shortage of modes and settings to fiddle with in F1 22, including the F1 Life hub and new supercars. The lack of story mode and classic cars is a blow, though.

Achievements
60%

A fairly rudimentary list of objectives, many of which you'll have seen before. Still, there's a handful of decent achievements here, although some are rather heavy on grind.

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