F1 22 – F1 Test 22 – In Search of a Revolution

There was a small upheaval last year with EA’s purchase of Codemasters studio, with the latter now having to execute its master license in the lap of the US publisher. If F1 2021 seems relatively unaffected, with development already in progress at the time of acquisition, F1 22 (not 2022: should match what EA titles look like) constitutes a real initial test for both studios, whose expertise must be proven more than ever, but Also for a license that must continue and comply with the requirements of its new owner. So, is the spirit of the title still there?

Like good wine

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We feel like it Code Masters And EA is dusting off licensing, even if sometimes that means getting away from the heart of the game. One of the highlights of this episode is the arrival of “F1 Life” (or F1 Life), an amazing game mode that claims to make us live the life of one in twenty Formula 1 drivers. Clearly a real curiosity, these twenty drivers are often seen as the most A motorsport franchise where discipline is hard to come by. And soon we come to the notions of money and luxury, because this situation boils down to obtaining furniture, either by opening it by progress or by buying it with real money, in order to decorate some fixed room in our house which can be “visited” by our friends. That said, it’s very easy to unlock tokens to “buy” a handful of supercars, with a choice of safety cars from Mercedes and Aston Martin, McLaren Artura, or even the awesome Ferrari F8 Tributo. These supercars, totaling ten, can be viewed, Either in our house (for people who want to have a car in the middle of the show) or drive in all the game circuits to try time, duels, drift, agility or time challenges. There, you’ll tell me, we’re already starting to make good progress in testing F1 22 And we still haven’t talked about F1. It’s a bit of a concern for the arrival of this mode, which cares a little more about what’s going on around the competition than the race itself. But that’s in keeping with all the buzz of racing weekends these days, where drivers are often asked to give local celebrities a run around the track in supercars before races.

Fortunately, the F1 22 also has a lot to say about the heart of licensing, with a host of details offering a new view of racing. In fact, the gameplay looks mostly like last year, and the fast player in 2021 will still be fast in 2022. The new F1 with the 2022 regulations, aerodynamics and weight changes, did not have much of an impact on the behavior of the throttle cars at hand. But some details still show that the balance is in question. I’m thinking in particular about the car that drivers complain about a lot this year, which is in F1 22. It’s demanding this year. Likewise, Formula 1 has been marked in recent years by many debates condemning Pirelli and its tires, so this year Codemasters are finally coming to terms with a real tire impact on racing. Tires degrade faster depending on conditions, and they also have a much stronger effect on driving conditions, especially after stopping in a pit. Going from soft tires to medium or hard tires is pretty funny: not only are those tires slower (and you really feel that) but plus, when you’re cold, you’ll be surprised to quickly alternate as F1 struggles to follow its usual lanes, forcing you to slow down even more frankly.

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It’s the damage that’s been reviewed, too. Driving with a flat tire becomes more difficult, and it’s also possible (finally!) to get permanently stuck in a gravel trap. In the unexpected section, a wheel can be blocked while the pit stops, causing much longer stops for mechanics to extract. This event is very random and very rare. If it’s frustrating when it arrives, it at least allows for a little bit of uncertainty at the stops that have always been so handy. Codemasters tried to make it more lively with QTE to run when we hit the hole, which limits our chances of stopping too short, but the system is too lenient to really miss it. Moreover, the formation roll is also gaining reactivity because it is now necessary to position ourselves on the starting line, stop the car as straight as possible, and stop the wheel well on the yellow reference line. It is dispensable and these options can be deactivated (QTE pit or roll modulation), but at least they have the advantage of making sequences that have not changed for years more lively. To go back to the damage, it is necessary to note the new philosophy that was brought in with F1 22: from now on, the front wing is no longer ‘all-powerful’. Breaking our wing was enough to miss the race, as it was impossible to drive even with a slightly damaged wing, but this year – and this is the first in many years – the damage impact on the wing has been significantly reduced. . From now on, it is entirely possible to decide not to replace a front wing that has been slightly damaged because its effect on speed and downforce is minimal. On the contrary, the damage to the pontoon bridges condemns us quickly as the car becomes painful to drive and the damage to the flat bottom is terrible to manage because it is so brittle and makes it difficult to drive an F1 car when hit.

Bigger challenge

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Meanwhile, it is artificial intelligence that is gaining strength. First, straight line speed is more realistic at any difficulty level. Even at lower difficulty levels, an AI with a good straight-line car can easily outperform us. Where the difficulty lies in the turns and tracks, which are the elements where AI could quickly become formidable this year. Especially because it defends itself better, it clogs the vents more easily and doesn’t hesitate to veer off its optimal trajectory if it seems necessary to slow us down. In the same way, it’s much stronger than before at the start, it’s faster, it’s more interactive, and it skis less. She also fights much more in the first corner, limiting the possibility of overtaking ten cars in the first corner, unlike in previous episodes. But this acuity to AI makes it more aggressive, even if it sometimes means exaggerating it. When we’re up front, we’re constantly trying doomed things, either indoors (by dismantling our rafts) or outside, often ending up in grass or gravel. On the contrary, it appears that it can get under pressure because it is no longer uncommon to see a car lock up its wheels, turn into a swerve, or miss its lane completely when you follow it closely into a bend.

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Finally, Codemasters are taking advantage of this new episode to update several circuits. Some, like the one in Austin, make use of a few corrections on a handful of turns and shakes to stick with reality, and others are as much modified as their real-life counterpart. This is particularly the case at Abu Dhabi, Barcelona and Melbourne, which are taking advantage of their new layouts, often to include fast corners, always with a desire to highlight the battle between cars in corners. Where you can overtake yourself more easily. This also makes the Abu Dhabi and Melbourne road so much fun to ride, much more so than before, with some big fights where we take advantage of the aggressiveness of the AI. Moreover, there are few visual improvements to the title which is still based on the same engine, especially since the modeling of the supercars that arrived this year is correct at best, but is a far cry from the content of the genre. Finally, all this can be traversed happily in multiplayer again, even if we’d like it not to be limited to PS4-pairs.PS5 And the Xbox One-Series X. Come on, maybe one day the F1 license will let everyone play. We still really like the co-op mode that allows you to build a career with online players, both in Classic mode and in MyTeam mode, as now creating your team offers more scope with access to budget selection. More or less important, so as not to start systematically at the bottom of the ladder if, on the contrary, we want to arrive with a patron who will provide enough water to play in the first positions of the first season.

conclusion

It has long been proclaimed that the F1 Life mode is completely dispensable and adds nothing to a game that, fortunately, when you dig in, still has a lot more to offer than what you’re looking for: the F1 experience. Still imperfect, the game is still able to offer significant improvements in terms of physical damage, but also on the behavior of the AI ​​that, if often very aggressive when chasing us, sometimes delivers great fights. Sure, these are margin tweaks, limited improvements that basically don’t change into a title that’s still based on the same modes and the same kind of progression, but it’s enough to last all year into the next.

Test conducted by Hachim0n on PlayStation 5 From a copy provided by the publisher.

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